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Thread: Morality

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    Senior Member Cnote11's Avatar
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    Default Morality

    In your opinion, where does it come from and what does it mean to you? Where do you get your own moral inspiration from?

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    The Tractatus answers everything. Here is its answer to your questions:


    Quote Originally Posted by Tractatus 6.41
    The sense of the world must lie outside the world. In the world everything is as it is and happens as it does happen. In it there is no value -- and if there were, it would be of no value.

    If there is a value which is of value, it must lie outside all happening and being-so. For all happening and being-so is accidental. What makes it non-accidental cannot lie in the world, for otherwise this would again be accidental.

    It must lie outside the world.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tractatus 6.42
    Hence also there can be no ethical propositions.

    Propositions cannot express anything higher.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tractatus 6.421
    It is clear that ethics cannot be expressed.

    Ethics is transcendental.

    (Ethics and ćsthetics are one and the same).
    Quote Originally Posted by Tractatus 6.54
    My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it).

    He must surmount these propositions. Then he sees the world rightly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tractatus 7
    Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.
    Last edited by Dodecaplex; Apr-28-2012 at 02:18. Reason: wrong TLP number
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    I shall be almost as brief as your question as I'm about to plonk myself in bed (though I shall return with armaments tomorrow for a gruesome battle): I think there is reason to think the foundations of human morality are evolved (there being good evidence for it and no need to imagine a supernatural cause), and I think our refinements of basic morality for complex human culture ought to be founded on curtailing suffering and improving life quality in line with what good evidence tells us is and is not damaging to individuals and societies.

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    P.S. Dodeca, quite aside from the value of the thoughts in the Tractatus, I would personally appreciate it if you could formulate those ideas in your own words if you agree with them for two reasons: 1) I think conversation would flow easier; 2) Like many such texts, the Tractatus is obtusely worded. It may use no more words than is required, and, with a handy glossary or familiarity with the text from page 1, may read without too much difficulty, but it is an affront to how most people speak naturally making it very difficult to digest.
    Last edited by Polednice; Apr-28-2012 at 02:26.
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    Senior Member Cnote11's Avatar
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    I can't see this thread turning very controversial.

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    @Poley: Kay, I'll henceforth try to use my own words.

    Now, argue with me. Someone. Anyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cnote11 View Post
    I can't see this thread turning very controversial.

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    I honestly have no idea what that means. I may be young but I don't really do the young scene on the internet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cnote11 View Post
    I honestly have no idea what that means. I may be young but I don't really do the young scene on the internet.
    It's not part of the young scene (I think that's probably facebook derpery), it's nerdy. Now stop derailing your own thread. *slap*

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    I don't know, I'm quite positive its some type of meme which are so popular with the young folks. Sorry for derailing the thread, Cnote11.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cnote11 View Post
    I honestly have no idea what that means. I may be young but I don't really do the young scene on the internet.
    http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/yao-ming-face

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    Thanks, Philip.

    And thanks, composer... ~_~

    I honestly doesn't see origin and identity of morality as a controversial thing. Or perhaps I can't see why it WOULD be because it seems so simple.

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    That second entry, "The sense of the world must lie outside the world. In the world everything is as it is and happens as it does happen. In it there is no value -- and if there were, it would be of no value.
    If there is a value which is of value, it must lie outside all happening and being-so. For all happening and being-so is accidental. What makes it non-accidental cannot lie in the world, for otherwise this would again be accidental.
    It must lie outside the world."

    This is either hopelessly lost in translation, missing some essential cultural ethos as part of it, without which any understanding of it beyond that it is meaningless gobbledygook is next to impossible.

    Often, with only semantic spins or slight rhetorical inflection, 'Moral' and 'Ethical.' are the same thing. They are very much inflected or shaped and agreed upon by a culture, and are not 'everywhere' universal.'

    Ones first societal culture is the family... That's where I 'got mine.'
    Last edited by PetrB; Apr-28-2012 at 06:47.

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    I suspect my view on morality is a bit different from maybe everyone's here. I do agree with Polednice that evolution shaped many basic behaviors or at least "desires" that lead to behaviors. We find certain things disgusting (food that smells a certain way, excrement, etc.), and we, therefore, choose to stay away from those things. Children that we grow up with are not considered sexually attractive so we tend not to have sex or fall in love with our siblings. To a significant extent altruism is favored so we tend to help others (at least those within our social group).

    Obviously not every behavior or moral code has evolved. While it is tempting to believe that we each develop a moral compass over time that is consciously determined by our free will, I personally do not believe in free will. Rather I believe our morals develop over time from our genetic endowment which interacts with our complex environment (physical inputs from people and the non-human world). Subconsciously our brain develops responses to environmental inputs which result in our behavior. What we call morals are really complex, subconscious processing that determine behaviors for actions that can be viewed as good or bad.

    A behavior that leads to scratching an itch would not be considered determined by morals, but a behavior that leads to returning a wallet with a lot of money normally is considered determined by morals. I believe both behaviors have similar neuronal causes (i.e. subconscious processing leading to actions and not some abstract thought process). Unfortunately I think discussing this view of morality (or the absence of morality) is difficult on internet discussion fora). But there it is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetrB View Post
    "The sense of the world must lie outside the world. In the world everything is as it is and happens as it does happen. In it there is no value -- and if there were, it would be of no value.
    If there is a value which is of value, it must lie outside all happening and being-so. For all happening and being-so is accidental. What makes it non-accidental cannot lie in the world, for otherwise this would again be accidental.
    It must lie outside the world."

    The quote heading the OP seems to be hopelessly lost in translation, missing some essential cultural ethos as part of it, and without which my understanding anything from it is impossible. (To me, it reads and sounds like a less than sophomoric attempt at mystical abstract cleverness, trying to sound 'like something very deep and important' while safely saying, really, nothing.)

    I suggest if the OP wants any more specific comments or discussion, it would be best if they more concretely defined, in their own terms, what they think 'morality' is, and then take the question from there. Read that quote! It is a literally meaningless garble!!!
    Please read the quote more carefully. First of all, it couldn't be any further from being a "sophomoric attempt at being clever". It was Wittgy's doctoral dissertation, and it's considered a masterpiece of 20th century philosophy. Really, the point that Wittgy is trying to make couldn't be any clearer.

    It simply states that no value exists in the world, and that even if value existed, then the value itself would be of no value. Tell me, what is so "mystical" or "abstract" about this?

    Then, he goes on to say that "all happening and being-so is accidental" which simply repeats what he says at the beginning of the quote: "everything in the world is as it is and happens as it happens."

    Finally, he says that if there were something of value, if there were something non-accidental, then it must lie outside the world. Because if it was in the world, then it would also be of no value, it would also be accidental.

    Again, could it be any clearer than that?

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