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"Is" "ought" problem

Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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7/21/2015 11:37:20 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Science attempts to make models that accurately predict the observable world around us in terms of natural phenomena already accepted as true.

Science is a body of knowledge grown by Scientist.

Now Scientist are human beings operating under ethical concerns.

Science can tell us what the result of an action will be. Whether this result is "good" or "bad" is a moral statement that is not derived from Science. A moral statement of whether the outcome of a scientific endeavor is "good" or"bad" is by the injection of a moral value.

This injection of Moral value comes from emotions, subjective cultural constructs, religion, ect..

So Science can not tell mankind what is right or wrong morally or ethically.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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7/22/2015 12:56:02 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 11:37:20 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Science can tell us what the result of an action will be. Whether this result is "good" or "bad" is a moral statement that is not derived from Science.

Science can do a lot more than that. For example, it can:

* Detect, measure, model and trace the development and expression of compassion and altruism;
* Measure and model pain, anguish, frustration and their impacts on psychological and intellectual development;
* Model the causes of anger, hate, fear, the desire to hurt and harm; and
* Explore the psychology and sociology of ethics.

A moral statement of whether the outcome of a scientific endeavor is "good" or"bad" is by the injection of a moral value.

Exploring the psychosocial consequences of different kinds of education, influences, examples and incentives are also legitimate areas of scientific study.

So really, Mhykiel, all science doesn't do is build consensus on our priorities. It's more than capable of finding ways to show us the moral and ethical consequences of our decisions, and the efficacy of our values, methods and protocols. it's perfectly capable of finding ways to pronounce on whether certain decisions might make us braver, smarter, kinder, more resilient and more or less tolerant. It's even capable of showing us good ways to build and sustain consensus. :p
Sosoconfused
Posts: 237
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7/22/2015 4:40:36 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 11:37:20 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Science attempts to make models that accurately predict the observable world around us in terms of natural phenomena already accepted as true.

Science is a body of knowledge grown by Scientist.

Now Scientist are human beings operating under ethical concerns.

Science can tell us what the result of an action will be. Whether this result is "good" or "bad" is a moral statement that is not derived from Science. A moral statement of whether the outcome of a scientific endeavor is "good" or"bad" is by the injection of a moral value.

This injection of Moral value comes from emotions, subjective cultural constructs, religion, ect..

So Science can not tell mankind what is right or wrong morally or ethically.

Science is an amoral pursuit. Meaning that it, the process of knowledge acquisition, has no moral component to it. Science is neither "good" nor "bad", it simply is.

Take nuclear fission for example. Nuclear fission is a natural process of splitting atoms in half, releasing lots of energy, etc... This process is not "good" or "bad". It is the way we use it that makes it "good" or "bad". So science has nothing to do with making nuclear fission "good" or "bad", it is the agents who use this discovery who are either "good" or "bad".

Scientific discoveries are thus largely immune from ethical criticism (of course some methods for knowledge acquisition are questionable, but the knowledge itself is an amoral concept).

Science does play a role in morality however. It serves to inform our moral compass. For example, understanding that someone with a major brain injury may loose impulse control mechanisms helps us understand that they may not be completely responsible for their actions. Genetics may help us understand addiction and absolve some addicts from carrying all of the moral responsibility of their actions. When a child lashes out, but you know he/she was abused, you don't blame that child for lashing out. You have an understanding that abuse at a young age causes the brain to develop differently, so you feel sorry for the child. You don't hold him/her to the same moral standard as a "normal" child.

Science, however, never speaks to what "ought" to be. It always remains in the sphere of how things are. It is philosophers, scholars, theists, thinkers, etc... that are concerned with the "ought". Science simply allows them to see what "is" in order to inform them of what reasonable "ought statements" look like.
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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7/22/2015 7:39:01 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 11:37:20 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Science attempts to make models that accurately predict the observable world around us in terms of natural phenomena already accepted as true.

Science is a body of knowledge grown by Scientist.

Now Scientist are human beings operating under ethical concerns.

Science can tell us what the result of an action will be. Whether this result is "good" or "bad" is a moral statement that is not derived from Science. A moral statement of whether the outcome of a scientific endeavor is "good" or"bad" is by the injection of a moral value.

This injection of Moral value comes from emotions, subjective cultural constructs, religion, ect..

So Science can not tell mankind what is right or wrong morally or ethically.

Isn't this trivial?
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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7/22/2015 11:14:06 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 7:39:01 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/21/2015 11:37:20 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Science attempts to make models that accurately predict the observable world around us in terms of natural phenomena already accepted as true.

Science is a body of knowledge grown by Scientist.

Now Scientist are human beings operating under ethical concerns.

Science can tell us what the result of an action will be. Whether this result is "good" or "bad" is a moral statement that is not derived from Science. A moral statement of whether the outcome of a scientific endeavor is "good" or"bad" is by the injection of a moral value.

This injection of Moral value comes from emotions, subjective cultural constructs, religion, ect..

So Science can not tell mankind what is right or wrong morally or ethically.

Isn't this trivial?

No it is debatable. Have you seen Ruv's post?
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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7/22/2015 11:23:25 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 11:14:06 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 7/22/2015 7:39:01 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/21/2015 11:37:20 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Science attempts to make models that accurately predict the observable world around us in terms of natural phenomena already accepted as true.

Science is a body of knowledge grown by Scientist.

Now Scientist are human beings operating under ethical concerns.

