The debate "All systems of morality are biased and paradoxal. They exist only in the imagination" was started by
July 17, 2020, 7:42 pm.
51 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 29 people are on the disagree side.
That might be enough to see the common perception.
It looks like most of the people in this community are on the agreeing side of this statement.
Cdawgthree posted 29 arguments, Harmony posted 2 arguments, Allirix posted 1 argument to the agreers part.
Cdawgthree posted 2 arguments, diecinueve posted 44 arguments, Harmony posted 5 arguments to the disagreers part.
Aphyllous, Allirix, kapil, Proking, JDAWG9693 and 46 visitors agree.
Harmony, candice14coza, diecinueve, safalcon7, sbwinner and 24 visitors disagree.
what is it about slavery that makes it integral for a society to form, in your opinion?
I thought I made my claim clear. The only way society could develop without slavery is in a fantasy world where humans don't have the ability to make their own decisions.
Slavery, like war, is a function of power.
for slavery to be necessary for a society, that means society CANNOT form without slavery. is that your claim?
If that were the case, both sides would be scrambling for an upper hand, as the threat of their neighbor would be immanent. If the leaders of said nations wish to survive, they would need a drastic increase in labor and production. If, for whatever reason, neither side has the instinct to survive (maybe through religion) and neither choose slavery, then the choice will eventually be made for them. In this hypothetical world (unlike the one we previously discussed) slavery is only restricted by circumstance or preference, not universally. This means that certain nations will take this to their advantage. These nations will develop faster and will easily colonize or destroy their lesser counterparts. Therefore, even if these two specific nations refuse to engage in slavery, other developed nations who did use slavery will eventually enter the picture. We've seen this countless times throughout history.
The moral of the story is this: if slavery is even an option, it will be used, and whoever uses it will win. The same applies to war. If slavery is not an option, then refer back to my previous comment.
or in a situation where both sides are of similar strength and cannot fully dominate the other side. especially if each side would go all out if their people were taken as slaves and neither side wants that.
or in a society where enslaving people is against their religion and thus they wouldn't do that.
its perfectly conceivable, but thats not the point. if *for whatever reason*, slavery is not an option, does that mean they will never progress into a society? if not, then slavery is not a necessity.
for slavery to be necessary for society, that means society CANNOT form without slavery. is that your claim?
The only conceivable scenerio that would restrict the possibility of slavery is a hypothetical world in which humans cannot restrict eachother's freedom. There would be no war, no murder, no violation of rights, and therefore no need for a society to protect said rights. In a world without slavery, society wouldn't even exist - it would have no reason to.
if slavery is not an option for some reason, are you saying that society, or nations, will not evolve?
I never moved any goal post. This (side) topic is about whether or not slavery is necessary for a nation's survival. Why would I use a failed nation as an example?
What point are you trying to make with Egypt? I'm not understanding whatever you're implying there.
I'm not sure why you're getting hung up on what a nation is. There are currently 195 surviving nations in the world. A family does not count as a large governing body
i did jump in late, but nothing previously said will affect the question of whether society can exist without slavery. im sorry for the tangent, this topic (or app) doesn't seem so active that one can be choosy, but i can drop the tangent if you like.
you have moved the goal post from "society without slavery" to "society that made it to 2020 without slavery". the society of ancient egypt certainly failed to make it to 2020... however they absolutely are a society.
were the inhabitants of the first cities "society"? how about tribes rich with history, mythology, agriculture, commerce; are they society? where do you draw the line? at what point must man choose slavery to progress?
My grammar is fine - your confusion might be because you jumped into this conversation on a random subject - the original topic was about morality.
What? If you can't judge something morally, what makes you think you can judge a person in that way? What would you judge them by if not their actions?
It doesn't really depend on my definition of society. The bottom line is, like I said, that there are no surviving nations (as far as we can tell) which haven't used slaves.
The whole "correlation doesn't imply causation" thing is blatantly false. Causation can ONLY be conceived of through correlation - there's no other way. Causation is determined by the strength or weakness of the correlation, and, since slavery is strongly correlated with every surviving nation, the case for causation is also strong. Unless you can provide evidence of any surviving nation that hasn't used slavery, my case still stands.
idk about that point, the grammar is a bit confusing. cant morally judge a thing, maybe someone. are you saying you can't judge them even if you consider circumstance? or that you must consider circumstance to judge someone? either way, my problem was with the claim that slavery is necessary, not moral judgement of any individual.
societies grew as they assimilated neighbors. is a society the individual tribes? the city states? the nations? multinational regions (like Europe)? depending on what your definition of society is will depend on whether they all had slaves. some native american or african cultures had slaves, but not all.
furthermore, correlation is not causation. slavery is convenient, and may be a frequent choice, but that doesn't make it necessary.
Isn't that the point I was making? That you can't morally judge something based on circumstance?
Either way, I'm still convinced that it's most likely necessary. You can't compare it to patriarchy because there have been matriarchal nations (and still are). You also can't compare it to sacrifice, as that's more of a religious/cultural aesthetic that stems from superstition, not utility. Slave labor generates far more profit than paid labor and thus allows a country to surpass both their neighbors and enemies. Free labor from people who are forced to work hard from sun up til sun down means more money, resources, and advancements - advantages that could make or break a nation. Look at what happened to every undeveloped nation: they were either colonized or completely destroyed.
