General discussion of ethics. Last one I can recall died after a 12 day run. (https://warosu.org/lit/thread/S11193487) What I hope to accomplish:>A general discussion over ethics and how one should conduct themselves within the confines of life.>Construct an exhaustive reading list that covers all major theories.Major theories:>Consequentialismhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consequentialismhttps://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consequentialism/?PHPSESSID=4b08d0b434c8d01c8dd23f4348059e23>Deontology:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deontological_ethicshttps://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-deontological/>Virtue Ethics:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtue_ethicshttps://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-virtue/>Egoism:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egoismhttps://plato.stanford.edu/entries/egoism/General talking points:>To which theory do you subscribe?>Do you deviate from the general consensus of your preferred theory in any major way?>What do you feel is the strongest argument in favor of your position?>What is the strongest argument against?>Would you like to give a book recommendation?This is an open discussion so answer the discussion points as you like, or skip any you like, or bring up anything else relevant to the topic of ethics more generally.Bonus topic points:>Why is ethics important as a philosophical domain?
Can i into ethics if ideas such as 'justice' have never really had a strong pull on me?
>>11447466Ethics is the idea of the proper way to live a life generally. This can be based on justice, ego, an altruistic purpose or teleology or other things. Effectively if you do anything you have some moral compelling you to do it because you have a way to live. Aiming for the proper ethic is simply attempting to align your moral to the best possible principal.tl;dr: yes.
>>11447481interesting take. Care to extrapolate?
>>11447421Ok you got you're 4 major theories. But I don't see why an egoist would ever want to sit around discussing this. Deontology and consequentialism are unworkable armchair speculations. So you only have one option left, as limited as it is. What's there to discuss?
>>11447421Can you give me a quick rundown on each of these? As in, explain it to a brainlet?
>>11447629Egoism is not necessarily the downright rejection of ethics altogether but the assertion that they are based on the self, i.e. what ultimately contributes most to ones well being is that which they should aim for. This in some ways diminishes the option of a transcendent "good", but at the same time down plays the necessity of one for an individual to make choices.>>11447637I have a link to both the wikipedia page and the stanford encyclopedia on each. For an even more basic introduction:>ConsequentialismThat which ends in a net increase of well-being is good. i.e. the ends justify the means.>DeontologyThat is good which serves its purpose. Think of a sort of "destiny" mechanism.>VirtueThat is good which follows some innate ethical code. i.e. some set of actions are constantly better than others. This theory prioritizes individual responsibility and has almost a "means justifies ends" aspect interestingly enough.>EgoismThe moral should be ground in the self. Happiness is the closest thing to goodness achievable. A strong subscriber to egoism may help others, but only because it will make the self feel good, and/or the other person may help them later on.
>>11447686>well-beingwhat is this exactly?>>11447686>That is good which serves its purposeCare to expand upon this?Also I have seen the OP book in my local used book store last few visits. How is it?
>>11447686I'm not saying egoism rejects ethics. I'm saying they reject (honestly) discussing ethics with you. How is that going to benefit them? Far better for the egoist to go snort some coke, steal your wallet and sleep with your wife, all while convincing you the only true ethical behavior is generosity and forgiveness.
>To which theory do you subscribe?Virtue Ethics, particularly Thomistic ethics. Along with that, I feel compelled to mention I'm a realist and believe in Natural Law Theory.>Do you deviate from the general consensus of your preferred theory in any major way?I would say yes in comparison to all of the analytic philosophers who are virtue ethicists.>What do you feel is the strongest argument in favor of your position?Realism and natural law>What is the strongest argument against?the arguments for realism and NLT are inductive>Would you like to give a book recommendation?Obviously After Virtue and probably Natural Goodness. (The goldmine of learning are the journal articles people)
>>11447886Maybe we could get a list of goldmine journal articles going?
>>11448180I for one would certainly welcome the idea. I am not especially familiar with philosophical articles, but remain very open to reading them if there are any suggestions.>>11447864Interesting point. I would say that it still would benefit the egoist to learn of the different theories if not only because of the possibility of them being wrong. If they retained any reasonable doubt of their assertion, I think the advantage of learning the opposing point would be found to be self-evident.
>not being an error theorist
>>11447421Do you guys lean towards moral naturalism or moral non-naturalism?
>>11448738Personally I believe that there is inherit and objective morality, but I reject the claim that that which is natural is necassarily good.
I have my own take on morality. I am primarily a moral idealist and believe in moral absolutes.For example, killing and stealing is always wrong no matter the reasoning behind it or purpose it serves.However, all these codes of conduct must be based on an objective ideal, for which I turn to the inherit logic of human behavior. Essentially the golden rule states don't do to others what you wouldn't want done to your self. If you break this rule then you are a hypocrite or have committed an error of logic in how you treat others. More so than this, there should be a distinction between what should be done and what ought to be done. This brings the ideas of justice and rationality into the mix. I believe it is evil to murder a man in defense of your own life(even if they are trying to kill you), however it is equitable (or just) and rational. A sort of practical evil, if you will.
>>11448774Books for this?
>>11448774I do not think that the belief in the incomplete detachment of ethics from rationality is especially unique. The problem I see with this line of thinking in practicality is that it necessitates evil, while, in my opinion, a perfect good should be above all things desired. As a subscriber to virtue ethics, I would argue that there is some set of virtues that takes into account the needs of the ego, all while still having some altruistic proponent. That is to say that the most desirable outcome should always be that which follows good actions.
>>11448929I read a variety of books and papers on normative ethics and formed my own conclusions.>>11449190In general I think morality is in line with rationality, but there are circumstances where serving the greater good comes into conflict with ethical behavior, in which evil is preferred and sometimes even necessary.All other ostensible ethical dilemmas are solved by recognizing that one is responsible for ones actions. For example you are trapped on a sinking raft and you drown a few passengers so that the raft will stay afloat longer. You are still responsible for committing a criminal act of murder of an innocent even if it appears it was in the service of the greater good.