Science can tell us what the result of an action will be. Whether this result is "good" or "bad" is a moral statement that is not derived from Science. A moral statement of whether the outcome of a scientific endeavor is "good" or"bad" is by the injection of a moral value.

This injection of Moral value comes from emotions, subjective cultural constructs, religion, ect..

So Science can not tell mankind what is right or wrong morally or ethically.

Isn't this trivial?

No it is debatable. Have you seen Ruv's post?
No, I skip his posts on purpose.
"whether certain decisions might make us braver, smarter, kinder, more resilient and more or less tolerant."
This misses the point entirely as this is just what the problem aims at.
Simply put, from no analysis of what makes us kinder or what is kind (is) do you get the obligation to be kind (ought).
Of course science can in principle tell us how to be as kind, brave, compassionate and whatnot as possible, but it does not at all follow that one ought to be this way.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Otokage
Posts: 2,347
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7/22/2015 11:45:00 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 11:37:20 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Science attempts to make models that accurately predict the observable world around us in terms of natural phenomena already accepted as true.

Science is a body of knowledge grown by Scientist.

Now Scientist are human beings operating under ethical concerns.

Science can tell us what the result of an action will be. Whether this result is "good" or "bad" is a moral statement that is not derived from Science. A moral statement of whether the outcome of a scientific endeavor is "good" or"bad" is by the injection of a moral value.

This injection of Moral value comes from emotions, subjective cultural constructs, religion, ect..

So Science can not tell mankind what is right or wrong morally or ethically.

Can you predict if an action of yours is going to be considered good or bad by society? If the answer is yes, then you must be using a model to make this prediction, there's no other way, and since science is about creating models, then science can effectively tell which actions are good and which are bad. What you won't find, is science judging actions through the prism of moral absolutism/objectivism, since moral absolutism is an unscientific concept related to religion, which has no basis on reality, and therefore no scientific model can be based on it.
UndeniableReality
Posts: 1,897
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7/22/2015 11:54:40 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 11:23:25 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/22/2015 11:14:06 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 7/22/2015 7:39:01 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/21/2015 11:37:20 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Science attempts to make models that accurately predict the observable world around us in terms of natural phenomena already accepted as true.

Science is a body of knowledge grown by Scientist.

Now Scientist are human beings operating under ethical concerns.

Science can tell us what the result of an action will be. Whether this result is "good" or "bad" is a moral statement that is not derived from Science. A moral statement of whether the outcome of a scientific endeavor is "good" or"bad" is by the injection of a moral value.

This injection of Moral value comes from emotions, subjective cultural constructs, religion, ect..

So Science can not tell mankind what is right or wrong morally or ethically.

Isn't this trivial?

No it is debatable. Have you seen Ruv's post?
No, I skip his posts on purpose.
"whether certain decisions might make us braver, smarter, kinder, more resilient and more or less tolerant."
This misses the point entirely as this is just what the problem aims at.
Simply put, from no analysis of what makes us kinder or what is kind (is) do you get the obligation to be kind (ought).
Of course science can in principle tell us how to be as kind, brave, compassionate and whatnot as possible, but it does not at all follow that one ought to be this way.

I'm curious. In your view, how do you get an "ought" at all?
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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7/22/2015 11:58:16 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 11:54:40 AM, UndeniableReality wrote:
At 7/22/2015 11:23:25 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/22/2015 11:14:06 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 7/22/2015 7:39:01 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/21/2015 11:37:20 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Science attempts to make models that accurately predict the observable world around us in terms of natural phenomena already accepted as true.

Science is a body of knowledge grown by Scientist.

Now Scientist are human beings operating under ethical concerns.

Science can tell us what the result of an action will be. Whether this result is "good" or "bad" is a moral statement that is not derived from Science. A moral statement of whether the outcome of a scientific endeavor is "good" or"bad" is by the injection of a moral value.

This injection of Moral value comes from emotions, subjective cultural constructs, religion, ect..

So Science can not tell mankind what is right or wrong morally or ethically.

Isn't this trivial?

No it is debatable. Have you seen Ruv's post?
No, I skip his posts on purpose.
"whether certain decisions might make us braver, smarter, kinder, more resilient and more or less tolerant."
This misses the point entirely as this is just what the problem aims at.
Simply put, from no analysis of what makes us kinder or what is kind (is) do you get the obligation to be kind (ought).
Of course science can in principle tell us how to be as kind, brave, compassionate and whatnot as possible, but it does not at all follow that one ought to be this way.

I'm curious. In your view, how do you get an "ought" at all?
That's the trick, I don't.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
janesix
Posts: 3,446
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7/22/2015 11:58:23 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/21/2015 11:37:20 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Science attempts to make models that accurately predict the observable world around us in terms of natural phenomena already accepted as true.

Science is a body of knowledge grown by Scientist.

Now Scientist are human beings operating under ethical concerns.

Science can tell us what the result of an action will be. Whether this result is "good" or "bad" is a moral statement that is not derived from Science. A moral statement of whether the outcome of a scientific endeavor is "good" or"bad" is by the injection of a moral value.

This injection of Moral value comes from emotions, subjective cultural constructs, religion, ect..

So Science can not tell mankind what is right or wrong morally or ethically.

No one said science could.

