1. Standard memberKellyJay
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    03 Nov '16 20:041 edit
    One of the things about "The Evolution of Morality" I was left with was I
    got the feeling that with the evolution of morality struck me more like the
    second hand of a clock that never stopped moving. It even seemed that
    the full point of it or the book was remain skeptical of any standard even
    if it came from some thoughtful stance that might even be thought of as
    coming from the evolution of morality.

    That it would have to be at odds of any stance on morality that looked like
    an unmoving plumb line, or a static or near static view on morality.
  2. SubscriberSuzianne
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    03 Nov '16 20:27
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    One of the things about "The Evolution of Morality" I was left with was I
    got the feeling that with the evolution of morality struck me more like the
    second hand of a clock that never stopped moving. It even seemed that
    the full point of it or the book was remain skeptical of any standard even
    if it came from some thoughtful stance that might even be th ...[text shortened]... n morality that looked like
    an unmoving plum line, or a static or near static view on morality.
    At first I had no idea what you were talking about until I realized that you meant 'plumb line'.

    I'm not taking a position, nor criticizing, just want to make sure people get what you're saying.
  3. Standard memberKellyJay
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    03 Nov '16 20:33
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    At first I had no idea what you were talking about until I realized that you meant 'plumb line'.

    I'm not taking a position, nor criticizing, just want to make sure people get what you're saying.
    Thank you...read it several times it looked right each time until I saw what you wrote. 🙂
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    03 Nov '16 23:14
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    Thank you...read it several times it looked right each time until I saw what you wrote. 🙂
    It seems to me that if morality is subject to evolution it will never arrive at a standard that is from that point onward, not subject to further evolution. In this sense, skepticism as a reaction to any claim that an unchangeable standard has been arrived at, would be fitting. But maybe I don't understand what you are saying.
  5. Standard memberKellyJay
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    03 Nov '16 23:33
    Originally posted by JS357
    It seems to me that if morality is subject to evolution it will never arrive at a standard that is from that point onward, not subject to further evolution. In this sense, skepticism as a reaction to any claim that an unchangeable standard has been arrived at, would be fitting. But maybe I don't understand what you are saying.
    I think you are spot on. Can an ever changing standard ever stop changing since it never stops? Before I misspelled (plumb) as I thought about that line and the second hand of a clock. The second hand never stops to settle on anything even if evolutionary morality causes a (standard) it will than turn into something else. The change never stops so why would anyone looking to justify something not stop until they can justify themselves?
  6. Standard membervivify
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    04 Nov '16 03:37
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    One of the things about "The Evolution of Morality" I was left with was I
    got the feeling that with the evolution of morality struck me more like the
    second hand of a clock that never stopped moving. It even seemed that
    the full point of it or the book was remain skeptical of any standard even
    if it came from some thoughtful stance that might even be th ...[text shortened]... morality that looked like
    an unmoving plumb line, or a static or near static view on morality.
    It would appear that the idea is to never think we've got it 'figured out" regarding morality, but to continually strive toward a better morality than we currently have. This is a good idea, given the horrendous choices human beings make in how they treat each other.
  7. Standard memberKellyJay
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    04 Nov '16 06:53
    Originally posted by vivify
    It would appear that the idea is to never think we've got it 'figured out" regarding morality, but to continually strive toward a better morality than we currently have. This is a good idea, given the horrendous choices human beings make in how they treat each other.
    You think evolution is to blame for that? Personally I think that having a moving target would create difficulties simply due to the fluctuations in views.
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    04 Nov '16 07:20
    Originally posted by JS357
    It seems to me that if morality is subject to evolution it will never arrive at a standard that is from that point onward, not subject to further evolution. In this sense, skepticism as a reaction to any claim that an unchangeable standard has been arrived at, would be fitting. But maybe I don't understand what you are saying.
    My view is that 'morality' is not equivalent to 'our behaviour'. What evolves is our behaviour. Morality is a specific aspect of behaviour to do with cooperation. It does not evolve. We have evolved to cooperate. But cooperation doesn't evolve.
    To give an analogy, we evolved to walk on two legs. After further evolution, it will not be the case that walking on two legs involves driving. We may evolve to the point where all movement is driving but that will no-longer be walking on two legs.

    To prove my point, when we ask whether an animal is acting morally or understands morals, we do not judge it by its own morals. We do not say 'it has morals but they are evolved differently from ours'. We say either they have morals or they do not, or they are moral to a particular extent.
  9. Standard memberapathist
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    04 Nov '16 09:26
    Originally posted by twhitehead... when we ask whether an animal is acting morally or understands morals, we do not judge it by its own morals. We do not say 'it has morals but they are evolved differently from ours'. We say either they have morals or they do not, or they are moral to a particular extent.[/b]
    I don't think it is unusual to judge other animals according to our understanding of their own set of morals. Or even to do that of other humans, from other cultures or from other epochs.
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    04 Nov '16 09:47
    Originally posted by apathist
    I don't think it is unusual to judge other animals according to our understanding of their own set of morals. Or even to do that of other humans, from other cultures or from other epochs.
    There is a difference to me between mores and morals. I realise the word 'moral' has a wide range of meaning and is often used to mean mores.
    I also believe that how we judge people is not equivalent to morality. We may be understanding that a person behaved a certain way because that is the tradition in their society, but that doesn't mean we judge that behaviour as morally correct.
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    07 Nov '16 18:24
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    One of the things about "The Evolution of Morality" I was left with was I
    got the feeling that with the evolution of morality struck me more like the
    second hand of a clock that never stopped moving. It even seemed that
    the full point of it or the book was remain skeptical of any standard even
    if it came from some thoughtful stance that might even be th ...[text shortened]... morality that looked like
    an unmoving plumb line, or a static or near static view on morality.
    KJ, first off, thanks for your patience. I finally returned from my travels as of last week.