>>11449399Which papers exactly?
>>11447421Where exactly does Nietzsche fall on the scale?
>>11449399This is still based on a fundamental good. The virtue ethics assertion is that whatever it is that is an actual virtue must be deep enough to account for this. If the evil act is preferable to the good, then it is not actually evil but may only be given different circumstances. Because of this, there is still some underlining moral involved in making that decision that would also apply to a drastically different scenario. I.e. the pull to save as many lives as possible outweighs the normal surface level assertion of not committing murder which was actually based on the same principal.
>>11450466Nietzsche is quite critical of Deontology and Utilitarianism (most common brand of consequentialism); he doesn't have as strong a criticism of virtue ethics—Mactintyre (probably the most important philosopher of ethics still living) claims that the fundamental choice in ethics is between what might be called Nietzsche's anti-ethics and Aristotelian virtue ethics (I am paraphrasing, of course), and provides a strong case for the superiority of Aristotle. If interested, I recommend After Virtue, the book in the OP's image. Its very very good.
>>11450701How much background do I need for After Virtue? I read some of the basics for Aristotle, Kant, Mill, Nietzsche, etc, on ethics but by no means in depth.
>>11450791Just start reading it really.
>>11447686Consequentialism =/= utilitarianismBut utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory.
Any book recommendation before reading After Virtue or can I jump right into it?
>>11451199Literary read the comments above you man.
>>11448631You should really start getting into journal articles. I'd love to have us all get an ongoing list started.
Here's hoping this thread lasts just as long, if not longer.
>>11451651I agree. Talking about virtue is almost good in itself: plus a proper study of Ethics is interesting AF and is a good defense against the overload of poorly thought sophistry that is being spoonforced to modern day Americans. I wonder if there could be an /Ethics General/ on Lit: it certainly is a topic which is woefully under discussed today. It is significant, I think, that 4chan has a politics board, but not an ethics board. Anyway, thanks OP for starting this thread.
>>11451737Agreed, agreed, good sir!
>>11447686Not sure if I agree with that taxonomy you just gave anon. From my learning, it's more along the lines of:>consequentionalismAn action is moral if it results in good consequences, but what a "good" consequences is varies by theory. I.E utilitarianism is based around a hedonistic principle where an action is good if its consequences maximize (result in more) pleasure and minimize (result in less) pain.)>deontologyAn action is good if (and only if) it coheres with some kind of moral duty ("deon" in greek means obligation)I.E Kant's ethics is based around moral duties which are absolute because of the categorical imperative (where we ought to refrain from performing actions if it means using other individuals as means rather than treating them as ends in themselves). This system is importantly different from consequentialism bc it leaves no room for exceptions, and thus even if using someone as a means would result in good consequences we still have a duty to refrain from doing so.>Virtue ethicsAn action is good if it expresses a virtue and bad if it expresses a vice. This is probably the loosest moral system and doesn't involve following a strict ethical code. But it does involve categorizing features of character into good or bad and judging which actions are linked with what good or bad features of character.I.E Aristotle's golden mean, which states that a virtue is always positioned in between two vices, one of which is an absence of the virtue (bravery and cowardice) and one of which is an overabundance of the virtue which then becomes a vice (so bravery and dangerous overconfidence). Thus rushing into a battle alone and running away from a battle are both wrong because they express vices, while running towards the battle with a good group of your fellow soldiers is right because it expresses the virtue of bravery (this is just an example)>EgoismI'd probably say that Egoism is closest to a version of Virtue Ethics, but one which says that the only virtues are those which serve your self-interest. But you could probably come up with a consequentialist or a deontological version of egoism too, so I wouldn't really count it as a moral framework in the same way these are, it's more of a claim about values
Never heard it discussed here but for any ethicist whose looking for a more modern reading of all ethical theories in relation to the modern age (technology, farming, cities) check out Hans Jonas "Imperitave of Responsibility"
>>11451949I pretty much agree with all of this. My comment was directly replying to someone asking to explain it to a brainlet, which is why I opted for the oversimplified versions. That being said yours are much better and I appreciate your contribution.
What about other books by MacIntyre? Should I read any of them?
>>11447686Not sure I'd agree with your explanation of virtue ethics. The best summary of it is contained in the Nicomachean Ethics: "virtue is a disposition".
i thinks ethics as a realm of study is stupid! you do what you do because that's what you see other people do. somebody decided that they didn't want their stuff stolen so they said NO WE WILL NOT DO THAT IN THIS CHRISTIAN CAVE! and they did that with a lot of other things that made them feel unhappy and bam we have ethics. i don't see how the field evolved into anything more complicated than that
>>11452061Read after virtue by him. But it seems like he doesn't subscribe to natural law theory, being the analytic philosopher he is. Given that, you might be left wantingn more from him. I highly suggest the book with some supplementary material on natural law theory.
>>11452231Holy shit Ian! Great job BTFO'ing the entire field of ethics!
>>11452252Not him, but what supplementary books and articles would you recommend regarding Natural Law?
>>11452252So most of the things he has to say are contained in After Virtue? Also, please recommend me resources on natural law theory.
>>11452262>>11452267I'm unsure right now... I mean I'm a realist cuz Im a mathematics major and that places into my assenting to NLT. Do some research. If you two are students, go to JSTOR.You can also look up Aquinas's Summa on natural law.Heres a basic claim: Man's nature tends towards virtue. It was how he was created and we can objectively observe and define his natural tendency towards virtue and what those virtues are. Oh and yes, most of MacIntyre's stuff is in After Virtue.