Morals certainly don't come from religion. Morals are innate.
UndeniableReality
Posts: 1,897
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7/22/2015 12:02:38 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 11:58:16 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/22/2015 11:54:40 AM, UndeniableReality wrote:
At 7/22/2015 11:23:25 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/22/2015 11:14:06 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 7/22/2015 7:39:01 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/21/2015 11:37:20 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Science attempts to make models that accurately predict the observable world around us in terms of natural phenomena already accepted as true.

Science is a body of knowledge grown by Scientist.

Now Scientist are human beings operating under ethical concerns.

Science can tell us what the result of an action will be. Whether this result is "good" or "bad" is a moral statement that is not derived from Science. A moral statement of whether the outcome of a scientific endeavor is "good" or"bad" is by the injection of a moral value.

This injection of Moral value comes from emotions, subjective cultural constructs, religion, ect..

So Science can not tell mankind what is right or wrong morally or ethically.

Isn't this trivial?

No it is debatable. Have you seen Ruv's post?
No, I skip his posts on purpose.
"whether certain decisions might make us braver, smarter, kinder, more resilient and more or less tolerant."
This misses the point entirely as this is just what the problem aims at.
Simply put, from no analysis of what makes us kinder or what is kind (is) do you get the obligation to be kind (ought).
Of course science can in principle tell us how to be as kind, brave, compassionate and whatnot as possible, but it does not at all follow that one ought to be this way.

I'm curious. In your view, how do you get an "ought" at all?
That's the trick, I don't.

I see. So in your view, are there no oughts, or is "ought" a useless concept?

How do you make decisions without some kind of "ought"?
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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7/22/2015 12:10:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 12:02:38 PM, UndeniableReality wrote:
At 7/22/2015 11:58:16 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/22/2015 11:54:40 AM, UndeniableReality wrote:
At 7/22/2015 11:23:25 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/22/2015 11:14:06 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 7/22/2015 7:39:01 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/21/2015 11:37:20 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Science attempts to make models that accurately predict the observable world around us in terms of natural phenomena already accepted as true.

Science is a body of knowledge grown by Scientist.

Now Scientist are human beings operating under ethical concerns.

Science can tell us what the result of an action will be. Whether this result is "good" or "bad" is a moral statement that is not derived from Science. A moral statement of whether the outcome of a scientific endeavor is "good" or"bad" is by the injection of a moral value.

This injection of Moral value comes from emotions, subjective cultural constructs, religion, ect..

So Science can not tell mankind what is right or wrong morally or ethically.

Isn't this trivial?

No it is debatable. Have you seen Ruv's post?
No, I skip his posts on purpose.
"whether certain decisions might make us braver, smarter, kinder, more resilient and more or less tolerant."
This misses the point entirely as this is just what the problem aims at.
Simply put, from no analysis of what makes us kinder or what is kind (is) do you get the obligation to be kind (ought).
Of course science can in principle tell us how to be as kind, brave, compassionate and whatnot as possible, but it does not at all follow that one ought to be this way.

I'm curious. In your view, how do you get an "ought" at all?
That's the trick, I don't.

I see. So in your view, are there no oughts, or is "ought" a useless concept?
I wouldn't call it useless. It's pretty usefull to most people, there is no denying that. I merely think one is never under a moral obligation.

How do you make decisions without some kind of "ought"?
I don't know why I would need a moral obligation to eat breakfast to decide not to skip it.
There needs to be a clarification. I think categorical imperatives are nonsensical, hypothetical ones are not.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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7/22/2015 12:12:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 12:02:38 PM, UndeniableReality wrote:
Im curious as to how you get oughts on your view.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
UndeniableReality
Posts: 1,897
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7/22/2015 12:19:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 12:10:48 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/22/2015 12:02:38 PM, UndeniableReality wrote:
At 7/22/2015 11:58:16 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/22/2015 11:54:40 AM, UndeniableReality wrote:
At 7/22/2015 11:23:25 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/22/2015 11:14:06 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 7/22/2015 7:39:01 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/21/2015 11:37:20 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Science attempts to make models that accurately predict the observable world around us in terms of natural phenomena already accepted as true.

Science is a body of knowledge grown by Scientist.

Now Scientist are human beings operating under ethical concerns.

Science can tell us what the result of an action will be. Whether this result is "good" or "bad" is a moral statement that is not derived from Science. A moral statement of whether the outcome of a scientific endeavor is "good" or"bad" is by the injection of a moral value.

This injection of Moral value comes from emotions, subjective cultural constructs, religion, ect..

So Science can not tell mankind what is right or wrong morally or ethically.

Isn't this trivial?

No it is debatable. Have you seen Ruv's post?
No, I skip his posts on purpose.
"whether certain decisions might make us braver, smarter, kinder, more resilient and more or less tolerant."
This misses the point entirely as this is just what the problem aims at.
Simply put, from no analysis of what makes us kinder or what is kind (is) do you get the obligation to be kind (ought).
Of course science can in principle tell us how to be as kind, brave, compassionate and whatnot as possible, but it does not at all follow that one ought to be this way.

I'm curious. In your view, how do you get an "ought" at all?
That's the trick, I don't.

I see. So in your view, are there no oughts, or is "ought" a useless concept?
I wouldn't call it useless. It's pretty usefull to most people, there is no denying that. I merely think one is never under a moral obligation.

How do you make decisions without some kind of "ought"?
I don't know why I would need a moral obligation to eat breakfast to decide not to skip it.
There needs to be a clarification. I think categorical imperatives are nonsensical, hypothetical ones are not.

