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  #1  
Old Jul 25, '12, 11:56 pm
fakename fakename is offline
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Default How do we judge the degrees of morality in order to choose b/t alternatives?

In any concrete situation how do we assign quantitative weights to our choices? That is, how do we figure out what is "more" or "less" good in order to choose what is better?


(1) Do we choose that which is ontologically the better choice? That is, we choose that which increases or conserves our being most?

But this is problematic since "being" means many things and so how do we analogically compare these in terms of degree? Do we conceive of the equality between things different in being, as a ratio and geometric similarity or not?

Another problem ensues in this answer, since God could've made a better world and yet he didn't. Therefore good choices are not the ontologically best choices.

(2) Perhaps we choose the passion midway between two other passions (the doctrine of the mean)?

But again there are problems, since it happens that different people have different organs and therefore passions. Therefore there are as many moralities as there are types of organ. However this is not true regarding homosexuals or retarded people (and yet why shouldn't it apply in these cases?).

(3) Finally perhaps we judge and choose based on some other criteria? What would this be? Surely it cannot be the "good" since the goodness of a thing cannot be fittingly explained by just knowing that it is good and such knowledge is generally not self-evident.


Any answers?
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  #2  
Old Jul 26, '12, 1:22 am
ravenhairedmaid ravenhairedmaid is offline
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Default Re: How do we judge the degrees of morality in order to choose b/t alternatives?

Try watching Monty Python's "Philosophy Football" skit. It provides a very insightful answer.
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  #3  
Old Jul 26, '12, 2:53 pm
fakename fakename is offline
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Default Re: How do we judge the degrees of morality in order to choose b/t alternatives?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenhairedmaid View Post
Try watching Monty Python's "Philosophy Football" skit. It provides a very insightful answer.
Looked it up and I still don't get the answer.

What's the significance?
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  #4  
Old Jul 26, '12, 7:21 pm
davidv davidv is offline
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Default Re: How do we judge the degrees of morality in order to choose b/t alternatives?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fakename View Post
In any concrete situation how do we assign quantitative weights to our choices? That is, how do we figure out what is "more" or "less" good in order to choose what is better?
Why do you think moral choices have quantitative value?
What quantitative value would you give to the active of giving your brother a hug when they were feeling down?
Quote:
(1) Do we choose that which is ontologically the better choice? That is, we choose that which increases or conserves our being most?
I don't believe most think of their choices in this way.
Quote:
But this is problematic since "being" means many things and so how do we analogically compare these in terms of degree? Do we conceive of the equality between things different in being, as a ratio and geometric similarity or not?
Neither. Moral choices cannot be reduce to math problems.
Quote:
Another problem ensues in this answer, since God could've made a better world and yet he didn't.
Since God is perfect, and he made this world, how could he have made a better one?
Quote:
Therefore good choices are not the ontologically best choices.
Unsound conclusion, based on a faulty premise.
Quote:
(2) Perhaps we choose the passion midway between two other passions (the doctrine of the mean)?
What is midway between non-quantitave values?
Quote:
But again there are problems, since it happens that different people have different organs and therefore passions. Therefore there are as many moralities as there are types of organ. However this is not true regarding homosexuals or retarded people (and yet why shouldn't it apply in these cases?).

(3) Finally perhaps we judge and choose based on some other criteria? What would this be? Surely it cannot be the "good" since the goodness of a thing cannot be fittingly explained by just knowing that it is good and such knowledge is generally not self-evident.


Any answers?
Most people make choices based on what they think is best. Many select a counterfeit best instead of the true best.
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  #5  
Old Jul 26, '12, 9:50 pm
fakename fakename is offline
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Default Re: How do we judge the degrees of morality in order to choose b/t alternatives?

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv View Post
Why do you think moral choices have quantitative value?
What quantitative value would you give to the active of giving your brother a hug when they were feeling down?

I don't believe most think of their choices in this way.

Neither. Moral choices cannot be reduce to math problems.

Since God is perfect, and he made this world, how could he have made a better one?

Unsound conclusion, based on a faulty premise.

What is midway between non-quantitave values?

Most people make choices based on what they think is best. Many select a counterfeit best instead of the true best.
(1) giving one's brother a hug has quantitative value (in some sense, since quantity is transcendental too) because it is "better" than not hugging -it has more (quantity) of some quality (good). So since diverse things that are comparable, are so only in virtue of some common measure, I am asking what is the common measure which we call "good" and allows us to consider one good to be more or less good?

(2) From the first point, the answer to this objection can be seen.

(3) Idk. I suppose that this is the best world from the point of view of God's values and the subjective pov of God's choice, even though (from the objective pov of the actual worlds) there are better worlds considered w/o regard to values. To illustrate, a man may say that his decision to buy a burger is best because he is hungry and it fulfills his most urgent desire but that doesn't mean that there wasn't a better thing that he could've chosen (steak or what-have-you).