>>11452221I tried to put it in as simple terms as possible and I am aware I left out some important aspects. The main focus of my comment on it was to simply explain the virtue/vice divide, in that "some actions are consistently better than others". I am aware my comment did not really do it justice for anyone that understands virtue theory already. It was meant to explain the very basic underlying premise.
>>11452267Dunno what the other guy is talking about: After Virtue might be read as a self contained unit, but I believe Macintyre intended it to be read with two of his subsequent books: "Dependent Rational Animals" and "Whose Justice? Which Rationality?"Personally though, I would recommend moving from AV to "Encyclopedia, Geneology and Tradition", as in that later work, Macintyre goes quite a way towards better establishing the Nietzschean/Foucaultian position, and then proceeding to advance a strong argument against it. Also, if you are interested in more of Macintyre's later Thomistic turn, I would reccommend "God, Philosophy, Universities"—it is, among other things, a quite good explanation of why exactly Thomas Aquinas is so important in the history of philosophy/ethics.
>>11452497MacIntyre makes a case against Nietzschean philosophy in Encyclopedia, Genealogy, and Tradition?
reminder: macintyre is the only person other than icycalm to take nietzsche seriously.
>>11452658What about Girard, Foot, and Santayana?
>>11452684shut up bitch
Am I wrong to think egoism was the natural position for most of the Greeks? Like there seems to be an acceptance of egoism in Greek philosophy so implicit that it isn't even articulated as such. Aristotle talks about the virtuous man wanting the best things for himself and being a friend to himself most of all and mostly focuses on virtues that are useful in improving your own life. The Republic is basically Socrates defending the idea of justice against the charge that it's not in a person's self-interest to be just, with nobody suggesting that you should be just anyway even if it's a net harm to you. I haven't read any stoicism or Epicureanism but they also seem to be based in their own ideas of what's best for the practitioner of these philosophies rather than focusing on society as a whole.
>>11452695Okay, so I'll add those three to your list
>>11452768I always took it as egoism was their default position, and these philosophers were trying to explain why they should no longer follow such an ideology. Because the ideas would be rather fundamentally rooted, it might have simply taken an appeal to the ego in order to convince the listener that the ego was not above all else. So when Aristotle speaks about virtues benefiting the virtuous, it is not necessarily the case that he himself believed this was the ultimate reason for virtue, but he used this to explain that it was better at indirectly accomplishing what egoism could often not directly accomplish.
>>11452267Honestly? Just read all of what he has to say.
>>11447421Why should I read this book? Convince me pls
>>11453073to see the pragmatic value of virtue ethics. From there, you'll find that virtue ethics is objectively true.
>>11453073Because you want to know the best way to live your life, and you are willing to spend a few hours of reading to learn through another man's work in the direction of that answer.
>>11452061Whose Justice? Which Rationaltiy?, Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry, Dependent Rational Animals, Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity
>>11453116But what will I find in this book in particular in order to achieve waht you say?
>>11447421lmao like how is ethics even real nigga? like just do what you want and shit hahaha
>>11453133Its funny because one of the first replies of this thread predicted this type of egoist.
>>11448774What do you mean by "evil" then?
>>11453078That's pretty suspicious. People are more likely to be convinced something is objectively true even if it isn't when they're already convinced of the pragmatic value of it.
>>11453178that's not egoism. "whatever you want" =/= what is good for you.
>>11453234He wasn't a Thomist at the time. He typically doesn't try to argue from Thomistic metaphysics. It genuinely is a good book, just read it. This is super simplified but you can read AV then say "Thomistic metaphysics and Natural Law Theory reveal to us our set of virtues and our intended telos."
>>11453246then say "The set of values and the telos that MacIntyre is unable to turn to in AV are the ones shown with Aquinas's metaphysics and NLT."
>>11453204What do you mean by mean?
>>11452497>"Dependent Rational Animals" and "Whose Justice? Which Rationality?"those are pathetic title, is a secular humanists clinging to its little human rights?
>>11453563Umm calling him a secular humanist? LOL
>>11453563>literally judging a book by its coveranother day on /lit/
>>11453563>Thomistic turnImplies>catholic conversion
Why do virtue ethicist basically just read like 1st century self-help gurus?
>>11453731Because virtue ethicists are the only ones whom have finished the Canon.
>>11454232I have made an embarrassing typo. Please ignore that, friends.
1: Ethics is concerned with the regulation of behavior. 1.1: Ethical statements concern what ought to be and not what is. Thus empirical ethics is impossible.1.2: Ethical statements are concerned with how agents ought to act and not the agents themself. Thus universalism is the only possible ethics.2: Self contradictionary statements are incorrect.2.1: If an ethical statement leads to a contradiction, then it's incorrect.2.2: If 1.2 and 2.1 are correct, the only way for an ethical statement to be correct if it can be universal with contradiction.Guess Kant was right all along.
>>11454610How would the people on the left answer to "Why act morally" and "What happens if I and others just ignore your system and act as we please"
>>11454620Kant would answer that following the CI is the only course of action that can stand rational scrutiny. For the others, I don't know.
>>11454643Then I'll just behave irrationally. So what?
>>11454662Well if you have knowledge about the CI then you'll realise that anything you do is retarded and meaningless as it is built upon arbitrary axioms.
>>11454718Okay? And? I'll just do what I want anyway. Is this the extent of ethics? "If you don't agree with my ethical system then you're dumb."
>>11454726Well your moral system is built on an unprovable, arbitrary axiom which only exists due to your emotional desires and nothing more so It's you that habe to prove that you ought to do what you want to do.
>>11454740I don't have to prove anything and I'll just do what I choose whether I can prove I "ought" to or not.
