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Do you have a morality?

zalaz alaza

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I've not finished my way through Kant, I got into his 'Critique of Pure Reason' and found it too dense. I went back and read the Socratic Greeks a little while ago, so I'd probably be able to get through him now, but my most basic impression is that Kant's approach to philosophy is what I call 'intellectual obesity' where the sheer mass of logical propositions and references renders the piece essentially stillborn - as though human life and development could ever ascend by means of turning it so cold! Whether or not what he says is 'true' or 'false', terms whose tentativeness is enough to render them questionable as tools, I think that one's moral truth should be an organic outgrowth of one's circumstances and interior nature - if there is a larger truth to be found, it should suffice for future philologists to connect the dots between those who took what they had to the n-th degree.
The DFW audio clip should work to clarify the bits yr confused about
 
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gwen

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i don't know. so the one principle i try to enact & embody at all times is: humility. try to do good; but act always knowing you could be wrong.

because i don't know what is true. i don't know where i would look, what i would do, to find what is true. is the bible true? the quran? dialectical materialism? billions of people will say: "the truth is simple, look here!" but if it were that simple then everyone would agree; or at least, the ones who are right, among themselves they would live in harmony and show us by their *actions* that they are right. but they don't! so i don't think they know either.

and if you look at all the horrible, evil things that have been done throughout recorded history: the holocaust; the enslavement of africans by europeans; the enslavement of women by men; the murder of millions of people and the destruction of millennia of culture and history by christian or muslim conquerors; the annihilation of beautiful irreplaceable nature by petty plutocrats -- all of these evils are done by people who say, "we know we are right! we have the right! how dare you think we are not right! look at everyone who agrees!" and if you read what eichmann said, when they put him on trial in jerusalem: he was so sure he was right; even afterwards, he would swear he was right.

these people wrote books and made speeches about how they were right, that now no one reads, because we know they were wrong. but the person who thinks, "i may be wrong"? that person doesn't kill, doesn't rape, doesn't destroy, because to that person, their imaginary reasons are less real than what they would be destroying. which is how it should be. so my morality, to sum it up in one word, is humility.
 

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i don't know. so the one principle i try to enact & embody at all times is: humility. try to do good; but act always knowing you could be wrong.

because i don't know what is true. i don't know where i would look, what i would do, to find what is true. is the bible true? the quran? dialectical materialism? billions of people will say: "the truth is simple, look here!" but if it were that simple then everyone would agree; or at least, the ones who are right, among themselves they would live in harmony and show us by their *actions* that they are right. but they don't! so i don't think they know either.

and if you look at all the horrible, evil things that have been done throughout recorded history: the holocaust; the enslavement of africans by europeans; the enslavement of women by men; the murder of millions of people and the destruction of millennia of culture and history by christian or muslim conquerors; the annihilation of beautiful irreplaceable nature by petty plutocrats -- all of these evils are done by people who say, "we know we are right! we have the right! how dare you think we are not right! look at everyone who agrees!" and if you read what eichmann said, when they put him on trial in jerusalem: he was so sure he was right; even afterwards, he would swear he was right.

these people wrote books and made speeches about how they were right, that now no one reads, because we know they were wrong. but the person who thinks, "i may be wrong"? that person doesn't kill, doesn't rape, doesn't destroy, because to that person, their imaginary reasons are less real than what they would be destroying. which is how it should be. so my morality, to sum it up in one word, is humility.
This is just gay humanism with extra steps. A take only propped up by living in the 21st century where this kind of thought is pushed on everyone. Just because a ton of people are wrong about morality doesnt mean that objective good doesnt exist. By what metric can you even claim that any of the things you described are horrible? Why is history or women's rights or freedom or nature objectively good? At least all the people that make positive moral assertions have something they believe in, an ideological backbone. Its so bizarre living in the modern era where people cant accurately denounce evil and instead denounce conviction because they lack it.
 
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gwen

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This is just gay humanism with extra steps. A take only propped up by living in the 21st century where this kind of thought is pushed on everyone. Just because a ton of people are wrong about morality doesnt mean that objective good doesnt exist. By what metric can you even claim that any of the things you described are horrible? Why is history or women's rights or freedom or nature objectively good? At least all the people that make positive moral assertions have something they believe in, an ideological backbone. Its so bizarre living in the modern era where people cant accurately denounce evil and instead denounce conviction because they lack it.
nah this is dumb shit. muhammad was just some guy bro. "but i COULD be right, therefore i am!"