I can't find an example of one nation that didn't use slavery. There were even slaves in pre-colonial America and Africa. It would be interesting if you could prove me otherwise
to say slavery is necessary because it is common is an argument of correlation = causation. one can make the same argument for patriarchy or human sacrifice. slave labor is human labor, and human labor does not require slavery. rather than a requirement it can be seen as a convenience that is frequently used by the winners, but a convenience that can just as easily be avoided and still result in a society.
are you claimin that no society ever formed without slavery? cause even 1 example negates claims of necessity.
Very good point. Although it could be argued that slavery is a necessity to develop a society seeing how most, if not all, nations have used it at some point in their history; this uncertainty towards its necessity is only further evidence that actions cannot be objectively prescribed value. The consequences of an action cannot possibly determine the morality or value of said action objectively, as the results may always be coincidental/unrelated.
As a worker or entity in capitalism you own your labour so you are paid according to the value you bring and your ability to capture that value. This is a bottom-up approach to pricing labour.
As a slave or surf you don't own your labour so you're only given what you need to survive. That is a top down approach to pricing labour.
It's a subtle difference, but it's a difference that's contributed to advancing our society faster than any other era. Why? Because slavery and surfdoms are good for minimising the costs of unskilled labour intensive tasks, but it fails at innovation.
Did slavery help minimise costs for Europeans and Americans? Sure. Is our society better because of it? Who knows. If Europeans were forced to innovate earlier to reduce costs we may currently be more advanced.
"Would you like to have slaves at the price of you being someone else's slave?"
Lol, isn't that called.. having a job? You submit your body and time to others for money, which, in turn, you use to buy goods and services, of which other people have submitted their body and time for.
"The damage people take from being slaves is greater than the benefit they get from having slaves."
It could easily be argued that slavery was not only beneficial to human development, but was ESSENTIAL. Slavery is the reason why society developed in the way it did, it's known to be the foundation to almost every nation's history.
"Would you kill a child just because he is bothering you?"
Even Charles Manson wouldn't do something so senseless. Empathy does not dictate the way you act, your philosophy does.
Would you like to have slaves at the price of you being someone else's slave? Surely not, that means that the damage you receive from being a slave is greater than the benefit you get from having slaves. Surely no one or almost no one would like that, so in general the damage people take from being slaves is greater than the benefit they get from having slaves. This does not happen with the other examples you put.
If the options are kill or be killed, I prefer to kill. But someone without any empathy would kill for any slight damage. Would you kill a child just because he is bothering you?
You're acting as if "damage to slaves" is something you can measure... Based on what? What are you using to convert the value of labor into the value of money? Why are you falsely assuming that either of them hold any objective value? Approximately 1/6 people in America used to be slaves. That leaves a staggering 5/6 to outweigh the needs and wants of the remaining 1.
Let me ask you, if a small portion of the population wanted rape and murder to be legalized, would their opinions constitute the "will of the people" just like you're suggesting with the minority opinion of slaves?
If a minor group of people think they are entitled to free money and resources, is it then the "will of the people" to fork over your belongings just cause they said so?
Even people with empathy will kill if it truely benefits them. Even self-defense could be seen as someone killing because it's beneficial. Soldiers may have empathy, yet they kill regardless.
the will is not only yes and no, there are degrees of will. How much profit do the enslavers get from slavery? How much damage do slaves get? It is obvious that the second is much greater than the first, so the will of the people is that slavery is not allowed.
Your opinion is important to see if you really do not have empathy, since that is what morality is based on.
Slavery was legal (and still is in certain parts of the world) and therefore the "will of the people" was to allow slavery. If 9/10 of people say "yes" to slavery and 1/10 people say "no," then it's pretty obvious as to what society has "willed." So, I ask again, if you were a slave in early America, would you defy the "will of the people?"
As for your second paragraph, I don't see how my personal opinions would matter in a debate about morality.
the will of the people is not the will of the person in charge, but the will of its inhabitants. Slavery cannot be the will of the people because the will of the slaves also counts.
If you don't have empathy, would you kill someone if it benefited you?
There is no such thing as the "will of the people" because society isn't a conscious being with a will; it just follows the will of whoever is in charge. If slavery was legal because it was the "will of the people" would you defy it or would you submit?
A situation where both predator and prey survive isn't plausible or possible in most situations, nor does it mean that it will cause a better future. For example, giving everyone equal money seems like a great temporary solution, but in the long run it equates to a weak and dysfunctional economy.
It would be self defeating to follow the will of another because it devalues the values in which you prescribe to your own actions by placing them on another.
Empathy is just a feeling, another symptom just like happiness. Some people (like myself) do not feel empathy and make their values based on what they do feel and experience, just like anyone. Is empathy bad? No. Is it necessarily good? Also no.
The greatest good is the action that best follows the will of the people, so it is the will of the people who decides what the greatest good is.
