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An 'ought' from an 'is', existential pragmatism ethics

Cognisant

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There is no universal moral arbiter however the nature of the universe itself creates certain selective pressures, for the most part these pressures have little semblance to what we traditionally call ethics however whereas traditional ethics are value based and thus subjective a system of ethics founded upon existential pragmatism in response to the universe's natural selective pressures would be inherent.

Essentially these ethics would be principles of survival (idealists will argue that this pragmatism isn't ethical at all because it isn't value based, a fair point) specifically relating to how we interact with each other, indeed whether the interests of the self or society are more important, or if there's some overarching principle to determine that.
 

Animekitty

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The problem is that a preferred ideal state is collective subjectivity.
If all members of a society were the same they would agree on the ideal state.
In that circumstance what ought to be done is universal.
This is the way it is so together we ought to do this...
 

Anktark

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I don't think I understand the OP, so just to clarify- we take something like "Thou shall try not to increase entropy." and extrapolate from that?
 

Glaerhaidh

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The problem is that a preferred ideal state is collective subjectivity.
If all members of a society were the same they would agree on the ideal state.
In that circumstance what ought to be done is universal.
This is the way it is so together we ought to do this...
How's that an ought? It's still what they will, not what ought to be done.

It is universal on the whole subset that is them. So regarding that subset of the universe they have something that ought to be the way they envision, but not without that assumption of the subset which in itself isn't anything universal it would seem.
 

Animekitty

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How's that an ought? It's still what they will, not what ought to be done.

It is universal on the whole subset that is them. So regarding that subset of the universe they have something that ought to be the way they envision, but not without that assumption of the subset which in itself isn't anything universal it would seem.

Some biological types would have access to universals more than other types i think. Ought then is a personal assumption of the universal that some society will reject because of biology. The ought is determined by what agreement you have when you dispositions are the same as a society with access. More so if reason is used and a person is fully informed of situations the "is" is the biology. This biology "is" able to access universals. But then it become political like abortion and which side claims to have access?
 

paradoxparadigm7

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There is no universal moral arbiter however the nature of the universe itself creates certain selective pressures, for the most part these pressures have little semblance to what we traditionally call ethics however whereas traditional ethics are value based and thus subjective a system of ethics founded upon existential pragmatism in response to the universe's natural selective pressures would be inherent.

Essentially these ethics would be principles of survival (idealists will argue that this pragmatism isn't ethical at all because it isn't value based, a fair point) specifically relating to how we interact with each other, indeed whether the interests of the self or society are more important, or if there's some overarching principle to determine that.

If I flip what you're saying, would it be "Life is inherently good because it's in line with the natural law of survival."?

Could you give an example of how existential pragmatism ethics would work in a hypothetical ethical quandary?
 

Cognisant

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I don't think I understand the OP, so just to clarify- we take something like "Thou shall try not to increase entropy." and extrapolate from that?
Pretty much, if you're dead you can't make decisions therefore to make decisions in the future you have to make decisions now that don't result in your death, there's no emotional compulsion to do this, I'm not saying you should want to survive because survival is a value. Rather it's a matter of elimination, if you do not decide to survive you will cease to exist and you will be succeeded and replaced by people who do, people who choose to survive.

Morality in the religious sense is a matter of reward and punishment, the universe dosen't have such an anthropomorphic bias however there are inherent selective pressures, the will to survive being the one most immediate concern.

In religion if you want to go to heaven or be reincarnated as a bonobo you do behave in a moral manner, sure there's the ideal of selfless virtue but even if someone is a moral person merely for the satisfaction of being so they're still doing it for that reason, there's no such thing as absolute selflessness. In much the same way practicing existential pragmatism is something you do because it benefits you, not with some hypothetical afterlife butI'm the immediate sense that certain behaviours will tend to benefit you, your progeny and your species whereas others will not.