I did not know that "ought" referred exclusively to moral obligations. I thought it simply referred to primary motivating factors for actions, or at least to reasons upon which to base morals.

But if it's a moral obligation, then the decision to eat breakfast isn't necessarily very relevant, I agree. Do you need an "ought" to decide to contribute to society or your community, or to not hurt others?

Again, just asking out of curiosity and for clarification. I'm not leading to a point or an argument. Just for my own learning.
UndeniableReality
Posts: 1,897
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7/22/2015 12:20:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 12:12:45 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/22/2015 12:02:38 PM, UndeniableReality wrote:
Im curious as to how you get oughts on your view.

As per my recent response, it seems I would need to understand better what we mean by "ought" in order to even begin to answer that question.
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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7/22/2015 12:32:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 12:19:23 PM, UndeniableReality wrote:
I'm curious. In your view, how do you get an "ought" at all?
That's the trick, I don't.

I see. So in your view, are there no oughts, or is "ought" a useless concept?
I wouldn't call it useless. It's pretty usefull to most people, there is no denying that. I merely think one is never under a moral obligation.

How do you make decisions without some kind of "ought"?
I don't know why I would need a moral obligation to eat breakfast to decide not to skip it.
There needs to be a clarification. I think categorical imperatives are nonsensical, hypothetical ones are not.

I did not know that "ought" referred exclusively to moral obligations. I thought it simply referred to primary motivating factors for actions, or at least to reasons upon which to base morals.
I adhere to moral skepticism, so I actually don't do that stricktly speaking (grounding morality). Don't get me wrong, I have some pretty strong views concerning applied ethics, but I would never say I can ground them in something. Which in turn does not mean they are arbitrary. It's complicated. Let's say I still make moral statements because of their pragmatic value.

But if it's a moral obligation, then the decision to eat breakfast isn't necessarily very relevant, I agree. Do you need an "ought" to decide to contribute to society or your community, or to not hurt others?
When we say "you ought not to kill", then we are talking about a categorical imperative. You ought not to kill regardless of your desires and wishes. This I think is nonsensical.
These categorical imperatives have to be distinguished from hypothetical imperatives, e.g.,
you want X,
the best way to achieve X is to do Y,
therefore you should do Y.
I sure do make my contributions to society and help people, I just don't think there could be a reason for me to do it if I did't want to do it in the first place.

Again, just asking out of curiosity and for clarification. I'm not leading to a point or an argument. Just for my own learning.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
UndeniableReality
Posts: 1,897
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7/22/2015 12:37:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 12:32:59 PM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/22/2015 12:19:23 PM, UndeniableReality wrote:
I'm curious. In your view, how do you get an "ought" at all?
That's the trick, I don't.

I see. So in your view, are there no oughts, or is "ought" a useless concept?
I wouldn't call it useless. It's pretty usefull to most people, there is no denying that. I merely think one is never under a moral obligation.

How do you make decisions without some kind of "ought"?
I don't know why I would need a moral obligation to eat breakfast to decide not to skip it.
There needs to be a clarification. I think categorical imperatives are nonsensical, hypothetical ones are not.

I did not know that "ought" referred exclusively to moral obligations. I thought it simply referred to primary motivating factors for actions, or at least to reasons upon which to base morals.
I adhere to moral skepticism, so I actually don't do that stricktly speaking (grounding morality). Don't get me wrong, I have some pretty strong views concerning applied ethics, but I would never say I can ground them in something. Which in turn does not mean they are arbitrary. It's complicated. Let's say I still make moral statements because of their pragmatic value.

I think I am with you, perhaps entirely, but I'm not sure I fully understand the distinction between ethics and morals.

But if it's a moral obligation, then the decision to eat breakfast isn't necessarily very relevant, I agree. Do you need an "ought" to decide to contribute to society or your community, or to not hurt others?
When we say "you ought not to kill", then we are talking about a categorical imperative. You ought not to kill regardless of your desires and wishes. This I think is nonsensical.

Agreed.

These categorical imperatives have to be distinguished from hypothetical imperatives, e.g.,
you want X,
the best way to achieve X is to do Y,
therefore you should do Y.
I sure do make my contributions to society and help people, I just don't think there could be a reason for me to do it if I did't want to do it in the first place.

Yes. I have stated a similar idea by saying that all needs and oughts are conditional on wants.
It sounds like our view on this might be very similar.

Again, just asking out of curiosity and for clarification. I'm not leading to a point or an argument. Just for my own learning.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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7/22/2015 2:30:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 11:23:25 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/22/2015 11:14:06 AM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 7/22/2015 7:39:01 AM, Fkkize wrote:
At 7/21/2015 11:37:20 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Science attempts to make models that accurately predict the observable world around us in terms of natural phenomena already accepted as true.

Science is a body of knowledge grown by Scientist.

Now Scientist are human beings operating under ethical concerns.

Science can tell us what the result of an action will be. Whether this result is "good" or "bad" is a moral statement that is not derived from Science. A moral statement of whether the outcome of a scientific endeavor is "good" or"bad" is by the injection of a moral value.

This injection of Moral value comes from emotions, subjective cultural constructs, religion, ect..

So Science can not tell mankind what is right or wrong morally or ethically.

Isn't this trivial?

No it is debatable. Have you seen Ruv's post?
No, I skip his posts on purpose.

You're welcome! I purposefully write them just to give you something to skip.
UndeniableReality
Posts: 1,897
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7/22/2015 3:01:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 12:56:02 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/21/2015 11:37:20 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Science can tell us what the result of an action will be. Whether this result is "good" or "bad" is a moral statement that is not derived from Science.