We must seek a balance in which neither the predator nor the prey die, even if they cannot reach their maximum will.
Why would it self-defeating?
You would not like someone to harm your will, so by empathy you should not harm the will of others, or do you think that we should not have empathy?
Who's idea of kindness? Who gets to decide what is kind or what the "greatest good" is? If we do not create our own values through artistic means, we will only end up following someone else's orders -- someone else's will. Also, kindness isn't universally life-affirming. What happens when the predator is kind to his prey? He starves. What happens when the prey is kind to his predator? He is eaten. What happens when the host is kind to the parasite? They are used and abused. This same principle applies to humans living in hostile or adverse environments. This is not to say that every obstacle should be handled with brute force, but that there are many different ways to handle different situations and that some situations are better handled without mercy or kindness.
Should we seek a balance in our will and others? Yes, but only when it benefits us. Otherwise, it would just prove to be self-defeating
then we should use our will for kindness instead of for art.
We should seek a balance between doing what we want and not preventing others from doing what they want
No. I'm saying that all actions, including acts of love & kindness, are necessarily self-motivated.
Are you saying that we don't have the option to help others? That is false, I have seen cases of people helping others.
Remember, we have no choice except to follow our own will. The moment we start mistaking our will for the "will of society" or the "greater good" we lie to ourselves and deny our own nature as free spirits.
If we only followed our own will, we would all be selfish and no one would care about each other, someone could even kill you just because they don't like you, is that the society you want?
I never said that one was better than the other, I said that individuals shouldn't devote their life to society's will to power because they should follow their own will.
If the will to power is our curse, then art is our blessing. By art, I refer to anything resulting from human creativity and expression, so I am not limiting it to painting, sculpting, ect. Science is even an art form. The reason art is the highest form of actualizing our will is this: art is purely active in nature. If we are beings who are condemned to express our will, the most efficient form would be through our own means.
An artist makes art because that is their will to power, it is no different from a society that prohibits murder because that is their will to power, why is one better than the other?
What you say is that we should all dedicate ourselves to art?
We would run into the same problem. Nietzsche (the guy who created the concept of the will to power) views it as our curse, not our goal. We, as humans, have no choice except to actualize our will. Everything we could possibly do is a result of our will to power because we are the will to power. Therefore, chasing the idea of "power" is equally decadent and superfluous as chasing pleasure. Instead of chasing power, we should harness our will to power by sublimating it into creative means. Art is the highest human activity and the greatest expression of the will to power. Those who use their will to power as a means to dominate, control, seek pleasure, ect will find nothing besides dead-ends and disappoinment in life. Those who create their own value, happiness, and expressions will be the ones who overcome this incessant human tendency to deny our own nature through decadence and nihilism
ok, if what we seek is to actualize our will to power, then society should seek the greatest possible actualization to the will to power
But I'm not the creator in my analogy. In my analogy, living = driving, evolution = whoever is responsible for making traffic lights, I = myself, the traffic lights = my evolved ability to feel pleasure & pain, red = pain, and green = pleasure. When you drive, do you seek green lights? No. You probably enjoy green lights far more than red lights, but you don't drive around searching for them. When driving, a traffic light is merely a tool that you utilize to arrive at your destination in one piece.
Pleasure was created (just like the traffic light) with the purpose of allowing us to get to our "destinations," wherever they may be. Pleasure and pain allow us to develop a sense of what's helpful or harmful relative to our will to power.
Your analogy is wrong because in it you say that the creator is the one seek something, and what I said is that the creation is the one seek something.
A better analogy is training a dolphin to do tricks with food as a reward. For the trainer, food is a method to obtain tricks in the same way that for evolution, pleasure is a method to feed us. For the dolphin, tricks are a method of obtaining food in the same way that for us, feed us is a method of obtaining pleasure.
If pleasure was not created to be sought, then what was it created for?
That makes no sense. Imagine if someone were to tell you that traffic lights were invented "because we seek green lights." It would be nonsense. Traffic lights exist so that we don't crash into eachother. We eat so that we can actualize our will, not to feel pleasure. Pleasure is a symptom therefrom, not a cause.
we evolve to feel pleasure precisely so that we seek it. If we were not seek pleasure there would be no point in feeling it. It is useless that you like to eat if you don't seek food
I guess you could call it instinct. All living beings have evolved to express their will to power, meaning we have no choice except to actualize our will and overcome our natural struggles. We aren't seeking anything, we are simply acting on our own nature.
We didn't evolve to desire food for the sake of pleasure. We evolved the ability to feel pleasure as a symptom of our desires, not as a cause; meaning we don't eat to feel good, we feel good because we eat.
What does "because it is my nature as a human being to do so" mean? Does it mean you only act on instinct?
When you eat something you like, why do you do it? Isn't it because it makes you happy to eat it?
If I made money just to have money, what would be the point? If I lived just to survive, what would be the purpose of living? It's fairly obvious that we do not live to survive or to make money.. So why do I do these things? Not because I'm seeking anything beyond myself, but because it is my nature as a human being to do so. Fish do not swim because they are looking for something. Birds do not fly because they want to achieve some ultimate purpose. Similarly, I do not overcome struggle, express myself artistically, make money, or participate in eating/sleeping/sex/ect for some higher purpose. My purpose and meaning comes from within, not from something that I must seek out.