PROVE a single word of what you say
 

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nah this is dumb shit. muhammad was just some guy bro. "but i COULD be right, therefore i am!"

PROVE a single word of what you say
Youre deflecting the point. Your post has implicit moral assumptions that have no basis. You have no claim to morality or meaning at all. If I was in those shoes id off myself tbh.
 
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gwen

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Youre deflecting the point. Your post has implicit moral assumptions that have no basis. You have no claim to morality or meaning at all. If I was in those shoes id off myself tbh.
i just don't claim to KNOW, because just like you, i don't know. i have feelings and act accordingly. i think killing is wrong, i think stealing is sometimes wrong, et cetera. call it the holy spirit prompting my heart or muhammad's ghost whispering in my nafs or the tao moving me without effort. i don't care. the difference between me and you is only this: i don't LIE about what i know for sure.
 

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nah this is dumb shit. muhammad was just some guy bro. "but i COULD be right, therefore i am!"

PROVE a single word of what you say
Humility is a good value if you have someone to follow who can make up the difference. Humility is a terrible value for 'the hero' in a story, for example - after all, if they tried to be humble and humane to their villain, they'd be crushed. Absolute good, absolute evil, do they exist? Probably not, but 'relative good, and relative evil'? Certainly! And now we come to wonder, what does a good person do to deal with evil? Doing good to them - helping out, teaching them, working for them, providing 'goods' certainly doesn't get rid of the evil they're doing - ex. defrauding others, stealing, coercing people, being litigious, etc., so what do you have to do? Naturally, evil unto evil, good unto good. An eye for an eye. This demands some hypocrisy, some 'pride' rather than humility.

But I return to what I wanted to say originally, humility is a good moral point to have when you have people to provide it to, but without it ever being given to someone who can be a hypocrite in the name of good, it's just apathy and inaction given a moral name.

Edit: as an addendum, "but i COULD be right, therefore i am!" is kind of funny as a phrase because of the philosophy that underpins this statement. Hume's problem of induction is practically the basis for all modern philosophy which has come to understand the uncertainty of man's understanding of... anything! The solution with Hume's problem, is that you can tentatively accept something as true by means of induction, knowing full well that 'the truth' may be quite impossible, in order that you can achieve a real good - a real good, for real people, that you really know, in a world that you really exist in (probably).
 
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i just don't claim to KNOW, because just like you, i don't know. i have feelings and act accordingly. i think killing is wrong, i think stealing is sometimes wrong, et cetera. call it the holy spirit prompting my heart or muhammad's ghost whispering in my nafs or the tao moving me without effort. i don't care. the difference between me and you is only this: i don't LIE about what i know for sure.
Yet you claim to know all these paths are false without any actual knowledge. You reference the claims of books about other books when youve read neither. You claim humility for a sense of moral superiority over others that actually have convictions.
 
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gwen

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Yet you claim to know all these paths are false without any actual knowledge. You reference the claims of books about other books when youve read neither. You claim humility for a sense of moral superiority over others that actually have convictions.
nah believe me, i'm convinced it's wrong to claim you're right without being able to explain why. i have conviction about that.

and it has nothing to do with a sense of moral superiority over others. i try to do right by myself. if you feel impugned by that, see to your own morality.
 
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Yet you claim to know all these paths are false without any actual knowledge. You reference the claims of books about other books when youve read neither. You claim humility for a sense of moral superiority over others that actually have convictions.
Ah, hm. Yes. I too am uncertain about the uncertainty about truth, but bequest, are you uncertain about your uncertainty about uncertainty of truth?
 

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No, not really. Hearing about rapes usually makes me angry, but that is the closest thing to morality that I have.
 
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mydadiscar

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Hearing about rapes usually makes me excited.
When I read about Junko Furuta and Sylvia Likens, I went into a strange frenzy where I felt like smashing things due to what happened to them. It is the only example I can think of where I have had any concept of genuine morality, if it can be called that.
 
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When I read about Junko Furuta and Sylvia Likens, I went into a strange frenzy where I felt like smashing things due to what happened to them. It is the only example I can think of where I have had any concept of genuine morality, if it can be called that.
Maybe my inner Freud is coming out, but your childhood was okay, right?
 

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Maybe my inner Freud is coming out, but your childhood was okay, right?
I have always been very paranoid about pedophiles in particular, but unless I have some heavily repressed memories I have never been sexually abused. Some guys in a van once asked if I wanted some money when I was 10, but I already knew about pedophilia then so I ran away and nothing came of it.
 