Science can do a lot more than that. For example, it can:

* Detect, measure, model and trace the development and expression of compassion and altruism;
* Measure and model pain, anguish, frustration and their impacts on psychological and intellectual development;
* Model the causes of anger, hate, fear, the desire to hurt and harm; and
* Explore the psychology and sociology of ethics.

A moral statement of whether the outcome of a scientific endeavor is "good" or"bad" is by the injection of a moral value.

Exploring the psychosocial consequences of different kinds of education, influences, examples and incentives are also legitimate areas of scientific study.

So really, Mhykiel, all science doesn't do is build consensus on our priorities. It's more than capable of finding ways to show us the moral and ethical consequences of our decisions, and the efficacy of our values, methods and protocols. it's perfectly capable of finding ways to pronounce on whether certain decisions might make us braver, smarter, kinder, more resilient and more or less tolerant. It's even capable of showing us good ways to build and sustain consensus. :p

We can't really derive any sort of meaningful "ought" without a good understanding of what "is", can we? Nor can we derive a means by which we can optimally achieve some goal without a good understanding of what "is".
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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7/22/2015 3:49:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 3:01:55 PM, UndeniableReality wrote:
At 7/22/2015 12:56:02 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Really, all science doesn't do is build consensus on our priorities. It's more than capable of finding ways to show us the moral and ethical consequences of our decisions, and the efficacy of our values, methods and protocols. it's perfectly capable of finding ways to pronounce on whether certain decisions might make us braver, smarter, kinder, more resilient and more or less tolerant. It's even capable of showing us good ways to build and sustain consensus. :p

We can't really derive any sort of meaningful "ought" without a good understanding of what "is", can we? Nor can we derive a means by which we can optimally achieve some goal without a good understanding of what "is".

Yes. Mhykiel has taken a popular and fairly traditional view that science is amoral and therefore (by implication) morality must be cultural and/or theological.

Some scientists agree with that -- and for a physicist or biologist, say, it may certainly look that way. Stephen Jay Gould argued it for example, in his idea of 'Non-Overlapping Magisteria (NoMa) [http://www.colorado.edu...]

But I think it's more complicated than that, for four reasons:

1) As you rightly pointed out, UR, any reasonable approach to morality and ethics cannot escape accountability to a comprehensive, contestable understanding of the way things are. Science is our most robust and illuminating methodology for exploring and understanding how things are as well as evaluating our own ignorance, so it seems to me inescapable that morality and ethics must be accountable to scientific (i.e. empirical) verification.

2) While it has been convenient for a long time to separate the teaching of humanities (e.g. languages, arts, philosophy, theology) from the teaching of science, the reality is that science observes no such epistemological division. Linguistics is massively in debt to scientific methodology and now fully accountable to science for its intellectual foundations. The arts are subject to and informed by scientific analysis, and art is now massively enabled by STEM disciplines (consider electronic music, graphic design and architecture, for instance.) Philosophy has been outstripped by its scion, to the point where science now holds philosophy to account far better than philosophers do science. And theology has never simply been an exploration of the metaphysical. It derives its claims to authority from its pronouncements of the physical -- and those are subject to scientific verification, while the study of religious belief and impacts is itself a scientific discipline.

3) Science itself -- both philosophically and methodologically -- is both an ethical and moral practice. Every discipline has codes of ethics, most mentioning the pursuit of human good as a chief objective, while those disciplines relating directly to humanity -- medicine, psychology, sociology, economics -- are inextricably concerned with human welfare. Were any of these disciplines that asked theologians or philosophers how they should act, or did their practitioners themselves form views based on shared moral apprehensions?

4) Science has revealed that core elements of morality: empathy, sympathy, compassion -- are shared among individuals and cultures (and can even be found in some other animals.) Being shared then, they are intrinsic. Being intrinsic, they may be inseparable from human investigations of all kinds -- in the kinds of questions we ask, the way we go about finding answers, and the way we evaluate the answers we discover.

So, in principle Mhykiel's quote of Hume's observation is right, as far as it goes: "Is" is not "Ought". But just because science explores "is" does not mean its questions, methods and evaluations ignore "ought"; do not inform "ought"; or cannot produce a better "ought".

So as I replied at top, science does not itself build consensus on "ought" (that's a matter for social dialogue and governance), but it's neck-deep informing, shaping and critiquing virtually all "ought" conversations.
Mhykiel
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7/22/2015 4:00:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 12:56:02 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/21/2015 11:37:20 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Science can tell us what the result of an action will be. Whether this result is "good" or "bad" is a moral statement that is not derived from Science.

Science can do a lot more than that. For example, it can:

* Detect, measure, model and trace the development and expression of compassion and altruism;
* Measure and model pain, anguish, frustration and their impacts on psychological and intellectual development;
* Model the causes of anger, hate, fear, the desire to hurt and harm; and
* Explore the psychology and sociology of ethics.

A moral statement of whether the outcome of a scientific endeavor is "good" or"bad" is by the injection of a moral value.

Exploring the psychosocial consequences of different kinds of education, influences, examples and incentives are also legitimate areas of scientific study.

