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    DrHackenbush's Avatar
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    Need some help on morality

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    I've been organizing months of thought, writing, and reading on morality. Thus far, I have 5 variables. The key to simplifying morality is to put similar and opposite concepts into the same category; they're really just talking about one thing, albeit covered with different experience laid over the top. Anyways, I discovered that each 5 variables seem to have changed as people have gone from living in tribes to agricultural civilizations, especially in modern times. I will lay out the compare and contrast, and you tell me if you agree. If you don't, tell me why not.


    Tribal
    1. uses subconcious more
    2. balance of lifestyle
    3. humility and libertine values
    4. low effort/rest/comedy/happy/stress-free
    5. following yourself/sex/objectification/lack of care/lack of emotion

    Advanced Civilization
    1. uses conscious more
    2. imbalance of lifestyle
    3. confidence and strict morals
    4. high effort/seriousness/anger/sadness/stress
    5. following the crowd/love/subjectification/care/emotion

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    picklepete's Avatar
    picklepete is online now Senior Member
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    I can only recommend The World Until Yesterday if you haven't read it. Tribal attitudes are a blend that we would find half heart-warming and half blood-chilling at the same time so it's hard to generalize.

    Broadly speaking tribal groups are much better at finding a place for everyone and avoiding modern alienation/isolation but the survival anxiety also fosters a lot of superstition and xenophobia.
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    Quote Originally Posted by picklepete View Post
    I can only recommend The World Until Yesterday if you haven't read it. Tribal attitudes are a blend that we would find half heart-warming and half blood-chilling at the same time so it's hard to generalize.

    Broadly speaking tribal groups are much better at finding a place for everyone and avoiding modern alienation/isolation but the survival anxiety also fosters a lot of superstition and xenophobia.
    I discovered the warm/cold heart thing out prior to thinking about it all in terms of tribes actually. After I paired down to 5 variables, I tried to see if there was a correlation between them. I quickly saw that conscious brain use was part of seriousness, strictness, and love of people. The only one I missed was "balance" as I thought consciousness was part of it. In hindsight, our society is clearly more imbalanced, and I agree that seriousness and effort will lead to that.

    I think tribal people act more on instinct, aka subconscious thought, and some would call that emotion. However, they are less loving in relationships than the way our culture is. Why? Our concept of love derives from "one true love" and true parents, two things that many/most tribes don't have.

    All of this discussion begs the question about language itself. Why do we have 30 ways to describe one emotion? Well, because we were emotional when we designed the language. That being said, I have what I can the "lexical bias" (influenced by the "lexical hypothesis") that states language is based upon our senses, and that shifts our assumptions of understanding. Even though a lot of the science exists, we focus on phenotypes instead of genotypes. Rather than trust our senses, we should be attempting to find variables behind the situation. For instance, the Big Five personality test is infinitely better than the MBTI because it uses variables on a continuum rather than a inflexible set of 16 options in the MBTI. This concept of the variables on a continuum only requires algebra 1 to understand. We just need people to use that thinking more often.
    Last edited by DrHackenbush; 02-13-2014 at 02:42 PM.

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    You are fined one credit for a violation of the Verbal Morality Statute.




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    Hacken, you simply MUST read Beyond Religion: Ethics for a New World by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This is one of the most transformational books I have EVER read on ethics and morality in the age of secularism and technology. Seriously, this book is utterly fantastic. This man is so insightful that I can't even begin to describe the book.

    You have to read it for yourself.
    "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

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    Your list seems so generalized that it's at risk of being meaningless. Even tribal groups from the same continent and time period are hugely varied, and what does "balance of lifestyle" mean? I'm also having a hard time understanding how you're attributing seemingly random philosophical statements from a broad range of fields (epistemology, social/political philosophy, religion?) to the study of ethics. From a western viewpoint, you could be exploring various cultures through the eyes of the major branches of philosophical ethics (absolutism, relativism, subjectivism, teleology, deontology, care ethics, etc.).

    I don't know much about many tribal cultures, but what I learned of the African tribes is pretty interesting. They don't have a sense of self like we do in Western society, though they don't deny the existence of the self as in many Eastern cultures. The group/tribe/community/whatever is all-important, and there is no self that exists separately from the group. All beings exist in nature, and all things are sacred. Within nature there exists a hierarchy:

    inanimate objects < plants < animals (from "lower" to "higher") < living humans < human ancestors < god or gods

    It would take more investigation to apply any of that to the study of morality in a significant way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nellodee View Post
    Your list seems so generalized that it's at risk of being meaningless. Even tribal groups from the same continent and time period are hugely varied, and what does "balance of lifestyle" mean? I'm also having a hard time understanding how you're attributing seemingly random philosophical statements from a broad range of fields (epistemology, social/political philosophy, religion?) to the study of ethics. From a western viewpoint, you could be exploring various cultures through the eyes of the major branches of philosophical ethics (absolutism, relativism, subjectivism, teleology, deontology, care ethics, etc.).