>>11454620Bentham would organise state issued police death squads to exterminate all citizens who are a net drain on the total aggregate happiness.All moral reprobates get the bullet under classical utilitarianism
>>11454746Yes you have to prove it as you take it for a fact. As we are in an argument it means that you need to be able to motivate your stand point. If you can't motivate your ethical egoism then I have won the argument as you provided zero proof for your case.
thread is too long for me to read, but should i read this macintyre book? im not particularly interested in morality, but open to new shit
>>11454790Okay, then you win the argument and I'll just do what I want anyway. So what?
>>11454817Well you have no reason to. Isn't it depressing that you'll live your entire life like a monkey or a small child, unable to motivate your actions without anything except your feelings and the realisation that you can't justify that which gives your life meaning? That you'll be driven, unable to understand why, wandering with fleeting purpose, with no moral standards and remembering that you got btfod by some random schmuk on a mongolian basketweaving forum.
>>11454854Nah, it doesn't bother me.
>>11454854I'm not sure he got btfo'd, so much as berated while trying to walk away.
>>11454900No, my entire point was that these ethical systems are not binding in any way and it doesn't actually matter if someone refuses to follow it. He was never capable of showing anything contrary to that.
>>11454662Living a virtuous life is the only way to achieve true happiness. Any who objects with that statement are still prisoners in Plato's cave.
>>11454854You're already presupposing a moral system here u dumb-ass.
>>11452257bro how'd u guess my name???
>>11454610Who is the balding guy? Looks a bit like Singer but I can tell he isn't.
>>11454765Based. Can someone here post the utilitarian death squads image?
>>11454806Yes. You might want to look at the last thread on this subject since this one has devolved into screeching by those who are mad at "muh moral reasoning".
>>11455577I'm psychic. I can also tell you that all Ians like video games!
>>11452576Yes. It is quite an in-depth account. I will say the book itself is quite difficult though.
>>11455900Compared to AV, how difficult?
>>11454610Ad 1. Whose behaviour? And justify why you chose whatever group you chose.Ad 1.2 How an agent ought to act depends in many instances upon properties of the agent himself. To solve this by saying that "but IF he were X, he too would have to ..." and so on, is to reduce your statement and the word "universalism" to meaninglessness. By that stretch, Jewish law would be universalist too, so long as it were to preface itself by considering all beings and saying that IF you are a Jew, the following applies.
>>11454765Lesson learned: I'll be an undercover drain.>>11454854>Isn't it depressing that [...]No, to be quite tbqhwy with you
>>11456071Quite a bit more—Difficulty level might be estimated by saying that A.V. is readable for a smart undergraduate, EG&T is more at the graduate student level.
>>11447421ethics: do what i want or i will use socialized violence to kill you, also isn’t i weird how the strongest people always decide what is ethical? ok here’s endless walls of text
>>11456231Thanks for the insight man; I appreciate it!
>>11456258Book 1 of republic.
>>11456415>muh constitution of the soul>muh you're actually hurting YOURSELF, dumbo
>>11456439>You played yourself!
>>11456258From my understanding the consensus is that ethical behavior is beneficial. If then it is true that it is beneficial toward the ethical individual, it would make sense that they would be strong, as they are taking part in especially beneficial behavior. Beyond this, it is not unreasonable to prescribe motives to these philosophers as self-seeking and attempting to sway the behavior of others, but I believe that it is equally as likely that they give the lessons on altruistic motives of attempting to better the lives of everyone.
>>11452014No worries man, your version is much simpler and approachable for someone just learning about this stuff so I definitely understands its usefulness and I didn't realise that was the context. A lot of what I posted about maybe needs a bit more explanation before it's accessible to someone new to the field
>>11456459>You Plato'd yourself
>>11447421This man, in my country he is everything.
Here is a crude reading list based on the old thread, but it is basically just taking every recommendation ever made there. I will let them be sorted out here.>Short History of Ethics, Alasdair Macintyre>Nicomachean Ethics>Discourses of Epictetus>Meditations of Marcus Aurelius'>Confessions of Saint Augustine>Works of Love by Soren Kierkegaard>The Ego and It's Own>Thus Spake Zarathustra>Beyond Good and Evil>Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious>After Virtue>JL Mackie - Ethics>Jonas Olson - Moral Error Theory>Richard Joyce - The Myth of Morality>Anscombe (No specific work)>Iris Murdoch - The Sovereignty of the Good>Philippa Foot (No specific work)>Genealogy of Morals>Utilitarianism by Mill>Critique of Practical Reason, Groundwork to >the Metaphysics of Morals by Kant>An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of >Morals by Hume>The Methods of Ethics by Sidgwick>Modern Moral Philosophy by Anscombe >Reasons and Persons by Parfit>Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy by Williams>Principia Ethica - Moore>Analects by Confucius>Practical Ethics - Singer>A Theory of Justice by Rawls>Thomas Aquinas (No specific work)>Reasons and Persons>Max Scheler's Formalism in Ethics and Non-Formal Ethics of Values>Charles Taylor (No specific work)>The Crooked Timber of Humanity by Issah Berlin>Foot (No specific work)>Rawls (No specific work)>Étienne Gilson's The Spirit of Thomism>St. Augustine of Hippo (Various works)>Hilary Putnam's "Ethics Without Ontology."I do not think I missed any but it is possible. Entries are listed in no particular order (But it is more or less the order they appeared within the thread) and appear with original format. I.e, if the poster of the recommendation said "Book X by author Y" then that would be found here, whereas if they said "Author Y, book X" then that would too be acceptable. If this annoys anyone you are free to fix it but I do not want to.
>>11458399>Étienne Gilson's The Spirit of Thomismgreat short introduction to Thomism
>>11458399For starters, add the years of publication and sort by that.
>>11458399Good list. Can't wait to see what additions everyone else has to suggest.
>>11447421>being this JewishJust kill kikes and be smart. That’s ethics.