So really, Mhykiel, all science doesn't do is build consensus on our priorities. It's more than capable of finding ways to show us the moral and ethical consequences of our decisions, and the efficacy of our values, methods and protocols. it's perfectly capable of finding ways to pronounce on whether certain decisions might make us braver, smarter, kinder, more resilient and more or less tolerant. It's even capable of showing us good ways to build and sustain consensus. :p

Where is it demonstrated by science that being kinder is good?

Science can inform us of predictable results, but weighing the moral value of that result is not from science.
RuvDraba
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7/22/2015 4:26:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 4:00:53 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 7/22/2015 12:56:02 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Really, all science doesn't do is build consensus on our priorities. It's more than capable of finding ways to show us the moral and ethical consequences of our decisions, and the efficacy of our values, methods and protocols. it's perfectly capable of finding ways to pronounce on whether certain decisions might make us braver, smarter, kinder, more resilient and more or less tolerant. It's even capable of showing us good ways to build and sustain consensus. :p

Where is it demonstrated by science that being kinder is good?

As in, the exploration of possible links between altruism and survival in species that cooperate for food-gathering, child-rearing and defense? The exploration of empathy, sympathy and compassion in non-human species? There are some fascinating studies on this, Mhykiel. Happy to dig them up if you're interested.
UndeniableReality
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7/22/2015 5:07:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 3:49:08 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/22/2015 3:01:55 PM, UndeniableReality wrote:
At 7/22/2015 12:56:02 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Really, all science doesn't do is build consensus on our priorities. It's more than capable of finding ways to show us the moral and ethical consequences of our decisions, and the efficacy of our values, methods and protocols. it's perfectly capable of finding ways to pronounce on whether certain decisions might make us braver, smarter, kinder, more resilient and more or less tolerant. It's even capable of showing us good ways to build and sustain consensus. :p

We can't really derive any sort of meaningful "ought" without a good understanding of what "is", can we? Nor can we derive a means by which we can optimally achieve some goal without a good understanding of what "is".

Yes. Mhykiel has taken a popular and fairly traditional view that science is amoral and therefore (by implication) morality must be cultural and/or theological.

Some scientists agree with that -- and for a physicist or biologist, say, it may certainly look that way. Stephen Jay Gould argued it for example, in his idea of 'Non-Overlapping Magisteria (NoMa) [http://www.colorado.edu...]

But I think it's more complicated than that, for four reasons:

1) As you rightly pointed out, UR, any reasonable approach to morality and ethics cannot escape accountability to a comprehensive, contestable understanding of the way things are. Science is our most robust and illuminating methodology for exploring and understanding how things are as well as evaluating our own ignorance, so it seems to me inescapable that morality and ethics must be accountable to scientific (i.e. empirical) verification.

I think that's right. It's not enough to agree upon moral goals or ethical and moral practices. We need to also go back and verify to what extent our ethical and moral practices successfully achieves those moral goals and whether they are the best ethical and moral practices we can develop. In parallel, we need to always update those ethical and moral practices with respect to new knowledge. Finally, part of being moral, I think, is to continually question one's own moral goals. This should apply to societies as well.

2) While it has been convenient for a long time to separate the teaching of humanities (e.g. languages, arts, philosophy, theology) from the teaching of science, the reality is that science observes no such epistemological division. Linguistics is massively in debt to scientific methodology and now fully accountable to science for its intellectual foundations. The arts are subject to and informed by scientific analysis, and art is now massively enabled by STEM disciplines (consider electronic music, graphic design and architecture, for instance.) Philosophy has been outstripped by its scion, to the point where science now holds philosophy to account far better than philosophers do science. And theology has never simply been an exploration of the metaphysical. It derives its claims to authority from its pronouncements of the physical -- and those are subject to scientific verification, while the study of religious belief and impacts is itself a scientific discipline.

That's right. It's difficult to conceive of the existence of truly isolated fields of studies. All fields have implications for others, either directly or indirectly. And ultimately, if it has any connection to reality, it is at least indirectly addressable by science, whether the technologies to address it exist at the moment or not.

3) Science itself -- both philosophically and methodologically -- is both an ethical and moral practice. Every discipline has codes of ethics, most mentioning the pursuit of human good as a chief objective, while those disciplines relating directly to humanity -- medicine, psychology, sociology, economics -- are inextricably concerned with human welfare. Were any of these disciplines that asked theologians or philosophers how they should act, or did their practitioners themselves form views based on shared moral apprehensions?

If I'm not mistaken, this was one of the main points you were making in your first post. But question you add is a good one. Did theology and philosophy have any expertise to bring to bear in developing these moral and ethical standards and practices? I'm honestly not sure. What I tend to see, during the development of new treatment methodologies for example (I've recently reviewed the literature on clinical neurofeedback, so this came to mind), is these debates about ethics and morals taking place in the scientific literature without much reference, if any, to philosophical bodies.

The underwhelming extent to which modern philosophy has impact in science leaves one to wonder what expertise exists within that discipline for scientists to draw upon, since scientists are also trained in critical thinking, formal logic, etc. I've often wondered this, but not received compelling answers which were not based on a gross misunderstanding of how scientists are trained or how science progresses. For clarity, that is to say that scientists seem to be perfectly capable of doing their own philosophy in a productive way, rather than getting side-tracked in the many ways in which philosophers seem to.

4) Science has revealed that core elements of morality: empathy, sympathy, compassion -- are shared among individuals and cultures (and can even be found in some other animals.) Being shared then, they are intrinsic. Being intrinsic, they may be inseparable from human investigations of all kinds -- in the kinds of questions we ask, the way we go about finding answers, and the way we evaluate the answers we discover.

