What I admire about WordPress is that the biggest part of the users is American. While Germans are concerned about having a stable society, Frenchmen about beauty and pleasures of life, Russians about absolute truth, Americans are in obsession to prove that they are “good persons”. Continue reading
Recently I started to read the book “Natural Justice” by Ken Binmore, and in his introductory chapter he talks about the evolutionary basis for morality. For his part this is meant only as an introduction of sorts, and therefore the exposition is shortened and simplified, and so it would be unfair to criticise it too harshly for avoiding some issues. But, it did get me to think about some common presentations and arguments from evolution that I feel are too much of a simplification – especially if the goal is to make ethical and political claims based on human nature. I will in this article raise some general questions considering how one argues from and presents evolution, and in particular I will present important concerns about the focus on religious beliefs, that is beliefs containing deities or the divine, by certain atheistic groups. Continue reading
Secular morality is a false concept, giving the impression that this is somehow THE secular morality – the only morality a secular person can and should have. It is perhaps self-consistent as a moral system, and even beneficial if we can properly understand “well-being” and “harm” on all levels, not just the surface, but the basis of it is still just chosen, and it is not clear that one cannot choose something else. It is an artificial creation, just like a mathematical definition (which are usually made because “it embodies some property we want”), and it is based just on something “we want”. Sure, it does not claim to be absolute, but its name does: claiming to be the definite secular morality. Continue reading
In the video a system of morality called “secular morality” is presented. This conception has as its foundation the dialectical pair “well-being/harm” – and the object is to maximize well-being and avoid harm. To label actions as “moral” and “immoral” (good/bad) according to this morality, a “moral triangle” is presented, consisting of the points “intent”, “well-being/harm” and (moral) “rights/values”. An action is given the label moral if the intent is to cause well-being, the consequence is well-being, and no moral rights or values are violated. An immoral action is just the opposite.
There are three points to the critique I give here: intent, rights/values and well-being. Given that the whole basis of the morality is well-being/harm, we have some objections and questions to how and why intent and rights/values make their way into a system of labelling actions according to this morality. Lastly, such a system will have to rely on a clear and specific understanding of well-being, but such an understanding seems so far to be lacking.
The presentation deserves one’s attention because of the healthy consistency in its framework. It has a wider scope than presented here, making clearer a lot of points on morality issues in general. Continue reading