(4) passions are based on the bodily organs and anything physical is quantitative. The doctrine of the mean is the idea that these passions must be reduced to a mean of sensation in order for them to be in accord with reason. Now this must mean, that the right choice is the one which is a midpoint or some such between two passions. But if that was true then virtue would not be possible for people whose organs are decrepit (like retarded people). But we know that retarded people are capable of virtue sometimes.
So then, perhaps they are virtuous in one way but not in another (after all, not every passion is out-of-order for all of these people)?

(5) They don't know what is best because perhaps they don't know how to measure goodness; they don't know the standard of goodness.
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  #6  
Old Jul 27, '12, 10:16 am
davidv davidv is offline
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Default Re: How do we judge the degrees of morality in order to choose b/t alternatives?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fakename View Post
(1) giving one's brother a hug has quantitative value (in some sense, since quantity is transcendental too) because it is "better" than not hugging -it has more (quantity) of some quality (good).
What is its the quantity? 4? 10.6?
Quote:
So since diverse things that are comparable, are so only in virtue of some common measure, I am asking what is the common measure which we call "good" and allows us to consider one good to be more or less good?
God and his revelations are the common measure of what is good. All of these measures are qualitative.
Quote:
(2) From the first point, the answer to this objection can be seen.
Your first point was wrong.
Quote:
(3) Idk. I suppose that this is the best world from the point of view of God's values and the subjective pov of God's choice, even though (from the objective pov of the actual worlds) there are better worlds considered w/o regard to values.

To illustrate, a man may say that his decision to buy a burger is best because he is hungry and it fulfills his most urgent desire but that doesn't mean that there wasn't a better thing that he could've chosen (steak or what-have-you).
I have no idea how this analogy fits.
Quote:
(4) passions are based on the bodily organs and anything physical is quantitative.
What is source for this claim? Are you using some obscure definition of quantitative?
Quote:
The doctrine of the mean is the idea that these passions must be reduced to a mean of sensation in order for them to be in accord with reason. Now this must mean, that the right choice is the one which is a midpoint or some such between two passions.
Who wrote this doctrine and why does it apply to morality?
Quote:
But if that was true then virtue would not be possible for people whose organs are decrepit (like retarded people). But we know that retarded people are capable of virtue sometimes.
So then, perhaps they are virtuous in one way but not in another (after all, not every passion is out-of-order for all of these people)?

(5) They don't know what is best because perhaps they don't know how to measure goodness; they don't know the standard of goodness.
This seem to be off topic.
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  #7  
Old Jul 27, '12, 12:25 pm
fakename fakename is offline
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Default Re: How do we judge the degrees of morality in order to choose b/t alternatives?

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv View Post

What is its the quantity? 4? 10.6?
Actually you bring up some interesting points about quantity that refutes a big part of the whole question. More or Less are relative terms as opposed to pure quantities. And yet, although there are no quantitative measures for better and worse ethically per se, there is still the idea that quantity is also a quality (for we might say that a hot dog had the quality of being a foot-long) and vice versa. But let me ignore this tension since I think the subsidiary questions still retain some merit.

God and his revelations are the common measure of what is good. All of these measures are qualitative.
God is the common measure but God is simply "Good" in a poetical and analogical sense and so this common measure is really something that doesn't explain a whole lot; we must define good in a way which has exactly one meaning and which is not a mere identity (good=good).


I have no idea how this analogy fits.
The analogy: I was saying that a person calls buying a hamburger a good choice because it was good to him (according to his wants) even though a better choice existed (according to the nature of the chosen thing). In the same way, perhaps God made the best world according to his wants and values but there was a better world he could've made according the nature of the world.

So that supposedly shows that even though God is perfect, he still could make "imperfect" choices w/o these choices being imperfect in every way and w/o compromising his perfection. Is this true?

What is source for this claim? Are you using some obscure definition of quantitative?
Well the encyclical Aeterni Patris gives the definitions and ideas which I try to use in my thought and the definitions about body and matter and such are present here. Physical things can be and often are bodies and bodies are essentially quantitative, for instance, they can be diminished and increased by numerical degrees. Passions, from what I've learned from On the Soul and other Aristotelian-Thomistic works are clearly bodily in the strict sense of the word (in a loose sense the intellect also experiences the analogous "passion" of learning). So the passions must be quantitative.

Who wrote this doctrine and why does it apply to morality?
The doctrine is aristotelian and it appears in his work "Ethics". Whether it be a geometric or arithmetic mean the mean is always between two vices. And virtue and vice are, in some way that I don't know but which I sense, connected w/passions (in themselves neutral things). So for instance someone who is disposed by organs to feeling grouchy will be prone to excessive anger or great courage.

So perhaps the standard of goodness is the extent to which an outside force alters our sense-organs. Actually this is problematic since the standard won't be per se an ethical one (but rather a physical one and yet not all ethics is physiological), but I'll wait for your reply.

This seem to be off topic.
It is not too far off topic considering that I proposed anatomical criteria as a standard for morals.
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