So, in principle Mhykiel's quote of Hume's observation is right, as far as it goes: "Is" is not "Ought". But just because science explores "is" does not mean its questions, methods and evaluations ignore "ought"; do not inform "ought"; or cannot produce a better "ought".

So as I replied at top, science does not itself build consensus on "ought" (that's a matter for social dialogue and governance), but it's neck-deep informing, shaping and critiquing virtually all "ought" conversations.

This last point is one which I think has been missed, though you have stated it explicitly in your first post...
UndeniableReality
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7/22/2015 5:09:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 4:00:53 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 7/22/2015 12:56:02 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/21/2015 11:37:20 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Science can tell us what the result of an action will be. Whether this result is "good" or "bad" is a moral statement that is not derived from Science.

Science can do a lot more than that. For example, it can:

* Detect, measure, model and trace the development and expression of compassion and altruism;
* Measure and model pain, anguish, frustration and their impacts on psychological and intellectual development;
* Model the causes of anger, hate, fear, the desire to hurt and harm; and
* Explore the psychology and sociology of ethics.

A moral statement of whether the outcome of a scientific endeavor is "good" or"bad" is by the injection of a moral value.

Exploring the psychosocial consequences of different kinds of education, influences, examples and incentives are also legitimate areas of scientific study.

So really, Mhykiel, all science doesn't do is build consensus on our priorities. It's more than capable of finding ways to show us the moral and ethical consequences of our decisions, and the efficacy of our values, methods and protocols. it's perfectly capable of finding ways to pronounce on whether certain decisions might make us braver, smarter, kinder, more resilient and more or less tolerant. It's even capable of showing us good ways to build and sustain consensus. :p

Where is it demonstrated by science that being kinder is good?

Science can inform us of predictable results, but weighing the moral value of that result is not from science.

You may want to read the first line of the last paragraph of Ruv's first post in this thread, in case you haven't already.
Mhykiel
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7/22/2015 5:18:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 4:26:06 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/22/2015 4:00:53 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 7/22/2015 12:56:02 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Really, all science doesn't do is build consensus on our priorities. It's more than capable of finding ways to show us the moral and ethical consequences of our decisions, and the efficacy of our values, methods and protocols. it's perfectly capable of finding ways to pronounce on whether certain decisions might make us braver, smarter, kinder, more resilient and more or less tolerant. It's even capable of showing us good ways to build and sustain consensus. :p

Where is it demonstrated by science that being kinder is good?

As in, the exploration of possible links between altruism and survival in species that cooperate for food-gathering, child-rearing and defense? The exploration of empathy, sympathy and compassion in non-human species? There are some fascinating studies on this, Mhykiel. Happy to dig them up if you're interested.

I read some. What is that saying 'one brother or two cousins?'

Where in science does it say altruism is a 'good' thing?

Do you not see that sciences is explaining the conditions and result. Any judgement on what result is beneficial or detrimental is taking into account moral values not derived from science.
Mhykiel
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7/22/2015 5:21:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 5:09:12 PM, UndeniableReality wrote:
At 7/22/2015 4:00:53 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 7/22/2015 12:56:02 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/21/2015 11:37:20 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Science can tell us what the result of an action will be. Whether this result is "good" or "bad" is a moral statement that is not derived from Science.

Science can do a lot more than that. For example, it can:

* Detect, measure, model and trace the development and expression of compassion and altruism;
* Measure and model pain, anguish, frustration and their impacts on psychological and intellectual development;
* Model the causes of anger, hate, fear, the desire to hurt and harm; and
* Explore the psychology and sociology of ethics.

A moral statement of whether the outcome of a scientific endeavor is "good" or"bad" is by the injection of a moral value.

Exploring the psychosocial consequences of different kinds of education, influences, examples and incentives are also legitimate areas of scientific study.

So really, Mhykiel, all science doesn't do is build consensus on our priorities. It's more than capable of finding ways to show us the moral and ethical consequences of our decisions, and the efficacy of our values, methods and protocols. it's perfectly capable of finding ways to pronounce on whether certain decisions might make us braver, smarter, kinder, more resilient and more or less tolerant. It's even capable of showing us good ways to build and sustain consensus. :p

Where is it demonstrated by science that being kinder is good?

Science can inform us of predictable results, but weighing the moral value of that result is not from science.

You may want to read the first line of the last paragraph of Ruv's first post in this thread, in case you haven't already.

Where in that sentence does it say how science assigns moral values to things?

As far as I can tell it is a statement about how science is investigating the conditions that shape moral opinions.
RuvDraba
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7/22/2015 5:22:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 5:07:52 PM, UndeniableReality wrote:
At 7/22/2015 3:49:08 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
1) As you rightly pointed out, UR, any reasonable approach to morality and ethics cannot escape accountability to a comprehensive, contestable understanding of the way things are. Science is our most robust and illuminating methodology for exploring and understanding how things are as well as evaluating our own ignorance, so it seems to me inescapable that morality and ethics must be accountable to scientific (i.e. empirical) verification.

I think that's right. It's not enough to agree upon moral goals or ethical and moral practices. We need to also go back and verify to what extent our ethical and moral practices successfully achieves those moral goals and whether they are the best ethical and moral practices we can develop. In parallel, we need to always update those ethical and moral practices with respect to new knowledge. Finally, part of being moral, I think, is to continually question one's own moral goals. This should apply to societies as well.