    I don't know much about many tribal cultures, but what I learned of the African tribes is pretty interesting. They don't have a sense of self like we do in Western society, though they don't deny the existence of the self as in many Eastern cultures. The group/tribe/community/whatever is all-important, and there is no self that exists separately from the group. All beings exist in nature, and all things are sacred. Within nature there exists a hierarchy:

    inanimate objects < plants < animals (from "lower" to "higher") < living humans < human ancestors < god or gods

    It would take more investigation to apply any of that to the study of morality in a significant way.
    Basically, I've been mapping all the knowledge in the world for the past 8 months, and I've had "renaissance man" and "theory of everything" aspirations for much of my life. Well, the latter was mostly sparked a few years ago, but at 23, 3 years feels like an eternity.

    Perhaps you have to understand the purpose of the categories to understand their meaning. It's been my experience that knowledge is repeated over and over, in slightly different ways, throughout our life. Without an organized way to take it all in, everything seems more elaborate than it is. People then specialize in singular fields without anyone ever seeing the whole, big picture.

    Anyways, I originally made 'philosophy' just a precursor for logic in this mindmap. Recently, I've been trying to complete the 'neuroscience' section of the human body. There's are the harder facts of the brain in there, such a gray vs white matter and various parts of the brain, and then there is the 'function' section. Eventually, I want to attach the specific functional knowledge to its specific part of the brain where it functions (for instance, conscious memories go in the hippocampus).

    I had various ideas of philosophy. Was it how we saw the world, how we wanted to be, what we believed in, or how we learned? I realized it was all of the above. Philosophy underlies everything that we do consciously. Seemingly unrelated topics had to be discussed together so one could actually learn to use "continuum-like" thinking.

    For instance, think about happiness and work ethic. Everyone wants both, but they have opposite origins that only happen to lead to the same place. The desire to work hard comes from a lack of satisfaction, while happiness is literally satisfaction.

    How about the prime ethic, courage? Everyone imagines a mythical warrior, courageous and humble. Yet, these two concepts are nearly opposites too. You have to put the dichotomies together to make actual progress (which is always a compromise in philosophy because the nature of all philosophy is relative).

    In reality, all people have both sides of every cord, to various degrees. The reason for my comparison was to attempt to learn about the progression of these basic psychological attributes. I'm looking for differences to find the similarities.

    What makes contradictions destructive is not that they exist, but that we don't realize they exist. Everything should be talked about from both sides.
    Last edited by DrHackenbush; 02-14-2014 at 01:04 AM.

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    Ironically Nellodee, your signature is a simple-minded version of what I'm saying. Yes, there is ambiguity within any sort of philosophy, but I also believe general rules are discoverable and very useful. Once you have that knowledge, you lay it over day to day experience and make each decision independently instead of by doctrine.

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    Are you on amps? I don't intend to be mean, but I've had some experience with amphetamines and you're exhibiting some telltale behavior. What you're saying makes absolutely no sense and your thoughts seem disconnected and all over the place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nellodee View Post
    Are you on amps? I don't intend to be mean, but I've had some experience with amphetamines and you're exhibiting some telltale behavior. What you're saying makes absolutely no sense and your thoughts seem disconnected and all over the place.
    No... I'm just enthusiastic about this project. My thoughts probably seem all over the place because:
    a) They are. I'm trying to summarize really broad topics because I thought it might help solve your misunderstanding from your previous post. It seems this just confused you more.
    b) You're just not thinking well enough to understand what I'm saying.

    Drugs are an interesting topic though. Weed, pain killers, steroids, amphetamines, ecstasy, and heroine are all drugs that people have accused me of being on. I don't take any drugs, legal or illegal. I've had about 2 cups of alcohol in the past 4 years. And prior to that, I only had a 3-month semi binge on alcohol when I was in college.

    Weed: I was mega-laidback in high school. I'd often go short on sleep too, and my eyes would be red.
    Pain killers: The only one I'm listing as a theoretical that no one ever said, but I could see it with the pain tolerance I've showed.
    Steroids: I was a wild beast in the weight room, also in high school.
    Amphetamines: as you just mentioned
    Ecstasy: I was riding my bike on the 4th of July sometime after midnight (so actually July 5th), and a cop pulled me over because I was suspicious. I had dilated pupils. He thought I was on X, but I wasn't.
    Heroine: This could go to the X or amp category because my apartment manager never named a drug, so I'm guessing. One night, I was so amped up that I was playing hair metal really loud in my apartment from like 2 to 6 am. But inside, I was just getting over procrastination. I was doing extensive cleaning and some workouts.
    Last edited by DrHackenbush; 02-14-2014 at 01:59 AM.

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