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anbuend
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19 Apr 2011, 7:33 pm

I don't use pure intuition, but my thinking is mostly intuitive so that's most of what I've got to work with to begin with. I don't think it's made me particularly racist, sexist, etc. (at least not in the sense of bigotry) though. I think possibly different people use 'intuition' differently, and I also think that my intuition is more developed than a lot of people's, in a lot of ways (less developed intuition is like less developed rational thought, it doesn't work as well).


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ryan93
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19 Apr 2011, 8:00 pm

anbuend wrote:
I don't use pure intuition, but my thinking is mostly intuitive so that's most of what I've got to work with to begin with. I don't think it's made me particularly racist, sexist, etc. (at least not in the sense of bigotry) though. I think possibly different people use 'intuition' differently, and I also think that my intuition is more developed than a lot of people's, in a lot of ways (less developed intuition is like less developed rational thought, it doesn't work as well).


There's nothing wrong with intuition, I'm a scientifically minded person who approaches many problems from an intuitive perspective. What is important is that your intuition is developed, as you put it. I always find justifiable, overarching principles to be helpful for guiding my intuition, so I can safely postulate say, how a particular might be an evolutionary advantage without evidence for that particular fact, because I have a good understanding of genetics, natural selection, etc, (of course, I always make sure to get a tonne of evidence before I put anything forward as more than a hypothesis). The same applies to ethics; if you live under a guiding principle, use your intuition, and if needs be trace your decision back in a somewhat logical way to that first principle :)


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Apple_in_my_Eye
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20 Apr 2011, 10:22 pm

anbuend wrote:
In my case, I simply can't sustain the web of ideas that are required for complex philosophies, rigid or otherwise. But I definitely have noticed that those complex philosophies pretty much always result in considering horrible situations ethical, and using the idea that this is more "rational" to mean it is somehow "better" than having these pesky intuitive feelings about what is right or wrong in a situation. (And by feelings I don't mean emotions, although those are there too and don't signify something being terribly wrong and bad.)


Yeah, if "rational" conflicts with "feels/seems obviously wrong," then "feels wrong" is definitely going to win, to my way of thinking. Discounting intuition/instinct as always inferior doesn't make sense to me. (And it seems a pretty important check against the failings of 'over-rationality.')

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That thing about words... if you look enough (maybe you already have), you'll find it applies to ideas as well. And some of the most important aspects of ethics are totally outside the realm of ideas. Web-of-ideas based ethics are doomed to have terrible results at times, because of the limitations of ideas which are just about the same as the limitations of words. If you start looking between the ideas, looking hard into those places where ideas won't go... the most interesting (and possibly the most valuable) things in the world are located in there. Both words and ideas are something representing reality, they're not reality itself, and they fail in roughly the same ways whether it's ideas or words or some other set of symbols. But if when those things fail, a person quietly waits without grasping as hard as they can for the next idea... all kinds of important things become clear, things that are so opposite to ideas that they could never be described in ideas, let alone words, no matter how many words or ideas you come up with. Words and ideas can point there -- or at least, if taken right they point there, if taken wrong they point as far away from there as possible -- but they can never go there. I'm pointing there right now.


That's really interesting. I think I might know what you mean, though I'm not sure I've ever thought about it very explicitly. On the level of words being above ideas -- that makes sense. And below the level of ideas does seem like going down into instinct/intuition/whatever-to-call-it. Sort of "thinking without thinking" (not to sound too 'Kung-Fu' (the TV show) about it).

I have a (possibly not-literally-true) theory that the so-called 'primitive' parts of the brain send raw information to the 'newer' cortical areas, which just add layers of processing and interpretation. So, the 'higher areas' don't generate anything; the actual seeds of thought/instinct/feeling come from a place that is independent of all that added-on stuff. (And maybe that's not literally true, but maybe it is, figuratively.) So, it all starts out in a very basic place that is sort of built-in to the core of us. (I guess that's my version "faith" -- trusting that that core won't lead me the wrong way.)

It reminds me a bit of times where I've done something without thinking about it. Like, "saw something, thought about it, decided to do X, and then did X," but without out-rightly thinking any of that. The part where deciding-without-thinking happens... -- I think I might get what you mean about something basic/fundamental w.r.t. to ethics, but I can't even think of how to talk about that off the top of my head. (And it might sound soppy if described badly.)

I think I'll have to let all this stew in the back of my mind a while. Cool stuff.



Verdandi
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21 Apr 2011, 1:16 am

Edit: Expected this to stay in general.



Last edited by Verdandi on 21 Apr 2011, 3:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

TallyMan
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21 Apr 2011, 3:12 am

(Thread moved to PPR by TallyMan)



ruveyn
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21 Apr 2011, 3:15 am

Noob wrote:
What do you think of morals? What is your view on people with AS and NTs?


Morality and Ethics are matters of opinion and judgement. There are no moral or ethical facts in nature.

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Bethie
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21 Apr 2011, 5:49 am

Vigilans wrote:
We're all Humans, we all live on this planet, and we should try our best to get along and accept differences that don't harm others


But we can perhaps remember - even if only for a time - that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short movement of life, that they seek - as we do - nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.

Surely this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our hearts brothers and countrymen once again.