    Regarding the Joyce account, let's be clear about what he is claiming evolves and has evolved. The "evolution of morality" is not referring to 'morality' simpliciter. Joyce is explicitly talking about the evolution of the human moral faculty – that is, the evolution of the human capacity and propensity to make moral judgments and to think and communicate in moralized terms. That's only "at odds" with views that are static with respect to the same explanandum – i.e., views that hold a static view of the human moral faculty through ancestral times – or with views that claim no such faculty exists. (Hardly a problem for Joyce: both of these alternative views are empirically false even under cursory inspection of the evidence.)

    What it is not at odds with is any particular "stance on morality" if by such a stance we mean a meta-ethical view or moral theory regarding what the actual moral facts are. Regardless of whether one thinks our moral faculty evolves or is static, it's a further question whether or not (and to what extent) our moral judgments hit on moral truth. This further question is what Joyce addresses in his follow-up chapters 5 & 6, if I recall the numbering correctly. Are you trying to imply that Joyce argues there that his preceding evolutionary explanans would commit one to some non-static moral view? Are we reading the same text?!?
  12. Standard memberKellyJay
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    07 Nov '16 19:023 edits
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    KJ, first off, thanks for your patience. I finally returned from my travels as of last week.

    Regarding the Joyce account, let's be clear about what he is claiming evolves and has evolved. The "evolution of morality" is not referring to 'morality' simpliciter. Joyce is explicitly talking about the evolution of the human moral faculty – that i ...[text shortened]... onary explanans would commit one to some non-static moral view? Are we reading the same text?!?
    I believe we are reading the same text, his views that it has evolved and is evolving was
    what struck me as a view that will never be set or static. I don't think it will ever allow itself
    to see things in a consistent manner since things change from the physical, how big our
    brains are due to how we are born, to other factors.

    So as I read him I don't think evolving views will ever be settled or static so they would be
    at odds with all static views no matter how they came into being, or itself since it is bound
    to turn as time goes by. Which led me to think of the second hand on a clock.

    Hitting a moral truth like a broken clock is bound to happen once in awhile with a morality
    that is ever changing. This begs a question though, does that mean there is morality that
    has nothing to do with ever changing views that it would stumble upon, or we got it right
    because of how we and the world are laid out once in a blue moon?

    I've been rereading chapters, so if there is something you'd like me to go over I'm more
    than willing!

    Will we ever not have to count our spoons? 🙂
  13. Cape Town
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    07 Nov '16 19:281 edit
    I am not sure if this is a perfect analogy, but our capability and understanding of mathematics has changed over time. That doesn't mean mathematics cannot be known or itself changes over time.

    Morality is a bit more complicated as there are a number of different aspects to it.
    One aspect of morality is simply the question 'what ought I do?'. And that can really only be answered by an individual. There is no absolute rule. It cannot come from without. It is inherently, by definition, a subjective judgement by an individual. The question 'what ought you do' is different as it is the judgement applied to the behaviour of others, and only there is there room for standards either created by society or based on some ethical theory or some other source.
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    07 Nov '16 21:09
    yeOriginally posted by vivify
    It would appear that the idea is to never think we've got it 'figured out" regarding morality, but to continually strive toward a better morality than we currently have. This is a good idea, given the horrendous choices human beings make in how they treat each other.
    I recall reading that the moral value of the "eye for an eye" dictum was not that it justified more violence, but that it scaled back the overreactions that were all too common in the day. But I don't know where I read it.
  15. Standard memberKellyJay
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    07 Nov '16 21:22
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    KJ, first off, thanks for your patience. I finally returned from my travels as of last week.

    Regarding the Joyce account, let's be clear about what he is claiming evolves and has evolved. The "evolution of morality" is not referring to 'morality' simpliciter. Joyce is explicitly talking about the evolution of the human moral faculty – that i ...[text shortened]... onary explanans would commit one to some non-static moral view? Are we reading the same text?!?
    If you are suggesting that the discussion is really not about morals but our abilities to
    understand them, I see the distinctions, but don't believe it presents a difference between
    what is right and wrong and our abilities to grasp it. If morals are a reality and our ability
    to grasp them reside in our physical makeup, than does that mean our limitations and
    morals are true if we have the ability to see 20/20 and run a mile in under 4 minutes, but
    they would be different if everyone's eye sight is as bad as mine is now and now get
    winded moving from the couch to the kitchen table?
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