Your second paragraph seems to be off topic (either that, or I don't understand what you're insinuating). Murder is a subjective term that means different things to different people. You can't simply assume that banning your version of murder will bring the most happiness, much less assume that causing the most happiness in the short term will bring happiness down the line.
Don't you work to seek money? Don't you feed yourself to seek survival? If you were not seek anything you could lie down doing nothing until you die, and if you could create happiness at will you could do that while you are happy, why don't you do it?
Not everyone wants it to be illegal to kill, but almost everyone do it, so banning murder brings the greatest happiness
I think that is what I mean
I don't seek anything; I create it. I do not look for happiness or meaning or value; I make them intrinsically from within the very act of living. Read Camus' Myth of Sisyphus if you want to dive deeper into this topic. It would be much easier to discuss this if you were familiar with the difference between existentialist and absurdist perspectives.
Are you assuming that all people feel happy when everyone lives? Some people want other people dead. Some people want to die. Not everyone wants increased security or increased government... I certainly don't! "Security" is just a dressed-up way for the government to say control. I would never give up my freedom for the illusion of security.
Look up Eudaimonia, is that what you mean? Happiness isn't specific enough.
If you are not seek happiness, then what are you seek? Or are you seek nothing?
In the example of turn down a job there is no way for both of you to be happy, so my system does not work there. But there are other cases where it does work. For example, we like to know that we are going to live, that is, it makes us happy. In this case, there are ways to make everyone happy, such as banning murder or improving security, that's why these things should be done
No, I do not agree that we should seek to be happy as possible precisely because of the fact that seeking pleasure defeats the entire purpose of finding pleasure.
I'm sure you've heard this famous quote:
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times."
Similarly, hedonism leads to decadence. Decadence leads to weakness. Weakness leads to pain and struggle. Seeking pleasure only leads an individual (or a society) into a vicious, self-defeating cycle. I can even give examples.
What caused the Great Depression? The decadence of the "Roaring Twenties." What ended the depression? The struggles of WWII.
What happens when a society tries to make people happy by giving everyone money or offering free handouts to the less fortunate? Their currency is devalued, people become lazy & dependant on government support, and resources are wasted.
What happens when society tries to limit the suffering of children by giving them everything they want, sheltering them from everything "bad," and convincing them that they are all special and talented? They raise an entire generation of self-entitled snowflakes who wouldn't even know the meaning of hard work if it hit them in the head.
If your next reply aims to discredit the aforementioned as poor examples of hedonism simply because they failed to cause more happiness, I urge you to take a step back and ask yourself why they all failed in the first place. What do they all share in common? Decadence. Every single instance of hedonism relies on decadence and every single instance of decadence is self-defeating. This is why hedonism will never work. Pleasure isn't something you find when you chase it; it's something you find when you create value by embracing the life you currently live. Happiness comes from within, not from some garden beyond the horizon or perfect set of circumstances.
Lastly, you keep implying that your system would work "if there was a way..." but then offer no solution (because there is none). This is what I mean by "having your cake and eating it too;" you can't have both.
We all like to be happy. That is a fact, not an opinion. Therefore it would be best if we are as happy as possible, do not you agree with that?
I am not saying that throughout history society has sought happiness, what I am saying is that society should seek happiness.
If I turn down a job, I increase someone else's happiness, but I decrease mine, so happiness does not increase. If there was a way to get the job without taking someone else's job, I should do it, as my happiness would not be affected and someone else's would increase. That's what I mean by seeking the greatest happiness possible.
What you think society "should" do is literally only based on your personal opinion. Society doesn't actively seek to decrease suffering, and this has been historically proven time and time again.
If you think your actions in society are not at the expense of others, you are wrong. Most of the things you own would not exist had it not been for human rights violations in 3rd world countries. The upper class in any society only exists because of their oppression of the lower classes. The roads you drive on cost time and money. The gas you burn and the electricity you use pollutes the air. The jobs you take eliminate possible employment for less fortunate people. Even the food you eat comes at the expense of the suffering of animals.
There are massive smaller than others. Society should seek the least possible suffering, even if it is still massive.
I use society for my own benefit but without harming others. It is not the same as a leader who uses society for his own benefit by making others suffer
Well if you agree that all societies cause mass suffering, why would happiness even come into consideration?
My feelings towards leaders is inconsequential. Everyone's actions are purely self-motivated, so a leader using a society for his own benefit is no different than us using society to make a living.
It depends on which happiness is greater, the one you lose now or the one you gain in the future
So if something makes current me happy, but takes happiness away from future me, it's bad?
What about if something makes future me happy, but takes away happiness from current me?
Not everything that makes us feel happy is good, but everything good makes us feel happy. The only things that make us feel happy and are not good are those that take away happiness from someone else, so happiness is the only basis for knowing whether something is good or bad.
So do you agree that you're not using the word happiness to describe the emotion? Or do you believe that if something makes us feel the emotion of happiness then it is necessarily good?