Yes I know that's fricken obvious :rolleyes:

What's really important about this is that it gives us an "ethical" perspective that isn't hung up on misguided notions of morality or justice but is rather a matter of relative benefit.

Could you give an example of how existential pragmatism ethics would work in a hypothetical ethical quandary?
You have to consider the relative benefit of each choice on a personal, interpersonal, societal and universal levels, listed in the usual order of importance.

Consider blowing up Megaton in Fallout 3, personally you benefit but on an interpersonal level you lose friends/employers/merchants and on a societal level your act has set a dangerous precedent. Not to mention that on a universal level the loss of genetic information and vital resources (clean water) has further endangered the already endangered human species.

So blowing up Megaton just isn't pragmatic, even though you do benefit on the most important level the lack of benefit and indeed consequences on every other level mean that as a net result you're not actually benefiting at all.

Unless it's just a game and you want to experiance the fireworks :D
 

doncarlzone

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There is no universal moral arbiter however the nature of the universe itself creates certain selective pressures, for the most part these pressures have little semblance to what we traditionally call ethics however whereas traditional ethics are value based and thus subjective a system of ethics founded upon existential pragmatism in response to the universe's natural selective pressures would be inherent.

Essentially these ethics would be principles of survival (idealists will argue that this pragmatism isn't ethical at all because it isn't value based, a fair point) specifically relating to how we interact with each other, indeed whether the interests of the self or society are more important, or if there's some overarching principle to determine that.


Isn't that Kantian Deontology?
 

Cognisant

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I don't see the connection.

I'm not well read on Kant but he seems to have an emphasis on intent and pragmatically speaking intent doesn't matter, what I'm describing is more like consequentialism in which benefit and consequence are in relation to universal selective pressures.
 

Cognisant

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To some extent the "self" is external, you can't have an identity without interpersonal connections, you can't have status without some kind of society, you can't be human if you're the last one, so ensuring the survival of these things is to a degree a form of self preservation.

You could wipe out the human race to save your own life but if your life is finite it isn't worth it, in the long run more of your self survives if society survives to remember you and your relatives pass on your genes, whereas if you were the last human when you eventually die the loss would be total.
 

TimeAsylums

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To some extent the "self" is external, you can't have an identity without interpersonal connections, you can't have status without some kind of society, you can't be human if you're the last one, so ensuring the survival of these things is to a degree a form of self preservation.

status =/= self, a description(adjective) yes, but not the same

so yes you can be human if you are the last one, no the self is not external at all, everything external about the self is merely adjectives, in relation to,

if your definiton is " I define myself in relation to to others" then sure go ahead

I'm sure some anti-civilization/people person who goes out into the wilderness of alaska and builds his own hut cares


Things that describe you =/= you
 

Cognisant

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So you don't think self is a concept, you think it's inherent? :D

I'm sure some anti-civilization/people person who goes out into the wilderness of alaska and builds his own hut cares
Eventually he dies, society continues.
You tell me which does the nature of the universe favor?
 

TimeAsylums

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So you don't think self is a concept, you think it's inherent?

You are a master baiter, but as am I.

Los dos? (y not both)

Eventually he dies, society continues.
You tell me which does the nature of the universe favor?

the universe dosen't have such an anthropomorphic bias


You really meant:
however there are inherent selective pressures, the will to survive being the one most immediate concern.

:rolleyes:

Given your first arguemnt self = status/exeternal/not-inherent, that has nothing to do with whether he survives or not, only whether he defines himself as such


LOL
 

Cognisant

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I used to think that nothing that happens after I'm dead should matter to me but then a figment of my imagination asked me "Well what are you waiting for?" and I realized the attitude was incredibly defeatist, that indeed if nothing that occurs after I die matters to me (despite however long I extend my lifespan and how many copies I may make sheer bad luck is sure to get me eventually) then why wait?
Why even bother with the copies and life extension, what's the point?
 

Cognisant

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You are a master baiter, but as am I.

Los dos? (y not both)
Um, did you break? I googled "los dos" and got Mexican cooking schools.

