Re: "Morality?" - Composite Reply (To G. Lloyd)

Delmar England (
Tue, 14 Oct 1997 17:51:08 -0400

At 03:40 PM 10/12/97 -0400, you (Gary Lloyd) wrote:
>At 12:47 PM 10/12/97 -0400, Delmar England wrote:

>>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.
Not necessary. I've been involved with a variety of animals in my life,
including personally training dozens of dogs and a few horses. Not once have
I witnessed any animal choosing to set aside instinct. Indeed, it is appeal
to these very instincts that an animal is trained.

When you say "effect of instinct can be overidden", I must ask, overidden by
what or whom? Can an infant animal, human or otherwise, choose to overide
the instinct to nurse? Can a dog choose to dismiss survival instinct and
commit suicide? Granted, one can cruely choose to mentally condition an
animal to avoid survival necessities (ironically by relating to survival
instinct); or one can choose to kill the animal and "overide" the survival
instincts, but the animal makes no such choice, for by nature it has no such
capacity; which is why the directives are call instincts.

>>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.
I not only consider my paragraph relevant, but of core principle relevancy
in reference to the relationship of word usage and fact. In my book, nothing
gets any more relevant than this whatever the topic and issue under
discussion. Your arbitrary dismisal as irrelevant without effort to explain
what about it is irrelevant and why doesn't really enlignten me much about
the alleged error. Suppose I go down the line and mark all your agruments as
irrelevant without explanation, thus leaving only my position to consider,
what would be your response to such an action?

>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.
>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.

Take another look. Instinct is defined as non volitional reaction in ALL
instances. That's what gives the term, instinct, definitive meaning. If this
definition is not the "true nature" of instinct, what is? By what objective
reference and rationale do you establish and hold this conclusion? It
appears that you are saying that every urge is an instinctive urge. The
instinctive part is not the urge itself, but whether the urge directs non
volitional reaction, or whether the effect of the urge is subject to
volition. Isn't this really the case and what really differentiates
instinctive from non instinctive? If differentiation is not a principle of
actual definition, why is there more than one word in a language system?
To be sure, if you feel the need, you can arbitrarily call all urges
instinctive to support the belief, "instinctive objective values" if you
wish, but it disregards the objective differention that actually exists.

The definition I gave of the term, instinct, which excluded volition, is
consistent with the principles I explained as required for actual
definition. You did not challenge this criteria, but simply dismissed it out
of hand with the word, "irrelevant". You have aroused my curiousity. Do you
see any need to connect your word arrangements to objective reality? If not,
why not? If so, by what reference criteria do you presume to do so?

Delmar England