Normative Ethics

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Re: Normative Ethics

Postby Prismatic567 » Tue May 21, 2019 8:49 am

Gloominary wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:
You missed my point.

What I proposed is the moral absolutes are merely to be guides only not to be enforceable at all.

For example,
the moral absolute; "no stealing of whatever is permitted."
therefore the ideal expectation is ZERO crime of theft.
Note this is only a moral guide.

On the ethical side, the expectation is ZERO crime with provisions for various circumstances;

In practice, let say at the end of one year, 10,000 crimes of theft with a range of degrees of seriousness are recorded and the thieves are charged in accordance to the law and legislation of the land.

Thus, we have a moral gap of 10,000 crimes of theft, i.e.

    1. Moral absolute ideal = Zero theft
    2. Ethical reality = 10,000 thefts
    3. Therefore moral gap = 10,000


Note the critical utility of the moral absolute in enabling the computation of the moral gap.
In this instance, the root causes of the moral gap of 10,000 and all the variables contributing to the gap must be investigated. The causes may be impoverished/disenfranchised and there will be loads of other factors that contribute to the 10,000 thefts.

Once the majority of the causes are identified, attempts, research, analyzes, solutions and strategies will be implemented to strive to reduce the moral gap from 10,000 to 8000, 7000, and gradually to as close as possible to ideal, i.e. ZERO.

What is advantages in this approach is initial studies will enable research to go deeper and deeper in to the root causes, e.g. using advances of neuroscience, genomic, technology, IT, AI etc.. This will also involve increasing all the relevant average quotients I mentioned above.

In most cases, the ideal will not be achieved but at least the reasons for the variances are known and concerted efforts need to be made to reduce to it to as close as possible to the ideal.

If we do not adopt moral absolutes as guides, then we will be strategizing upon a moving subjective goal post without an efficient standard to improve upon.

I agree that under ideal circumstances there should be 0 thefts and murders.
However, practically theft and murder may be necessary to combat greater evils, like the evils of poverty, disenfranchisement or say a plague that threatens to spread from one village to the rest of the world and wipe out 99.8% of the population if we don't drop a bomb on it.
Of course it's better to reduce poverty, disenfranchisement, plague and so on as much as we can non-violently rather than resort to extreme measures.

You are still not getting my point.

Take the analogy of a thermostat in any system as in your heater, oven or any equipment that has a temperature control.
Generally you will have to fix a temperature to be achieved and maintained.
The thermostat will ensure the expected temperature is achieved and if it get lower the machine will be activated to increase it the desired temperature.

It is same with any system where a fixed target is set and the feedback control will trigger the system to take corrective actions to adjust to meet the targeted objective.

As I had mentioned, I have introduced a Framework and System of Morality and Ethics.
In such a system the fixed target to be achieved is the ideal moral absolutes.

Note the setting of the ideal does not meant we MUST achieve the ideal at all times or even one time because there are loads of varying circumstances.
But the ideal moral absolute is necessary as a guide and reference point for the system to adjust and improve towards the ideal and the striving for improvement for the current status.

Point is the ideal moral absolutes do not exists in reality but they need to be reasoned out and used as a theoretical standard to guide the practical for continuous improvement.

The use of the ideal moral absolutes will not necessary bring immediate contrasting results but the system will enable the drive for continuous improvements toward the future for the well being of the individual and the collective.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: Normative Ethics

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue May 21, 2019 10:22 am

Gloominary wrote:I agree that under ideal circumstances there should be 0 thefts and murders.
However, practically theft and murder may be necessary to combat greater evils, like the evils of poverty, disenfranchisement or say a plague that threatens to spread from one village to the rest of the world and wipe out 99.8% of the population if we don't drop a bomb on it.
Of course it's better to reduce poverty, disenfranchisement, plague and so on as much as we can non-violently rather than resort to extreme measures.


Prismatic wrote:
You are still not getting my point.

Take the analogy of a thermostat in any system as in your heater, oven or any equipment that has a temperature control.
Generally you will have to fix a temperature to be achieved and maintained.
The thermostat will ensure the expected temperature is achieved and if it get lower the machine will be activated to increase it the desired temperature.

It is same with any system where a fixed target is set and the feedback control will trigger the system to take corrective actions to adjust to meet the targeted objective.

As I had mentioned, I have introduced a Framework and System of Morality and Ethics.
In such a system the fixed target to be achieved is the ideal moral absolutes.

Note the setting of the ideal does not meant we MUST achieve the ideal at all times or even one time because there are loads of varying circumstances.
But the ideal moral absolute is necessary as a guide and reference point for the system to adjust and improve towards the ideal and the striving for improvement for the current status.

Point is the ideal moral absolutes do not exists in reality but they need to be reasoned out and used as a theoretical standard to guide the practical for continuous improvement.

The use of the ideal moral absolutes will not necessary bring immediate contrasting results but the system will enable the drive for continuous improvements toward the future for the well being of the individual and the collective.


Guys, I think one way in which you are talking past each other is that Gloominary is being pragmatic and bottom up in his analysis and Prismatic is being idealistic and top down. Prismatic is saying what society should do and prioritize and how the pr of this prioritizing should go. Gloominary is speaking bottom up...here I am in a not ideal world and this is how I will continue to react and leave my options open until the ideal is realized, if it ever is.

Gloominary is also taking a stand. He is owning his sense that he would murder if it seemed to lesser evil to him and his personal priorities.

He is not saying everyone should do what he does - hell, he might think, and correctly, that many people would choose poorly when to make an exception - he is not creating a commandment, he is being honest about what he would do...and then after that defending it as a value or in reference to his values.

Prismatic is bird's eye and radically optimistic and long term. They are not really mutually exclusive positions, which I think Gloominary understands but which I do not think Prismatic does since his response is framed as correction.
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Re: Normative Ethics

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed May 22, 2019 8:28 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Guys, I think one way in which you are talking past each other is that Gloominary is being pragmatic and bottom up in his analysis and Prismatic is being idealistic and top down. Prismatic is saying what society should do and prioritize and how the pr of this prioritizing should go. Gloominary is speaking bottom up...here I am in a not ideal world and this is how I will continue to react and leave my options open until the ideal is realized, if it ever is.

Not exactly idealistic all the way.

I am being pragmatic in using the ideals to guide the practical.
I am not say what society should do i.e. not deontological.
I am proposing society should strive for continuous improvements from the current status toward the absolute ideals as guides without the expectation the ideals will be achieved.
Note absolute ideals are ideals and are generally impossible to attain and when attained that is a rarity.

Gloominary's position is striving for a personal's best re utility and consequences without any reference to any absolute ideals. What is best and good in such a position is very subjective. An ordinary person and a psychopath will have different conception of what is good to them.
Each individual[a] and groups will freely define what is best and good within their own judgments without any fixed goal post.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: Normative Ethics

Postby surreptitious75 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:21 am

For me the best way is to improve upon my own limitations without using any moral absolutes as reference points
I would find that approach very mentally exhausting because no matter how hard I tried I could never reach them

I simply try to be the best possible version of me that I can be while accepting that imperfection comes as standard
The goal therefore is not to be perfect because that is unattainable but instead to be as least imperfect as possible

Buddhism teaches that all craving is suffering so therefore reducing craving is the way to reduce suffering in all of its forms
Buddhism also teaches that everything originates with mind so the more pure yours is the less suffering you will experience
I am not a Buddhist as such but I fully accept that if your mind is balanced your thoughts and words and actions will be too

But all this is a work in progress because the human condition is suffering personified
Everyone will suffer in one way or another as that is simply the nature of existence
But by learning from our suffering we can over time become better human beings
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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