>>11459010This isn't even a good false flag attempt Rabbi.
>>11458675I've been rather busy lately but I will see if I can get around to it soon.
>>11460593I meant just anyone, but thanks.
>>11455723my fav is Overgrowth oWo
>>11461788Thanks for that information Ian! Since this thread is about ethics, what can you tell me about ethics in gaming journalism?
If the thread is still up later I might try to do some formatting on the list.
>>11453563MacIntyre is an Aristotelian-Thomist you retard.
To be honest. Morality and ethics is just a play of words that is useless in the end. Human beings will always do things that fulfill, in some way, their primal desires. You can say that you are Kantian but if you don't fulfill your, let's say, sexual desires, you WILL crush everything you said you would stand for. Your subconscious WILL take control of your action. So the true morality is not talking what ought to be done, but rather do and go in blindfolded.
>>11462967Wow. Just wow.
>>11462967Can I interest you in some Jung?
>>11447480>Ethics is the mask you wear until Tactics tells you to take it off.
Hey guys, who should I read now?
>>11447421I'm honestly still in the process of trying to formulate ethics for myself that fits that gut feeling of mine that I believe we all work off of.In general, virtue ethics seems only tangentially related to morality. Virtues are only good insofar as instilling them as habits into yourself can further the good. But if a virtue, say, led to unnecessary slaughter quite reliably, then one shouldn't adhere to it. Overly tribalistic type virtues and indeed pacifistic ones could yield such things.But I think the draw of virtue ethics is that it's very pragmatic. It knows that being good takes work. People should keep the idea of virtues, but contain it within other ethical theories.What I have in mind, personally, is a deontological-consequentialist mix for foundations. No matter what form of consequentialist you are, there is some sort of theoretical statistic you wish to derive to determine what outcome was better between two actions. But that inherently removes the value of the individual from discussion. So we can imagine scenarios such as, for example, the accidental death of a bad rapper bringing overall joy. Then someone who murderers said rapper in a way that looked accidental would be said, by certain consequentialist metrics, to have done a good. But this seems to me, absurd, since the individual should have inherent value.So I would advocate for having a consequentialist system where certain liberates and protections are afforded to individuals. Stuff like "furthering the good is only necessary to being good when doing so is at little cost to oneself" or "you shouldn't take from others just because it provided some good" or "respect the wishes of others toward themselves or their property." I.e., some means are bad, but we should be very concerned with ends such as health, overall wealth, and happiness.I would also separate good people from people who do good, one is someone with good intentions behind their actions, the other being someone who creates good outcomes.Where I'm troubled is in answering exhaustively every single end we should be aiming for and how to measure it, or deciding how to weigh between which may be more important in a given situation. Health, wealth, and happiness, for example, need to be capable of being collapsed to an overall statistic we call "the average good", which seems impossible to do without feeling arbitrary.And there are also edge cases. If killing one person saves 3 lives, I feel I shouldn't kill the one person. But if it saves a million, I believe that number justifies it. Same could be said of theft or any other thing I can think of to deontologically prohibit. Where is that dividing line in the sand? I can't say.
>>11447421>Major theories:There is no ethics but virtue ethics. One would think someone who opened a thread with After Virtue would understand this.
>>11466482Interesting. If the thread is up when I get back I'll have a proper reply ready for you. Keep posting your thoughts here though smoking girl anon.
>>11467157Why not Jung?
>>11466945Sure.Don't think I have much interesting left to add theoretics wise, but I'll add some clarifications.I threw around the term "good" quite often in my post and I used it in a few different senses. I used it to describe good people, to describe actions, and to describe outcomes. When it comes to good outcomes in the framework of consequentialism, I'm referring specifically to the (weighed) quantity we're trying to maximize. This is often referred to as "the good." Classical Utilitarians equate the good with hedonistic pleasure and want to maximize that. Sam Harris has a rather loose notion of well being that he wants to maximize - he's very much a consequentialist. He might not identify as one, but his notion of well being is basically his idea of the good. But overall we're getting at the same thing - we're trying to maximize something, we just may disagree on what specifically to do that with and how to pragmatically measure it.Good actions are ones that further the good and avoid violating individual rights in my framework, while good people are those who attempt good actions to the best of their ability and develop virtues to pragmatically do so, not just sit on their asses all day. The goodness of people and actions are, of course, measured by degrees, and it's perfectly permissible for people to chase their own selfish desires within certain bounds. Hence I don't think every good person needs to be a martyr, but they should do their part.In practice, this all becomes intuitive for me rather than a science. I'll generally support policies in government if there's empirical evidence that they up wealth, health, and/or happiness. If I think a virtue does good for society, I'll promote it and try leading by example. And generally in private affairs, deontological considerations respecting the individual take center stage. It's only when large numbers of people are involved that such principles might come to be compromised.I think a fair criticism of what I've been saying is that others could accept my presented theoretics and come away doing vastly different things in practice. Someone could justify ancap if they take NAP to be some immutable principle while advocating only doing good of your own volition. And, to be honest, their ethics would be more well defined than my own.Hence I'm still working on my system. Doing my best to see how I can quantify these gut instincts of mine.
>>11468132Well keep working at it Smoking girl. The best way would probably be to either just keep posting here and work things through with other anons, while maybe discussing this in university as well. Read plenty too.
>>11468132Consequentialism is unworkable. You'll never be able to calculate The Good. Not only do you have to account for the current complicated present, but the endless possible futures you are or are not creating. And still, even if some planetsized-computronium-brain can weigh the utility perfectly, humans would still reject it. They would reject that amount of control over their lives. Fully knowing their own lives will be made worse, they will reject it just out of spite.
>>11467157In a way you described the shadow and the phenomenon of someone not willing to confront it being controlled by the very thing they try to avoid. Jung deals with this. It was why he was added to the list up there.