I just said that it is not necessary to eliminate all suffering.
Do you think it's right for rulers to use society only for their own personal means to power without caring about others?
We have already been over this. All societies naturally cause suffering. There is no society that does not.
People use society for their own personal means to power.
The purpose of murder being illegal is to protect society, not your personal happiness.
If society cannot eliminate all suffering, then it must eliminate as much as it can.
What are those many different things for which people use society? What is the purpose of it being illegal to kill?
yes, happiness is what indicates if something is good or bad
Lol, Nazi Germany wasn't destroyed because of what they were doing to Jews. It was destroyed because they lost the war, not because they "didn't make people happy."
Our society doesn't cause happiness for everyone, so what society does? See? This is exactly what I meant when I said that you were pushing for a dystopian society. You are imagining a society that makes everyone happy, when such a society is literally impossible.
Capitalism causes mass suffering.
Communism causes mass suffering.
Fascism causes mass suffering.
Anarchy causes mass suffering.
Any Dystopia causes mass suffering.
Where is this imaginary society that doesn't?
You're asking me what society's goals are, as if it's a sentient being with a will and desires of its own. Society is a tool, used by many different people for many different things. To ask what the goal of society is would be like asking what the goal of power is.
So not the emotion but a catch all term for what we think is good?
By happiness I mean "the feeling we have when something we like happens".
Society seeks survival, but why? Because we like to live, that is, it makes us happy. The same goes for the other things you said.
Killing is illegal because it increases our survival, which increases our happiness.
Survival --> Power --> Stability --> Well-being --> Happiness
The goals of society are typically those, in that order.
If a society does not cause happiness, then it is not a good society. So they destroyed Nazi Germany and slavery.
If the goal of a society is not happiness, then what is it?
Society only exists for its own sake. It certainly didn't exist in Nazi Gemany to make the Jews happy, or for any of the slaves in America's past. Modern society most certainly does not exist to make the poor happy. Almost every aspect of it is designed to use and oppress the lower classes.
You ask why we try to prevent it from falling. We don't. Society isnt something that we inherently value. Many people actively seek to destroy society -- they are called rebels.
Societies, just like castles made of sand, all fall eventually, and for good reason; value comes from within, not from the government.
Society helps us to be happy. We try to prevent society fall because if it fall we would be less happy. According to you, why are we trying to prevent it fall?
If hunger only serves us to enjoy eating, why are there hungry people who cannot eat?
Killing was illegalized because society relies on people to exist. If everyone killed eachother whenever they wanted, society would fall. Therefore, laws are means of practicality rather than morality. By no means does it exist to ensure your happiness, otherwise you would be able to take legal action against things that offend you.
Yes, the function of life is suffering. You cannot name one human action that does not constitute the overcoming of obstacles. Eating is overcoming hunger. Exercising is overcoming poor health. Self restraint is overcoming your immediate desires. Everything requires work in order to be achieved, nothing is free. "All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare."
"I have removed all the suffering, so what remains?" Not happiness. The only reason you enjoy eating is because you get hungry. The only reason you enjoy stimulation is because you get bored, just like the only reason you would enjoy a pain-killer is if you were in pain.
That's not up to you. What I'm saying is that anyone, not just Buddha, would eventually grow to hate the palace walls given enough time. This is not just a philosophy, but a fact of modern psychology. Carl Jung (who created analytical psychology) even uses Nietzsche's dichotomy of Dionysus & Apollo as one of his central concepts. Without the balance of pleasure and suffering, psychological problems will occur.
If you cannot decide what we should or should not do, then how was it decided that killing should be illegal? Laws serve to have the greatest happiness possible in society, killing is illegal because if it were not, there would be much suffering. If deaths could be avoided, there would be less suffering, so they should be avoided. That is why we try to avoid as many deaths as possible.
To live is not to suffering. I have removed all the suffering, so what remains? Happiness, the things I enjoy.
If Buddha enjoys life outside his palace more, good for him, but I would enjoy more having everything I want, and if I get bored, no problem, at any time I could return to my life from before, or to a different life if I want to
When you ask me "should we be able to kill people" you are asking me to make a moral judgement. Any answer I give will necessarily be imaginary. I do not decide what we should or shouldn't do. The law only tells us what we can and can't do because the law exists to establish authority over the masses; it doesn't exist to tell us what is "good" or "evil."
How is it not the life you are describing? "To live is to suffer," yet you've removed all suffering and therefore the essence of life. You have denied the need for growth, change, emotional strength, excellence, and even awareness of your surroundings... so what remains? Nothingness.
Pain itself is necessary, but I'm not saying we "enjoy pain" like some sort of masochist. I'm simply saying that work must be put in to achieve results. Without pain, challenging pain, the pain you see as "unnecessary," there is no personal growth, no excellence, no pleasure from the things you take for granted.
Let me ask you, have you ever heard of Buddha?
Buddha lived his early years in a royal palace and was given literally everything he's ever wanted.
What happened to Buddha?
As time went on, he could no longer find value in his life, so he decided to leave the palace and experience life outside his walls of comfort. He deprived himself of food and the other things he took for granted. Only then did he realize the essence of life: suffering, with pleasure being the mere result thereof.
