Re: "Morality?" - Composite Reply

Gary Lloyd (
Sun, 12 Oct 1997 15:40:36 -0400 (EDT)

At 12:47 PM 10/12/97 -0400, Delmar England wrote:
>At 11:12 PM 10/10/97 -0400, you (Gary Lloyd) wrote:
>>What we have is a bridge across the is/ought gap. Like any bridge, it is
>>based at both ends. It is both is and ought. It is both subjective and
>>objective. It impels, but does not compel.
>Can't agree. I said I didn't like the terminology because it really doesn't
>really fit. It was an unsatisfactory ad hoc fill in. When we see that an
>infant's urges are absolute directive as opposed to conscious volitional
>choice, we're really talking about opposites, not a bridge of identity via
>an arbitrarily selected similarity. An infant may go from is non volitional
>to is volitional, but neither condition suggests an "ought." In the infant
>stage, the situation is: is non volitionally reactive. In the adult stage,
>the situation is: Volitionally active.
>>Our values do not appear out of nothingness.
>What do they appear out of? The natural ability to attribute value, right?
>> They are rooted in instincts, and adapted by volition.
>Didn't you say one could choose to not go along with what you call
>instinctive urges? If this is the case, even if you label some urges as
>instictive, if they are overridden by volition, how can they be rooted in
>the very thing that volition overrides? Doesn't this place the concept,
>instinct, as subordinate to volition? If this is the case, isn't this
>placing "objective instincts" as subjectively alterable, or subject to
>dismissal by choice? Doesn't this directly contradict the concept, objective
>reality, as not subject to alteration or dismissal by subjective choice and

To override the effects of something is not to make it non-existant.

>Where are all these contradiction coming from? From what else except absence
>of definition allowing the root contradiction to be obscured? What is this
>root contradiction?
>>If, as you acknowledge, our instinctive urges exist, though we choose to not
>>be directed by them, why would we define them as not subject to volition.
>To the contrary, I made no such acknowledgment. What I said was: >>the urges
>in question ARE NOT (emp. added) in the realm of instinct.<<
>The whole thing comes down to defining the term, instinct. What is the
>term's connection to objective reality? Answering this question clears up
>the matter.

The effects of instinct can be overridden. Ask any pet owner or animal trainer.

>The question to be answered is: Does a term, and definition of it, describe
>some aspect of objective reality, or does it create it? Most would balk at
>consciously claiming they can create objective reality by words; yet this
>claim is implicity incorporated in every argument of the fallacy, objective
>value, whatever the manifestation. The acceptance of this fallacy as
>"unquestionable truth" is so commonplace and so dominanat in most beliefs
>systems that the distortion of language usage needed and used to support the
>illusion is not even noticed by the users.


>Let's observe infant animals, human and otherwise, that survive without
>conscious effort of plan of action. Choice plays no part in it. The
>reactive entity has no choice. Neither your choice nor mine can change this
>natural circumstance. The urges that direct the survival reactions are
>inherent in the entities. It is fact that there is no choice in the matter.
>To this natural condition, we apply the term, instinct. Ergo, the term,
>instinct, by definition, excludes choice.

Overriding does not alter, nor eliminate instinct. Choice has nothing to do
with the definition of instinct, one way or the other.

>Thus does the definition conform
>to reality AS IS. (It would not be opposed to the definition of instinct to
>include the natural directive of an individual to pursue what he conceives
>to be in his self interest. However, and it a very big however, let us not
>forget that what one may conceive to be in his self interest is not an
>instinctive reaction.)

Whence self-interest, if not instinct?

>To speak of urges as instinctive, yet can be followed or denied by choice is
>to contradict the definition of instinct. If we have a natural reactive non
>volitional circumstance of behavior and apply the term, instinct, to this
>situation, can we turn right around and apply the term, instinct, to
>volitional determination and have both usages conforming to reality?
>Wouldn't this be saying that instinct means non volitional reaction AND
>volitional action. In such usage, the term, instinct, does not serve to
>differentiate two objectively separate conditions from each other.

Volition has nothing to do with the definition of instinct, one way or the
other. You seek to define instinct by its effects (in specific instances),
rather than by its true nature.

>Based on actual definition of the term, instinct, what you are calling
>instinctive urges that "impel but do not compel" are not instinctive at all.
>If these urges were, indeed, objective instinct, they would compel for that
>is the nature of instinct. Other than to seek self interest as one conceives
>it to be, the urges may be life oriented or death oriented, thus are a
>matter of subjective choice, not objective mandate.

Instinct impels, but does not compel. Animals make choices based on external

>Since an actual definition connects to objective reality in a
>differentiating manner, it simplifies and clarify. Unfortunately (for my
>purpose), few are looking for simplification and clarification as it would
>expose as false dominanat beliefs they hold as unquestionable truth. Since
>this circumstance is commonplace, indeed, nearly universal, one is not
>likely to find the truth of definition even discussed in most forums, let
>alone practiced by a large number of individuals. Be that as it may, my
>analysis and experience leaves me with the truth of it and it has proven
>invaluable in literally every aspect of my life. So, rather than abandon it
>simply because it is not popular and intrudes upon popular notions, I will
>continue to use it to expose a large portion of what "everybody knows" as myth.

More irrelevancy.

>Stepping down from my soap box, let us now take a look at the term,
>objective and subjective in the same manner that we examined the term,
>instinct and non instinct. I observe things, entities and relationship
>existing independently of my mind and independently of my mind to alter the
>immutable natural laws that are inherent cause. To this observed condition,
>I apply the term, objective.
>I observe that that I and others are human individuals, each with a mind
>that is the causal base for conclusions, beliefs and valuations. This
>condition of derived from a mind and dependent upon mind, I differentiate
>from objective by the term, subjective.
>If these are actual definitions by virtue of describing an immutable reality
>of 100% consistency, it logically follows that factual word arrangements
>must necessarily reflects these definitions and truth in any and every
>usage. If a belief actually conforms to reality, would there be any need to
>do otherwise? If this is true, what does this say of beliefs that are
>believed and promoted by non definition?

If your dog chases a cat, you tell him to stop, and he does, does he still
have his intinctive urge to chase the cat?

You are attempting to apply a non-definition to the objectively observable
phenomenon of "instinct." Instinct can be overridden.

And you still haven't told us where your universal value of self-interest
comes from.

<usual irreligious irrelevacies deleted>

When the boot of government is on your neck,
it doesn't matter if it's left or right.