Re: where morals come from

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Tue Jan 06 2004 - 02:44:33 MST

On Sun, 04 Jan 2004 19:59:44 -0500
"Perry E. Metzger" <> wrote:

> Samantha Atkins <> writes:
> > On Sat, 03 Jan 2004 01:46:42 -0500
> > "Perry E. Metzger" <> wrote:
> >
> >> By the way, I don't see any experiment that would tell us that it is
> >> wrong to torture you (yes, you!) in order to turn your liver into
> >> tasty meat, either. As it happens, I wouldn't do it because my
> >> personal behavior code doesn't go for that sort of thing -- but I
> >> can't see any objective way to determine that it is wrong.
> >>
> >
> > Please supply the following:
> >
> > a) what you understand morality or ethics is and what it is based on;
> I don't think there really is such a thing. In general, we pick
> rules of thumb for behavior to optimize our own goals (generally
> things like survival). We pick such rules because it is impossible to
> always consider all consequences of one's actions. Thus, one picks the
> rule of thumb "don't kill people except in self defense" because it
> happens to help you avoid getting into serious trouble that would lead
> to your not surviving.

So you believe that humans (and sentients generally) have no interest in finding a more peaceful, productive, happy, creative, joyful, intelligent ways to be with one another? You believe there are no such ways, that we cannot over time build up moral principles, ideals and tools that work toward this goal - not perfectly by any means, but incrementally?
Your argument is much as I expected given the line you have been going down in these exchanges. But I hope you do not adhere to it fully or lock yourself in its deadly embrace for too long.


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