Should we be able to kill people? If yes, why is it illegal? If the answer is no, why can God do it?
Plants have no consciousness, that is not the life I am describing.
There may be pain but not more than necessary. If I get hungry, I eat something, if I get sleepy I sleep, if I get bored, I play something. If you enjoy a life full of pain more, then God should give it to you, but I enjoy a life without pain more. There are many people who are very hungry and cannot eat anything, and I don't think they enjoy that pain.
No. Lmao where did you even get that idea?
Like I said, nothing is good or bad. "Good" and "bad," same with "beauty" and "ugliness," are mental attitudes towards things, not properties of things in themselves.
A life without wisdom or learning? A life without emotional growth or intimacy? A life without increased awareness of your surroundings? Without sentience?...
What you are describing is the life of a plant or an amoeba. What you are describing is nothingness... "but you do not say "nothingness" : instead you say "the beyond"; or "God"; or "the true life"; or nirvana, salvation, blessedness -- This innocent rhetoric from the realm of religious-moral idiosyncrasy suddenly appears much less innocent when you see precisely which tendencies are wrapped up inside these sublime words: tendencies hostile to life."
The only reason you find pleasure in life is because you know what it's like to feel the inverse. Sadness or pain is precisely why you delight in pleasure. You value food because you've known hunger. You value sleep because you've known exhaustion. You value stimulation because you've known boredom. You value company because you've known loneliness. When you spoil a kid, what happens? They do not value the things they take for granted.
So killing is good?
If the world were perfect we would not need to learn life lessons or be emotionally strong, we would not need to be more aware of our surroundings and the only important thing would be to do what we like, because God would solve all our problems. I don't need sadness to feel alive.
You're assuming happiness is a property of certain things rather than the result of your mental attitude towards said thing. Happiness is something that comes from value, value that we create, not from external things. Experiencing the death of a loved one can teach you important life lessons, it can make you emotionally strong, it can help you empathize with others who have also experienced loss, ect. Pain, even something like stubbing a toe, can teach you to be more aware of your surroundings. It can make you feel alive knowing the depths of human sadness, for only knowing these depths allows us to enjoy the heights. Pain makes us feel human. Pain gives purpose and meaning. It can even be for the best. Not being able to buy a videogame may help you focus on things that are more important. "That which does not kill us only makes us stronger."
sorry. was not meant as a response to your post, but an independent take on the topic.
i agree all system of morality philosophers have found are inadequate.
all philosophies exist only in the imagination, however morality is so conplex, it may be impossible to fully conceptualize it. however, we all know what is wrong and right in most situations from a gut feeling, even if we try to rationalize ulterior motives. i will argue that the musing of armchair ethicists have not had any effect on the course of humanity's development.
i will make a clear distinction between armchair philosophers from aristotle to kant, and humanitarian activists like ghandi, mlk, and mandella. they did not make generalized statements of ethics, but simply identified injustice in specific situations and actively fought against it. they have had an effect; kant and the rest did not.
this is a speculative position that i am not asserting, but simply putting out there in hopes of a challenge that will help me confirm or reject this position. please, prove me wrong :)
What happiness does someone gain when a family member dies? What happiness does someone gain when diagnosed with cancer? What happiness does someone gain from not being able to buy their favorite video game? What happiness does someone gain from hitting the toe with the leg of the bed? The world is full of pains that do not cause any happiness, so it is not the perfect world
But why? Why is this world not the perfect world?
"To live is to suffer, and to survive is to find meaning within the suffering."
Even with the highest degree of suffering, one may always find the highest degree of value within.
Have you ever heard of Camus' Myth of Sisyphus? Even after being condemned to roll a boulder up a hill for eternity, Sisyphus must be happy. Humans create intrinsic value despite their circumstance.
If you need a little pain to be happier, then pain can exist, but not as much as it exists in the real world
But the analogy doesn't allow it. You're alluding to your previous debate where you proposed the existence of an ideal world (through a moral God). If this ideal world is one where hardship and pain do not exist then how can the "difficulty level" change?
If you want a challenging video game, you could get a challenging video game, not an easy one
Would it not quickly become boring if we got everything we wanted without working for it? What if you bought a video game and there was no challenge to beat it? No objectives, achievements, or enemies/obstacles to overcome? What if every opponent you play against in a game or competition just allowed you to win? What if every puzzle solved itself? There is a great Twilight Zone episode that portrays this. The main character is greeted in heaven with all the women he wants and every game of blackjack he plays is a perfect 21. Needless to say, the protagonist soon discovered that he was in hell.
It is true that in this world it takes struggle to find happiness, but if there was a way to find the same happiness without struggle or with less struggle (for example, a god who gives us what we want) it would be better
Then that means there is no true way to seek happiness because seeking happiness is self defeating. What you're describing as the true way to seek happiness does not exist when true happiness is born from overcoming struggle.
(also, I'm not a grammar Nazi by any means, but I've noticed you've been using the word "seak." Seak is a type of soap. Seek means to look for something).
