Re: Rights and Morality: The Primethic Decision

Michael Lorrey (
Tue, 30 Sep 1997 20:31:35 -0400

Gary Lloyd wrote:
> At 11:28 PM 9/29/97 -0700, Ken Wiebe wrote:
> >At 09:25 PM 9/29/97 -0400, Gary Lloyd wrote:
> >>At 06:05 PM 9/28/97 -0700, Ken Wiebe wrote:
> >>>At 12:13 PM 9/28/97 -0400, Gary Lloyd wrote:
> >
> By your definition. How about when humans aggress against animals? Is that
> immoral?

If true universal morals are only those which are prosurvival, then the
only violence against animals is that which may cause negative
environmental impact that would impact another human. In this way,
hunters are morally obligated to hunt wild animals at a level which
sustains the populations in the ecosystem.

> >>>>Where does the *concept* of morality come from if not the primethic
> >>>>decision?
> >>>
> >>>Presumably, the concept arose originally from somebody's imagination.
> >>
> >>For what purpose?
> >
> >Who knows? Maybe it just seemed like a good idea at the time.
> You're being evasive. Where does the concept of morality come from? For what
> purpose?

Morality is a result of a culture's memetic system. How well that
culture survives and grows is a result of how closely the memetically
established morality system dovetails with prosurvival activities.

> >>>> Why, when we view a dispute between humans, do we
> >>>>judge who is *right* and who is *wrong*? Do *all* people do this, or just
> >>>>those who have made the primethic decision?
> >>>
> >>>Beats me. Does it matter?
> >>
> >>If all people do this, then the primethic is not a decision, but a human
> >>instinct.
> >
> >Are you suggesting that morals are instinctual?
> Possibly. The primethic does seem to be widespread. It's entirely possible
> that amorality vis a vis A/D could be learned behavior, with the primethic
> being instinctive.
> >>>>>> If
> >>>>>>defense against aggression is amoral...
> >>>>>
> >>>>>It isn't, ever.
> >>>>
> >>>>Why?
> >>>
> >>>Because of the definition of 'aggression'.
> >>
> >>Only in your dictionary.
> >
> >Perhaps, but my definition of 'aggression' is not much different from
> >common useage, and the dictionary definition works well in all but very odd
> >situations. Your definition of 'primethic' has more serious problems.
> Such as?
> >>>>What real world phenomenon forms the basis of your definition?
> >>>
> >>>Language. In my particular case: the english language.
> >>
> >>You're being evasive. Words describe things. Aggression is not limited to
> >>human interaction, nor does the word describe a moral judgement.
> >
> >I disagree. In order to label something as 'aggression', it is necessary to
> >have already made a moral judgement of the 'aggressive' act in question.
> >'Aggression' is a morally-loaded word, and 'aggression' is _always_ a 'bad'
> >thing. I agree that the word is sometimes mis-used and applied to animals,
> >but I think that is simply a mistake - anthropomorphism. Similarly, the
> >word 'aggression' is sometimes mistakenly used to describe violence
> >employed in self-defence.
> >
> >Consequently, I think it might be important to be rigorous about the
> >definition of 'aggression', to avoid confusion and misunderstanding. I've
> >stipulated a definition for 'aggression' that makes sense to me and isn't
> >too different from correct common-useage. If you prefer a different
> >definition, we can certainly look at different one.
> Virtually any statement can be made valid by simply changing a few
> definitions here and there. Be that as it may, even if your definitions were
> widely accepted, they prove nothing. Argument by definitions is nothing more
> than argument by assertion, substituting, "because the dictionary says so"
> for "because I say so."

Note the caveat at the biginning of this particular thread. The
definition of agression used is that of the english language, which
necessitates that the cultural view of the word "agression" be that of
the Judeo-Chirstian memeplex. Other cultures have different memetic
relationships with their words for agression.

As an example of this difference, I'd like to examine the word
"gratitude". Gratitude is seen as a positive moral behavior that one
expresses when one is the beneficiary of another's intended or
unintended generosity. In no form do english speaking peoples see the
word gratitude as having a negative cultural connotation. However, in
the chinese, korean, and japanese languages, there are numerous words
synonymous with differing levels of gratitude, and the ideograms for
those words all contain ideograms that represent varying levels of
> >>>Like all concepts, they come from the imagination - the mind. The
> >>>interesting question is, how do some things come to be deemed 'moral' and
> >>>other things come to be deemed 'immoral' and many other things fall into
> >>>neither category and are therefore 'amoral'?
> >>
> >>The primethic decision.
> >
> >If the primethic is truly a decision, then some thought must go into the
> >decision-making process. What thoughts would be relevent? What factors
> >would be considered prior to making this "primethic decision"? Certainly
> >not any self-defense or survival issues, we've already agreed that those
> >are instinctual and instinctual responses require no thought at all. So...
> >What remains?
> The primethic may very well be instinctive, but I haven't thought of any way
> to prove it...yet. Not all survival tactics are instinctive. For those who
> are less successful at aggression, or prefer to sleep without one eye open,
> the primethic may present a means of peaceful coexistance with their
> neighbors. If many share in that decision, then all are safer.
> The fact that people feel that defense (against human aggression) *itself*
> is moral, and human aggression *itself* is immoral, as opposed to just
> aggression against oneself being immoral, would tend to indicate that the
> primethic may be instinctive.

Actually, British courts have found that sadomasochists can be
prosecuted even though those being inflicted on agree to the treatment.

			Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------	Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
MikeySoft: Graphic Design/Animation/Publishing/Engineering
How many fnords did you see before breakfast today?