>>11468810This. Just. Utilitarianism. Just.
>>11469191Someone explain consequentialism outside of utilitarianism please.
>>11468810I see your point on the difficulties of completely bearing out consequentialism to its logical conclusion. That is, being able to calculate the consequences of our actions and then assign value to those consequences. That said, I don't see how that defeats the project, it's only to admit that it's a difficult one. We may not be able to predict the future, but we get better and better at it as time marches on, and from the trial and error of various actions we've taken, we can usually figure out what generally yields better results. Maximization is ideal, but mere improvement from something previous is always great, and so we perpetually work toward more improvement.So, as an example, should drinking and driving be legal in the US? I say no. We know that it dramatically increases the likelihood of an accident as drunk driving takes up about a quarter of fatal accidents, and ever since widespread enforcement of precise laws against it, the fatalities have halved. Now, perhaps I can't suggest the absolute best policies we implement for the best outcomes, but we can narrow in on some things to decide what's relatively better between what we've thought to try. And in some cases, the superiority of one position over another is, to most people's estimation, cut and dry.As for people rejecting a computer telling them what is moral. I mean, I can see how you might be right. People don't want to be told what is right or wrong - they want to reason it out themselves. All this objection really does though is tell me that you can't get humans to further the good by merely telling them what it is. Doesn't defeat the actual position. You also can't tell people something is wrong because of a set of deontological rules without justifying the rules to them. In practice, you're probably going to want tell people relevant facts so they can make judgments for themselves to get them to further the good.Also, reminder that I'm not a pure consequentialist anyway and do see inherent value in the individual.
>>11469224You can't really
>>11469224Ok but keep the thread going for a while.
>>11469228Not sure about individuals really.
>>11470988Feel free to elaborate.
>>11471152Ok. Keep the thread alive till I get back though.
>>11468810>You'll never be able to calculate The Good.Just like you will never be able to fully define a deontological system or a virtue system which applies to all cases indisputably. That's not a good argument against trying.
>>11471234The difference is that virtue and deontological systems are constant. You may be able to figure each of them out and test it. In each case then, if you discover something that is consistently good within virtue or deontology you can apply this later on, whereas every unique scenario needs to be evaluated in a consequentialistic system. Thus, you can eventually define good using either virtue or deontology if you ever define good, whereas for consequentialism the idea is too loose to be beneficial in any regard.
>>11471152Nah I'm good.
>>11471299One pragmatic way to apply consequentialism is to derive helpful rules of thumb/policies that generally promote the good, because obviously we cannot rely on ourselves to calculate the best possible outcome in every single situation. That requires making a hard science of the social sciences, which isn't going to happen any time soon. So take a principle or virtue and test what its implementation bears out on society. Thus, a consequentialist may be an ardent supporter of the golden rule because they recognize that it's intuitive enough for people to live by and makes society generally better. There's a difference between theory and practice.Most virtue and deontological systems don't contain ideas that are overtly geared toward causing general suffering to others, interestingly. Usually it's to the contrary. But if you take that sort of system as your absolute base and completely cut any consideration of consequences out, you can't explain why things generally sort out that way, which leaves them with an air of being arbitrary.
>>11472201I would agree with you, except that the only time I have seen vritue and deontology taken out of the context of the consequences of well-being is within the belief of a telos. Having largely done away with that more recently, consequences tend to be the merit as to whether a belief is legitimate. That being said, this does not make anyone claiming virtue but grounded in consequence to be a consequentialist because they do not take it upon themselves to predict outcome, only to follow virtue (or purpose for the deontologists).One interesting thing about ethics pointed out then, is that we all largely agree on the proper way to behave, and the discussion is merely within why it is that way and not some other. In this regard then consequentialism has decent argument, but in my opinion is largely supplemented by a set of consistent virtues which take the focus away from the individual's ability in predicting the furture and toward willingness to follow what is morally upright.
Other communitarians besides MacIntyre?
>>11472333Depends. You can fall into what's called the rule consequentialist camp where rules are only given legitimacy by the consequences they bare out in their implementation. It's generally recognized that you'll never be able to calculate the perfect action like the basic theory overall would suggest, so being able to come up with workable rules with consequences as the justification for them becomes very attractive. They aren't ever really departing from consequentialism fundamentally, though. A fair analogy would be something like playing the game of pool. The physics of the system is very well understood and the aim of the game is very clearly defined, but players aren't breaking out their computer simulators between plays or crunching any numbers mentally. Rather, they have general rules of thumb, habits, and a whole lot of experience that gives them guidance on what to do. So the analogy is that society in general is the system, the good is what we're trying to maximize, and rules are our pragmatic way of getting ever closer to an ideal we'll probably never reach.That said, even this form of consequentialism doesn't work for me. I want to be able to say things like "killing when not in self defence is wrong" without having the justification be that it would make the family sadder or that it marginally lowers some statistic. The act is just wrong in itself.
>>11472551In order for something to just be wrong you would need some sort of teleology. I believe one can be constructed of sorts, and the end result is virtue ethics, and thus this is the theory present at the level in which we live. However, if you want to discuss how to construct this, you need a basis of the teleology made. Personally, at this level I had taken an approach similar to that of the consequentialists, in that an action which improves the well-being of people is in at least some regard good. From this, my assertion was that this in an entirely impossible rule to follow, and thus could not be used for human ethics directly, but may work as a basis for some ethic.With then an "artificial" teleology of sorts in place, you should be left with some rules that naturally result in something following this telos. This level is entirely livable, and results in something similar to "killing someone just being wrong" but still has a reason underlining it.