If people become less happy in your explanation, then what you were explaining is not the seak of happiness
But I just explained how it makes you weak?
What do you mean with pleasure? If it is the same thing that I defined as happiness, then no. If being weak makes you less happy, seeking happiness will not make you weak.
So then you admit pleasure seeking is self defeating?
They stop being happy, therefore they did not seek happiness well
What happens to organisms who don't adapt and overcome? In this world, it is survival of the fittest, so what happens to the weak? What happens to those who cannot change in a world that never stops changing?
If you are happy I don't see what is wrong with being bored, stagnant, content, lazy or weak. And I don't understand why you think that by seeking happiness you become that. Just because someone likes to play video games doesn't mean they just like that, and therefore it doesn't mean they just do that.
You are ignoring the part where the other option is to become boring, stagnant, content, lazy, and weak.
Depression is contrary to happiness. If seak happiness and you become a depressive drug addict means that you did not seek it well.
Boredom is contrary to happiness. If seek happiness and you get bored means that you did not seek it well.
You think I mean only immediate happiness, but no, you also have to think about future happiness
What happens when one lives their life seeking pleasure? Do they constantly find pleasure in the same things? Do they not get bored and seek new interests like a child outgrowing their toys? Do we not buy new video games or watch new movies because our desire for new pleasure is unquenchable? What happens when one spends their life doing this? They either crash like a drug addict and become depressed, or they become content and stagnant. They become lazy, unwilling, and unable to adapt to a new, changing, and restless world. They seek nostalgia and repetition as a shield from the harsh new realities they are not apt to face. If pleasure seeking does not make you bored, it will certainly make you boring, but not only that; it will make you weak.
The seak for happiness does not generate boredom. I defined happiness as "what we feel when something we like happens", so looking for happiness is looking for what we like. If you do not like to be bored then the seak for happiness does not generate boredom.
Abortion does not make anyone suffer, so it is not bad.
Happiness is the only way to make people feel better, so it must be the base of morality.
Exactly. Pain is equally as important. The value of pain, however, is far more than just something to avoid. Actively pursuing struggle and pain will help us grow and mature as individuals, it allows us to achieve our dreams and overcome anything that is in our way, it makes our lives interesting and gives us meaning. "To live is to suffer, to survive is to find meaning within the suffering; that which does not kill us makes us stronger." -Nietzsche
Without the pain of fire we won't learn to never touch it.
But how can your system work at all when it offers no tangible metric by which to systematically categorize human behavior? One could even say with validity that pursuing pleasure only leads to displeasure, which is something I have forgotten to bring up until now.
Struggle is equally as important as pleasure. Pleasure seeking in itself only breeds laziness and boredom. Struggle shapes us into who we are, makes us stronger, and is just as essential as pleasure is in life. Without a balance of the two, one will always fall into a pattern of decadence and nihilism. Judging things based on how much pleasure they cause is counterintuitive to the function of life. We should always embrace struggle and change while avoiding decadence and stagnation.
What's an example of a common action where there isn't a degree of suffering and a degree of happiness?
I imagine almost every real example of bad is born of selfishness (happiness to self or love ones) as opposed to wanting to make people suffer. So when we suffer at the hands of another it's because they receive a benefit. So there is suffering and happiness with almost every real scenario. If your idea falls down during those times it's not that useful.
And that's ignoring the subjective basis. Well-being and happiness are not inherently valued by the objective world. So it doesn't have an objective basis. So using well-being as a basis does allow us to compare actions objectively, but only after we've accepted well-being as the basis for morality.
Laws should only change in cases where my system doesn't work.
What this system means is that happiness and suffering are the only basis for deciding whether something should or should not be done. When something causes happiness but also suffering, this system stops working. But something that does not cause suffering should always be legal, and something that causes suffering and does not cause happiness should always be illegal. For example, plants can't suffer, so killing plants should only be illegal if it makes someone else suffer.
Who is to say which action has which amount of probability? Hitler probably thought his plans had the highest probability to create a better world. His idea of "better" and the probability of his plan's success were both Imagined. Even probability itself is imagined. Everything is pre-determined, therefore there is no chance for phenomena to happen any differently had we replayed the incident.
If your system doesn't apply universally, how can it be a system when every judgement is based off of vague feelings and opinions? Morality is personal. Speaking of, laws are not. Laws are ethical systems, not moral systems. Laws change and are not meant to be absolute.
My system does not work in cases where action causes happiness to one person but suffering to another. In the example of the doctor you cannot know what is right. It only works in cases where the suffering caused or the probability of suffering is very low. The probability that a child is young Hitler is very low, therefore killing him for that reason is not correct. Even if the odds work against us and it turns out that he was a young Hitler, the action of not killing him as a child is still correct because back then the probability that he was was very low.
Is following the rules submitting to the desires of others? So shouldn't there be laws?
You are right that happiness cannot be measured. This is why tangible things or actions cannot apply to morality, even when the action is predicted to be obviously greater than the its alternative. Killing a child seems obviously evil, but what if the child is young Hitler? How can we know any situation is obviously right or wrong when there are too many unforseen circumstances? Lying can lead to someone's death, it can also save people. Killing can also save the lives of many. Who is to say which actions are objectively right or wrong?
