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Old 05-14-2008, 08:53 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,694
Default Re: Free Will: Metaethics Edition

BN,

I think we probably agree about most things, but at some point you make a little leap of faith that I don't find justified.

In any case, let me try to list the things we agree on to try to elucidate what we don't agree on. I think it may be in the last 5 words of point 9.

1) Self-interest, kinship bonds, cooperative adaptations and at least a primitive notion of fairness evolve among social animals to the extent that at least some non-human primates can be said to exhibit "proto-moral" behavior.

2) Human beings, thanks to their big abstraction-facilitating brains, use of language and emotional makeup develop proto-morality into sophisticated systems of rule-governed ethical behavior.

3) Ethical disputes can be resolved rationally based on shared principles.

4) The result of an adequately resolved ethical dispute can be called morally right.

5) Violations of ethical conduct can be called morally wrong.

6) Human ethical behavior in general can be described in terms of approximations to what's morally right and morally wrong, taking into account (or not) all sorts of sophisticated issues of diminished capacity, extenuating circumstances, etc. , etc.

7) Given 6, rational people can disagree about what's right or wrong, depending on how much weight they give to some fuzzy factors in the mix.

8) Prisoner's Dilemma type problems of self-interest may be worked out by coming to a social contract arrangement about the appropriateness (utillity) of altruistic behavior.

9) There is nothing mysterious about ethics, thus no requirement for gods, souls, or absolute goods and evils.
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