>>11469228>>11471234The crucial difference for consequentialism is you can never stop calculating. It is something like the "Halting Problem", which is undecidable. Really, worse for consequentialism, it is unethical to not return the greatest good. Perhaps the most ethical thing is to ignore that genocide and spend another 5 years developing a GMO potato; it will save far more lives. Or maybe not. We never know, and we will never even know if the system is getting any better.Deontological systems only aim for internal consistency. (A program that will also ultimately fail.) Virtue ethics only has the middling hope of a good life, rather than some necessarily maximal flourishing. Spite flourishes, however, not only because the humans don't know what is the best. Even when they know it is the best. They believe it is for the best and well justified. And then still they choose to act the worse for everyone, perhaps even the most troublesome for themselves. They throw themselves down the stairs, just to make their ire stumble. And they do so with the thought, 'To be a decent man is to be a slave.'
>>11473719Can you expand on that part about virtue ethics? I am not sure I follow.
>>11474128Can you expand on that part about expanding? I am not sure I follow.
>>11474234Certainly. The post I was replying to made a comment about virtue ethics only being able to produce a decent but not flourishing life, however I did not follow the logic behind this claim. Being as something as important and practical as ethics is something I would not want to be wrong about, I, in an attempt to learn the truth, asked him to clearify his claim and back the argument. Thus, by asking to expand, I was implying I wished to further understand both the logic and the conclusion of his argument, and I petitioned him to supply me with this information.
>>11474598Very good, I'll allow it.
Read the other communitarians.
>>11474128>>11474234>Virtue ethics only has the middling hope of a good life, rather than some necessarily maximal flourishing. Middling- Aristotle's golden mean. Hope of a good life- the regular Socrates annoying everyone about virtue. Necessarily- not possible for the proposition to be false, by identity. Maximal- that greatest good of utilitarianism. Flourishing- eudiamonia, of course. Is that a poor definition? It seems workable, the more troublesome area is, as it was 2500 years ago, what is virtue (arete)? How should a modern person be striving? I have some ideas, but I'm curious what this Senegalese cricket enthusiast forum thinks.
Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis
>>11472966>In order for something to just be wrong you would need some sort of teleology.My understanding of teleology is that it works under the notion that things have a cosmic purpose or end goal. I'm not sure how what you're describing fits that, so I'd be interested to know if your usage differs from my understanding.I think the conversation so far has elucidated that we share a lot of similar ideas, we just classify it differently. I'm happy to point out aspects of my thought as being purely consequentialist or as being purely deontological. Virtue plays a role, but it's embedded in the other theories - develop habits that I know will further the good since even if you can calculate the good, you need character to act it out.>>11473719>Really, worse for consequentialism, it is unethical to not return the greatest good.A common criticism of consequentialism is that it requires too much of its adherents. The ideal consequentialist might be a martyr who lives a joyless life himself but helps everyone else. But I honestly see this as a strength of consequentialism - it provides a marker for relative goodness and for societal progress or decay. A government which has policies that lead to greater wealth, greater happiness, greater health and less death may be said to have progressed in how good its policies are. If you go from being a shut in to someone who provides support for his family and community, you can be said to have improved in your moral character. And yes - perhaps a martyr may be the most morally upright person in some circumstances, they after all often come to be revered. There is such a thing, I think, as being too good for your own good. That isn't to say that you NEED to be that way to be a good person, but we should recognize, honestly and with humility, who is doing the most good for the world with what they're capable of. I'm also of the belief that, counterintuitively, perhaps, that trying to calculate the best possible good in every scenario could lead to a regression of the good. Because where you could be applying rules that you know generally work, in the act of estimation for specifics you run the risk of your biases leading you down the wrong path. This tells me that you should primarily use consequentialism to evaluate rules and the consequences of their implementation and only run specific evaluations where the better answers are obvious.As for deontology, that's a fair critique. It's hard to find a set of rules that won't come into conflict or to form some sort of conditional flowchart that works for every situation. And there's occasionally scenarios where, even if your rule set is consistent, it leads to intuitively absurd results. Take Kant saying you shouldn't even lie to save a life. Some may stay the course with their beliefs, others may want to reevaluate. And sadly a contraction only tells you that your system is wrong, not how to fix it. Deontology doesn't have inherent tools to fix these issues.
It's in your own best (selfish) interest to be virtuous.
>>11477093Big if True
>>11476701Hope this back and forth keeps up.
>>11477093This is like the tenth egoist posting here thinking they have just figured out ethics and that's funny to me.
Am I a pseud for loving Mencius?He's literally the greatest ethicist IMHO
>>11476701>consequentialism ... requires too much of its adherents. Although probably true, that is not what I meant. It isn't that the results of the ethical calculation will compel you to some tedious self-flagellation. Rather the calculation itself can never stop. The consequentialist is forever stuck in the parable of the Taoist farmer. Is this good or not? Keep calculating until the end of the universe, then we may know. 'Sure, it may seem to do good now, but if you just calculate a little longer, you will see this one small act inexorably leads to the birth of a hundred Super-Hitlers' (The bad kind /pol/.)Further, admitting that the calculus can never be solved and instead using "rules-of-thumb", is the admission that consequentialism is ultimately unworkable and what you really need is maybe a little Kantianism to fix everything. Why not just use Kant in the first place?>deontology...form some sort of conditional flowchart that works for every situation. (And endless exceptions to avoid the intuitively absurd results)Which is how deontology ends up in a suspiciously similar incalculability problem as consequentialism.>>11475823Every culture has a different set of virtues in which it believes. Some like the Roman list are too long to remember, much less follow completely. Leaving a need to organize virtue into three categories: relations, knowledge, and drive. Without good relations to kin, neighbors and self, then what is the point of living? (Even plants, it turns out, have a vast network of communication.) Without episteme and techne, you'll never know the what and how of arete. (The Greeks talked endlessly about knowledge, so go look up their terms to find out more.) Without motivation you will never accomplish the acts you know to be good, or have will to resist that which is pleasurably bad. Of course, three categories is not the only possibility. The stoics believed knowledge of what is good must also grant the motivation to act rightly. (However, my argument above on 'spite' would disagree.) Or someone might wish to breakout a category of duty, or manliness. (Even if to me it is a subset of proper relations.) In any case, the specific behaviors which are "proper relations" must be defined. The definitions need not stand for all time, but we should at least be able to agree what they are here and now. Unfortunately, our society is quite far from any such consensus.
