Re: Ethics and Morality
Gary Lloyd (email@example.com)
Tue, 7 Oct 1997 18:27:04 -0400 (EDT)
At 01:27 PM 10/7/97 -0700, Damien R. Sullivan wrote:
>On Oct 6, 10:13pm, John K Clark wrote, responding to Greg Burch:
>I think both Delmar England and John Clark have totally missed the point
>of the first part of Greg's post. That, or they're refusing to follow
>his flexible use of "objective". He acknowledged that there isn't some
>Platonic realm of Objective Morals, or anything on the level of the
>presumed laws of physics. He also said that such a result is not very
>interesting. Practically, most people do want to live; practically,
>most people do want to live in societies; practically, most people who
>live in societies do want those societies to work well; and so
>observationally most people should follow certain rules in their
>This isn't "objective" in the sense of physics, or "objective" in the
>sense of "Ayn Rand derived this from a tautology", but it is objective
>instead of subjective in the sense that if you want certain things which
>almost everyone does in fact want then you can't behave arbitrarily in
>all aspects of your life, unless you're far more powerful than them.
>There's nothing in the laws of physics which codes for life but
>practically, chemicals got stirred around; practically, one of them was
>self-replicating; observationally, life happened.
>} just practical matters to take into consideration consider if you want to
>} build a society that works in a certain way, I don't see why they deserve
>} lofty title "Objective Morality" any more than a table listing the
>I don't think everyone thinks objective morality is such a lofty term.
>Objectively, if you want to live then you should look both ways when crossing
>a street. Normally we leave off the if clause because nearly everyone
>does want to live, or at least they don't want to die by being hit by a
>random car. And no one cares, except in esoteric philosophical
>discussions like this one.
>I'd like to note for the record that I used to side with Rich Artym,
>arch-subjectivist, until I realized this was all much ado about nothing.
>Rich and I were talking philosophical absolutes; Greg Burch was talking
>pragmatic engineering for nearly universal goals.
>} Yet another problem, if "Objective Morality" really is objective then there
>} should be some evidence of it in the non human world but we see none. If you
>No, because morality only applies to beings which can (1) affect each
>other and (2) communicate with each other. And then the form of
>morality depends on how they can affect each other. Asteroids don't
>communicate and sheep can't hurt wolves much.
>Speaking of wolves, you're wrong. We do see something like morality in
>the non-human world, and wolves among each other are the canonical
>There isn't an objective morality keeping a Power from using us as
>feedstock. But if there are multiple Powers, and they hang around each
>other for a while, we can predict the range of their behaviors. That's
I would only add that all human beings are at birth totally dependent, which
necessitates a dominant/submissive relationship. As they mature, they become
relatively independent. Among independent peers, a morality of
non-aggression/non-submission (the primethic decision), is what emerges.
Of course, then we become parents, and are torn between necessity and
When the boot of government is on your neck,
it doesn't matter if it's left or right.