The major reason why morality cannot apply to the real world is the fact that all moral judgements only come into existence as SYMPTOMS and therefore cannot be prescribed to any particular phenomena.
How can one expect to be lead by personal value if this system requires them to submit and act accordingly to the values and desires of others?
If you had the choice to save either a doctor or a small group of people, what would your system require you to do? We can only imagine which scenario would be the best. We will never know if the "right" decision was made because the "right" decision never existed in the first place; it was all a matter of opinion.
As everyone finds pleasure and displeasure in different things, to assess the morale of an action you have to see who is affected by that action. It is not the same to hug someone who likes to be hugged than someone who does not like.
Happiness cannot be measured, so there are cases where it is not possible to know if an action is good or bad, however, there are cases in which the happiness caused is much greater than the suffering or vice versa, for example, allowing the murder would cause much more suffering than happiness. In these cases it is possible to know whether or not we should do that action.
Personal value would continue to exist. Everyone values ??their own happiness and can seek it but without breaking the rules so as not to make others suffer.
If you make two people happy at the cost of making one suffer, the total happiness has increased, but not the happiness of each person, since one is less happy than before. In these cases in which one person is happier but another is less happy is where this system does not work, however, it works in cases where the happiness of one person increases and that of others does not decrease or decreases very little.
We have discussed this before, but it is biased because different people find different degrees of pleasure and displeasure from different things, and it is imaginary because pleasure is a reaction, an after-effect, an indicator, and not something tangible. They provide only predictions, and predictions are always imagined. One man may predict one thing while the other doesn't simply because of their perspective or beliefs or biases. Who is to say what the "greatest good" looks like or how to obtain it? Who is to say if one end justifies the means of another or vice versa? What metric do they use? One may say helping the needy and giving them free money is for the greatest good while others believe that this will cause the needy to become dependant instead of learning to overcome their struggles, thus making the situation worse. Then the other could counter that argument and so on and so on. We can never have objective knowledge that one action could be or would have been better or worse. We can only imagine. This is why the system you propose can't have a basis in reality.
Serving a greater good devalues your personal value, for what you value must be subsided to serve the "greater value" (which is just an arbitrary value that does not reflect personal desire).
How is the max sum of everyone's happiness different from the max sum of each individuals happiness? If each individual had maximized their happiness, then is that not the greatest max sum of happiness? Maybe you are not explaining your distinction well enough. Imagine your ideal world existed and everyone maxed out their happiness as much as physically possible. Would the life of a doctor outweigh the life of 3 individuals? Would the murder of one person be permitted if it saved millions of others?
I only assumed you knew what I was talking about because we have discussed most of these topics before.
Why is pleasure and pain imagined and biased?
In the system I said, you cannot baselessly claim that your ideals support the greatest good, I do not know how you came to that conclusion.
Nor do I know how you concluded that serving a greater good defeats the value of good.
(By "greater good" I do not mean that the sum of the happiness of all people is the greatest possible, I mean that the happiness of each person is the greatest possible).
It would be nice that when you make an argument you explain how you came to your conclusions.
Exactly. This is why ethics are superior to morality. Ethics, like a work ethic, are goal oriented and value based. Morals are based on arbitrary and imaginary labels that systematically constrict our perspective of a certain things nature.
Thats called utilitarianism and its no more valid than any other system. Not only is it based on the imaginary and biased pleasure/pain axis, but anyone could baselessly claim that their ideals support the "greatest good" when the base itself isn't supported by anything tangible. Fascists support Utilitarianism, but look at how well these "ideal societies" flourished... This also brings us back to the topic of how a dystopian society will always fail (which we were discussing in another debate section). Nothing good comes for free. A utilitarian form of morality or government necessarily discards all personal value and individuality for the sake of the "greater good." Not only is this nihilistic, as it denies intrinsic value, but value should come from within. Claiming to serve a "greater" good defeats the value of "good" altogether.
That's still just a social construct used to direct behaviour towards what we value. It's a good way to live, but well-being isn't valued by the objective world. It's valued by us.
So what needs to be done is a moral system that is based not only on the will of its creator, but on that of all people in the world.
-No one likes something to happen that they don't like.
-Everyone likes something to happen that they like.
I will call "suffering" what we feel when something we do not like happens and I will call "happiness" what we feel when something we like happens.
Then we can base on happiness and suffering to make a moral system that propagates the will of everyone. The only rules of this system would be.
1. Cause the greatest happiness possible.
2. Cause the least possible suffering.
There are many systems of morality, and each of them contradict eachother in several ways. Any system of morality necessarily exists to propagate the will of its creator and/or proponents thereof -- This is what I mean by "biased."
As for "paradoxal," I am referring to the way morality systematically categorizes things into a fixed perspective of good and evil. This is a false dichotomy of the imagination, not of nature.
Well the laws of nature don't give us morality. They're all just social constructs we use to maximize what we value. And if you clump together all the systems of morality we have invented you get a paradoxical set of rules because different systems value different things. So I think I agree.
What do you mean "biased" and "paradoxal"?