>>11478615Yes you are. Shitty opinion.
>>11478443This and a few other threads produce these results.
>>11478615Mencius is definitely top tier. I would recommend reading "Instructions for practical living and other neo-confucian writings" by Wang Yang Ming. He takes Mencius and other confucian writings and further expands on them. Its a highly enjoyable read. Besides the content of Menscius is very similar with the words of greats like Plato and Buddha. So if you like the one if would be weird not to like the other
Ethics is one of the biggest pseud areas in philosophy. Autistic adolescents obsessed with "systems" and "winning arguments".
>>11478615>>11479203Can we get a recommendation of a work by him?
>>11480250Mencius only wrote one work: the Mencius. But there are plenty of commentaries on him by later Confucians
>>11478443I'm not an egoist.I'm just saying (scientifically) virtue leads to the best life, it's in the best interest of egoists to be virtuous.
I kind of find it funny that I'm more or less the defacto consequentialist in this thread with how much I'm defending it, despite recognizing some flaws>>11476701a contradiction only*>>11478763Because the foundational theoretics of my ethics involve consequentialism. The theoretical project is being able to reduce relevant information as well as possible into one theoretical quantity we could call "the average good", such that given a set of outcomes, each one can be assigned with the quantity. If given this data in totality, a perfectly moral person will prefer an outcome with a higher average good than a lower one. Now, where the project runs into some difficulty is how to make a weighted function of all the relevant variables into one neat statistic. While that's a serious issue to work on, it's not as intractable as you'd think, since there are instances where any sensible definition of the average good should show a preference. So say between two outcomes, all relevant variables are relatively the same except one (say public health), where there's a massive discrepancy. Clearly, any sensibly weighed function on those variables would always have the preference for the same outcome. And I believe such cases are numerous enough to make the framework worthwhile, and as we consider more moral questions, the degree to which one at least personally weighs those variables will become clearer.Now that is a whole different matter altogether from how one pragmatically achieves the good. I emphasize improvements in the status quo. For if there is perpetual improvement, that means we are on a trajectory toward maximizing the good, even if it's impossible to consistently land there. And the way you improve the status quo consistently is by adhering to rules and policies. To epistemically determine which is better between the two, you do analysis on empirical data, where we often can find superior results on one end. So there is a sense in which you do keep calculating, but not in the sense you seem to suggest. We are not always fretting over the minutia of everything we do, some tragedies are unavoidable, but we are always looking for a better status quo. That hardly seems like a problem to me - science is also always improving on the status quo, and that's a good thing.Now, if I'm going to use rules in practice, why not just be like Kant in declaring the rules themselves to be what determines moral behavior? Simple, because whereas Kant believed in a static rule set, I believe in continually changing some for the sake of improvement on consequentialist grounds.Now, there are rules I adhere to not on consequentialist grounds, such as killing being wrong unless done in self defense. I see basic rules like that as the solution to unbridled consequentialism justifying things like lynching. It's analogous to having a constitution as setting the stage for your democracy, you want certain things to just be off the table.
>>11481827Still a good exercise.
I believe in Normality. I believe everyone should behave and think like everyone else, in a group-think way, while having a strong conciseness of "We" and "Us". New information and attitudes should be decided by Cultural Critics in the academy and widespread by the mass media.
>>11452658Could you elaborate?
>>11482936pic is related. french pseuds castrate nietzsche.
>>11482368Could you elaborate?
>>11452658I wonder how much of icycalm's apparent sociopathy is just posturing. Maybe he's actually extremely sensitive has adopted this worldview of endless war and domination as a way to experience constant internal strife and affirm the tragic
I love how people can't stop bringing up icycalm here.
>>11481827With all the neet little egoists here and the /lit/any of 'start with the greeks', I don't know why you'd expect many consequentialists.Nor is ethics a salad bar to take only the parts you like. Are you sure you are making improvements or just opening yourself to the bad parts of every idea? I cannot tell, because I could not follow all that you were suggesting. But perhaps if I state my concern another way, you might follow me.In consequentialism, you can never know if all your calculating has merely found a local maxima. Have you climbed to the top of a dusty hill and seen, "I can go no higher, this must be the best view!", but further on there is a mountain and clear skies? This is not fretting over minutia. The utility lost from not discovering the mountain might be greater than all other utility gained that whole century. Having your father assassinated seems like a rule you shouldn't break, but maybe there would never have been an Alexander the Great. Do you bother to include father killing in your calculations? Do you forbid it by your rules? Who knows, we might not know the full effects of it until the end of time.
>>11483482Basically like how things are right now desu.
Is there any philosopher that deals directly with the fact that some people are simply subhuman and that you can't project your own morality and values unto them no matter how hard you try? Also, I don't mean this in an in-group kind of way, nor based on racism, but something that takes into account the very bottom of the barrel for human intelligence. I'm personally of the belief that morality is something that goes both ways and is a shared construct, and I feel zero obligation to extend my considerations to people unwilling to be part of that construct. I have yet to read a single account of this that isn't either that doesn't ultimately come down to deontology or utilitarianism, neither of which I find convincing.
>>11484397Seconding this. Need books and philosophers for this.
>>11484327Could you elaborate?
>>11484397The Quran unironically.
>>11484647Could you elaborate?