--Bobby Kennedy---


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Bethie
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21 Apr 2011, 5:56 am

I've been struggling to reconcile my beliefs as far as Act vs. Rule Utilitarianism.
I recently learned of Two Level Utilitarianism, which is somewhat of a synthesis of the two,
but I really don't care for fence-sitting.
I'm more than likely going to conclude Act Utilitarianism is most efficient for my pre-existing values-

my ethics as an imperative involve reduction of suffering and promotion of happiness as counted among the sum of sentient beings, and it's very difficult for me to see the merit in other schools of thought,

owing as I do no allegiance to any god, country, or economic system.


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ruveyn
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21 Apr 2011, 9:28 am

ethics, shmethics. Whatever became of Good Manners?

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22 Apr 2011, 12:16 am

ryan93 wrote:
Quote:
Overly reductionist and rigid philosophies always seemed to have situations where the prescription offered by the philosophy was horribly wrong. (Or situations where deciding something simple becomes incredibly complicated.) And applying 'patches' for such situations got to be tiresome and disturbing.

Reductionism is an important technique, as it allows you to access the strength of the foundations you are building an idea on. I would advocate an "naturalist" morality, but frankly they can be pretty brutal. I think the non agression principle is optimum in terms of pragmatism.

Yes, but I think it can be mis-applied. There are situations where it doesn't really work, and force-fitting things into it can lead to crazy conclusions. I.e. --

prof. at Princeton, P. Singer wrote:
the fact that a being is a human being, in the sense of a member of the species Homo sapiens, is not relevant to the wrongness of killing it; it is, rather, characteristics like rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness that make a difference. Infants lack these characteristics. Killing them, therefore, cannot be equated with killing normal human beings, or any other self-conscious beings. This conclusion is not limited to infants who, because of irreversible intellectual disabilities, will never be rational, self-conscious beings.
http://www.utilitarian.net/singer/by/1993----.htm

Glad I'm rational, autonomous, and self-conscious, or at least can make people think that I am all three of those. (Holy cr**.)

I think most people when reading that will feel like there is something wrong with it, even if they can't point to a logical/analytical error. I think nature has given us more than one way to think ("analytically" & "intuitively"), and they give us (if nothing else) a way to check against the failings/weaknesses of the other. (And it's interesting how people have differing balances.)

(If I could remember the name of it, I could quote that famous mathematical proof that says that basically if you have a mathematical system, there can be things about it that are true, but that you can't prove are true, from within the rules of that system. So if you want to understand everything about it, you might need to go outside of it.)



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22 Apr 2011, 1:14 am

I used to be a lot more interested in normative ethical and metaethical contempation than I am now, but I'd say that I base most of my decisions on a kind of "Two-level utilitarianism". Generally, I try to act in a way consistent with rules that maximize social justice, integrity, and respect for positive and negative rights. I suppose these habits are based on a form of rule ideal utilitarianism. I generally think of difficult decisons in terms of the overall harm or the overall benefit any course of action would have, however I'm notoriously indecisive in many cases.


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Bethie
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22 Apr 2011, 3:13 am

Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:

I think most people when reading that will feel like there is something wrong with it, even if they can't point to a logical/analytical error. I think nature has given us more than one way to think ("analytically" & "intuitively"), and they give us (if nothing else) a way to check against the failings/weaknesses of the other.


Most people I'd imagine can't name a single ethical philosophy,
just their own patchwork ethical fustercluck of religious "values", patriotism, loyalty, and other such ambiguous concepts.

There exists no objective moral truth to be intuited- devoid of rigorous and deliberate conscious reasoning, an "intuitive" moral code is synonymous with whatever cultural and religious teachings one has become ingrained with.


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Apple_in_my_Eye
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22 Apr 2011, 3:28 am

Bethie wrote:
Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:

I think most people when reading that will feel like there is something wrong with it, even if they can't point to a logical/analytical error.


Most people I'd imagine can't name a single ethical philosophy,
just their own patchwork ethical fustercluck of religious "values", patriotism, loyalty, and other such ambiguous concepts.


And most people don't advocate killing disabled children, even as clusterf****** as they may be. I wouldn't like the choice, but if I had to, I'd rather take my chances with "Mr. Deliverance," than "Dr. Mengele." Mr. D might at least remember when his mother told him that if you think you need to kill someone, you probably shouldn't do it. Dr. M will brush that aside as not relevant in his utilitarian philosophy.



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22 Apr 2011, 4:29 am

Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:

And most people don't advocate killing disabled children, even as clusterf****** as they may be. I wouldn't like the choice, but if I had to, I'd rather take my chances with "Mr. Deliverance," than "Dr. Mengele." Mr. D might at least remember when his mother told him that if you think you need to kill someone, you probably shouldn't do it. Dr. M will brush that aside as not relevant in his utilitarian philosophy.


No one's advocating killing anyone, so emotional, dramatic hyperbole is embarassing on your part.

The discussion was of an ethical system concerned with suffering amongst sentient beings,
and the point was made (in YOUR Singer quote) that individuals who are less-aware would naturally suffer less harm from the same act.

Quote wrote:
"Infants lack these characteristics. Killing them, therefore, cannot be equated with killing normal human beings, or any other self-conscious beings."


Do you see anyone advocating killing? Do you see any sentiment that could be remotely likened to the (most obviously not utilitarian) Dr. Mengele's philosophies?

Thought not.


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22 Apr 2011, 6:33 am

Humans are social animals and when the benefits of the group bring benefits to the individual then the individual is likely to perform well within the group. But even within a social matrix there is competition between the members and very likely there are many times when the benefits to the group are not in line with benefits to the individual. In that case it is most likely the individual will see to his or her own interests first. Whether an individual sees to his or her self interest primarily is a matter of training, character, intellect and understanding. All these factors are very variable.