Given your first arguemnt self = status/exeternal/not-inherent, that has nothing to do with whether he survives or not, only whether he defines himself as such
He still succumbs to selective pressure, sorry I have no idea what your point is :confused:
 

doncarlzone

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I don't see the connection.

I'm not well read on Kant but he seems to have an emphasis on intent and pragmatically speaking intent doesn't matter, what I'm describing is more like consequentialism in which benefit and consequence are in relation to universal selective pressures.

What I was getting at was his attempt at creating a universal method of ethics based on the principle of human rationality. Anyway, if it is a consequentialist approach, then it sounds like an objective list theory which of course will depend on what you consider good.

If your ethical principles are supposed to be based on universal selective pressures, then would you say they were to be static? As in the selective pressures don't change and thus our ethical principles should not change either?
 

TimeAsylums

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you side stepped my point,

you: self is external(to some extent)

guy that doesnt think so/care goes into wilderness and dies

(so he dies, so what? he didnt care about the external)
 

Cognisant

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you side stepped my point,
I couldn't understand it.

guy that doesnt think so/care goes into wilderness and dies
(so he dies, so what? he didnt care about the external)
Indeed, so what?

If a man wants to go into the wilderness, lives like and animal and dies like one too then I'm not going to make a moral or value based judgment on that, however the fact remains that his impact upon the universe has ceased.

As it says in my signature nature doesn't care who's right, only who's left, so philosophically survival becomes the ultimate argument, you may disagree with that but if you're dead and I'm not then you won't be there to disagree with me anymore.
 

Vion

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By pragmatism I hope you mean the same old short sighted corner cutting.

This set of morals are wrong the moment you become conscious of them. Like one of those synthetic compounds that only last for a fraction of a second in laboratory experiments.

You balanced this system based on incapabilities and limitations thereby making it static and then you went against it by acknowledging something beyond it. It is accepted on the premise of an egotistical illusion, when the underdog beats the competitor it was never the underdog to begin with. The measurements merely failed to grasp reality and the comparison should have been aborted.

"for the most part these pressures have little semblance to what we traditionally call ethics"

"Essentially these ethics would be principles of survival"

These two statements are in conflict. You acknowledged a fundamental principle then state its not traditional. That is the sleight of hand right there! You are no magician. Fundamental not only trumps tradition, but makes it its bitch as its of a higher tier as predecessor and succesor infinitely alpha and omega beyond tradition. So don't you dare say a fundamental principle is the underdog of tradition. That is completely assbackwards.

"There is no universal moral arbiter"

Completely irrelevant towards any decisive action in this matter unless one is refuting this point which would mean subsequent text is wagered to fail as sustenance for a confirmational bias.

"As it says in my signature nature doesn't care who's right, only who's left"
And none are left they all die, might is right has nothing to do with whose dick is biggest.
 

Vrecknidj

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There is no universal moral arbiter however the nature of the universe itself ...
Whoa. Slow down. "The nature of the universe"? That's a really provocative claim. Who knows the nature of the universe? (I mean, there's a LOT of universe....)

creates certain selective pressures, for the most part these pressures have little semblance to what we traditionally call ethics however whereas traditional ethics are value based and thus subjective...
I'm not sure about the "thus" in there. Why can't a value-based system of ethics be objective?

a system of ethics founded upon existential pragmatism in response to the universe's natural selective pressures would be inherent.

Essentially these ethics would be principles of survival (idealists will argue that this pragmatism isn't ethical at all because it isn't value based, a fair point) specifically relating to how we interact with each other, indeed whether the interests of the self or society are more important, or if there's some overarching principle to determine that.
If you're restricting the domain of discourse to Earth and the species on it, then we have a different discussion (than the entire universe). But, even with that limitation, the spectrum of possibilities within just the animals is so vast that we'll be trapped trying to unravel a whole bunch of empirical tangles just to get a grasp on what's being presented here.
 
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