Exactly. It's hard to see how we can do any of that without the kind of discipline science offers.

3) Science itself -- both philosophically and methodologically -- is both an ethical and moral practice. Every discipline has codes of ethics, most mentioning the pursuit of human good as a chief objective, while those disciplines relating directly to humanity -- medicine, psychology, sociology, economics -- are inextricably concerned with human welfare. Were any of these disciplines that asked theologians or philosophers how they should act, or did their practitioners themselves form views based on shared moral apprehensions?

If I'm not mistaken, this was one of the main points you were making in your first post. But question you add is a good one. Did theology and philosophy have any expertise to bring to bear in developing these moral and ethical standards and practices? I'm honestly not sure.

Precisely. Any body of thought can raise questions and conjectures, and I'd be happy to agree that theology, philosophy and art do a great deal to inspire. But can morality work from only questions, conjectures and inspirations but no accountability? And does accountability even work without systematic evidence, reason and refutation?

What I tend to see, during the development of new treatment methodologies for example (I've recently reviewed the literature on clinical neurofeedback, so this came to mind), is these debates about ethics and morals taking place in the scientific literature without much reference, if any, to philosophical bodies.

Exactly. It's appropriate that any professional body hold itself publicly accountable -- and I think that to a great extent, science does. However, even before public accountability is professional accountability, and I think science does a much better job of that than most professions.

The underwhelming extent to which modern philosophy has impact in science leaves one to wonder what expertise exists within that discipline for scientists to draw upon, since scientists are also trained in critical thinking, formal logic, etc.
And worse, we routinely see philosophers making newbie category errors that science recognised and dealt with long ago.

I think there is certainly a place for philosophers to philosophise about science. It's just that I think not all are tall enough to go on the ride. And those who aren't, seem unaware of it, and their commentary can mislead the public.

So as I replied at top, science does not itself build consensus on "ought" (that's a matter for social dialogue and governance), but it's neck-deep informing, shaping and critiquing virtually all "ought" conversations.

This last point is one which I think has been missed, though you have stated it explicitly in your first post...

Mhykiel often makes the mistake of thinking he knows all sides of the question before he posts. This can lead to inadvertant strawmanning (at least, I think it's inadvertant.) In any case, I attribute it to thinking hard before posting (to his credit), but then not questioning and thinking enough during discussion. When that happens, I find I have to wave an idea past his nose a few times before he notices it. :)
Mhykiel
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7/22/2015 5:26:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 11:45:00 AM, Otokage wrote:
At 7/21/2015 11:37:20 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Science attempts to make models that accurately predict the observable world around us in terms of natural phenomena already accepted as true.

Science is a body of knowledge grown by Scientist.

Now Scientist are human beings operating under ethical concerns.

Science can tell us what the result of an action will be. Whether this result is "good" or "bad" is a moral statement that is not derived from Science. A moral statement of whether the outcome of a scientific endeavor is "good" or"bad" is by the injection of a moral value.

This injection of Moral value comes from emotions, subjective cultural constructs, religion, ect..

So Science can not tell mankind what is right or wrong morally or ethically.

Can you predict if an action of yours is going to be considered good or bad by society? If the answer is yes, then you must be using a model to make this prediction, there's no other way, and since science is about creating models, then science can effectively tell which actions are good and which are bad. What you won't find, is science judging actions through the prism of moral absolutism/objectivism, since moral absolutism is an unscientific concept related to religion, which has no basis on reality, and therefore no scientific model can be based on it.

You are equating moral values to whether society sees things as good or bad.

And Science as a method and body of knowledge attempts to explain natural observations in natural terms.

From this discerning an abstract non-natural conception of value is quite unscientific.
UndeniableReality
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7/22/2015 5:27:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/22/2015 5:21:12 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 7/22/2015 5:09:12 PM, UndeniableReality wrote:
At 7/22/2015 4:00:53 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
At 7/22/2015 12:56:02 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 7/21/2015 11:37:20 PM, Mhykiel wrote:
Science can tell us what the result of an action will be. Whether this result is "good" or "bad" is a moral statement that is not derived from Science.

Science can do a lot more than that. For example, it can:

* Detect, measure, model and trace the development and expression of compassion and altruism;
* Measure and model pain, anguish, frustration and their impacts on psychological and intellectual development;
* Model the causes of anger, hate, fear, the desire to hurt and harm; and
* Explore the psychology and sociology of ethics.

A moral statement of whether the outcome of a scientific endeavor is "good" or"bad" is by the injection of a moral value.

Exploring the psychosocial consequences of different kinds of education, influences, examples and incentives are also legitimate areas of scientific study.

So really, Mhykiel, all science doesn't do is build consensus on our priorities. It's more than capable of finding ways to show us the moral and ethical consequences of our decisions, and the efficacy of our values, methods and protocols. it's perfectly capable of finding ways to pronounce on whether certain decisions might make us braver, smarter, kinder, more resilient and more or less tolerant. It's even capable of showing us good ways to build and sustain consensus. :p

Where is it demonstrated by science that being kinder is good?

Science can inform us of predictable results, but weighing the moral value of that result is not from science.

You may want to read the first line of the last paragraph of Ruv's first post in this thread, in case you haven't already.

Where in that sentence does it say how science assigns moral values to things?

As far as I can tell it is a statement about how science is investigating the conditions that shape moral opinions.

What do you mean by assigning moral values to things? Because I thought that paragraph specifically addressed that.