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Caspar

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I have always been very paranoid about pedophiles in particular, but unless I have some heavily repressed memories I have never been sexually abused. Some guys in a van once asked if I wanted some money when I was 10, but I already knew about pedophilia then so I ran away and nothing came of it.
Ah. Well, pedos are the most persona non grata people that have probably ever existed, so that's to be expected. I just Googled those stories to see what they were about, I didn't get into the gritty enough to be much affected but I can understand how torture, rape, and murder are a good combo to get someone worked up.

If you want to feel moral outrage at something else, if you can find it, you may want to watch Mister Metokur's series on the zoosadists. I can assure you you'll find another moral dimension that-a-ways. Apply what happened to people to pets and wild animals and you get the idea.
 

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Youre deflecting the point. Your post has implicit moral assumptions that have no basis. You have no claim to morality or meaning at all. If I was in those shoes id off myself tbh.
you're right, i didn't address your point about the implicit moral assumptions in my original post. i absolutely do make moral judgments, and i hope they are a good guide for my own actions. accordingly, i think slavery is wrong, nature is good, greed is bad, people should be free to become themselves, etc.

at the same time, the worst evils around me are done by people who are able to morally justify their actions, at least formally, at least to themselves and their peers. humility about the limits of one's understanding prevents a *mistaken* moral judgment, whether made in good faith or bad, from becoming license to act in a way that harms others.

a consequence of this attitude is that i'm reluctant to try and package my sense of morality into a comprehensive system: if i reduced it to a body of rules or a sacred text or whatever, it would no longer be itself. in order to operate at all, it's necessarily holistic and subjective, and the only universal rules it admits are specifically weak ones: *limit* the effect of your actions; hold your convictions as *weakly* as possible.

i'm not claiming one way or another about whether good and evil objectively exist. THAT is a deflection. i understand that you'd like to position yourself in brave opposition to a flimsy "spirit of the age" with no moral content or substance, but that's not where i'm coming from. i'm not a nihilist or a relativist. i believe in the good. i just don't think that i or any other human being has the full picture about what it is, and i think that people's misguided insistence that they *do* know is at the root of a lot of the bad in the world.
 

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you're right, i didn't address your point about the implicit moral assumptions in my original post. i absolutely do make moral judgments, and i hope they are a good guide for my own actions. accordingly, i think slavery is wrong, nature is good, greed is bad, people should be free to become themselves, etc.

at the same time, the worst evils around me are done by people who are able to morally justify their actions, at least formally, at least to themselves and their peers. humility about the limits of one's understanding prevents a *mistaken* moral judgment, whether made in good faith or bad, from becoming license to act in a way that harms others.

a consequence of this attitude is that i'm reluctant to try and package my sense of morality into a comprehensive system: if i reduced it to a body of rules or a sacred text or whatever, it would no longer be itself. in order to operate at all, it's necessarily holistic and subjective, and the only universal rules it admits are specifically weak ones: *limit* the effect of your actions; hold your convictions as *weakly* as possible.

i'm not claiming one way or another about whether good and evil objectively exist. THAT is a deflection. i understand that you'd like to position yourself in brave opposition to a flimsy "spirit of the age" with no moral content or substance, but that's not where i'm coming from. i'm not a nihilist or a relativist. i believe in the good. i just don't think that i or any other human being has the full picture about what it is, and i think that people's misguided insistence that they *do* know is at the root of a lot of the bad in the world.
A few questions:
  • What is it that they are free to become? They aren't free to become essentially 'antisocial elements' which is understandable enough, but what is the social body supposed to become?
  • The worst evils are indeed done by those who are able to morally justify their actions, but can't the reverse also be said? Can't it be said that acts of benevolence and humanity are also justified upon moral grounds?
My personal view is also that comprehensive moral systems are foolish, though I look at it that there are 'nodes' of virtue, or 'archetypes' of it. These different points don't necessarily agree - a Prince and Pauper may have their virtues but overlap they do not and this will produce conflict eventually and there can't be any logical discourse to reconcile these views since to both they are doing what is right, really and truly and not merely seemingly.
 

zalaz alaza

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Seven deadly sins
-Lust
-Gluttony
-Greed
-Sloth
-Wrath
-Envy
-Pride
Seven cardinal virtues
-Chastity
-Temperance
-Charity
-Diligence
-Patience
-Kindness
-Humility

What do you guys think of these? A lot of people know the sins these days but do not know the virtues.
 
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