Re: Collective Volition: Wanting vs Doing.

From: Jef Allbright (
Date: Tue Jun 15 2004 - 00:50:10 MDT

Metaqualia wrote:

>>What is moral, in the minds of people of disparate backgrounds, tends to
>>converge as their understanding and interests broaden.
>I tend to disagree. And what do you mean by this broadening?
>Are we all converging toward suicide bombing then? :)

Moral judgments are based on shared values and thinking about means to
preserve and/or extend those values. Values are generally the result of
evolutionary processes and environmental pressure, i.e. "what works",
and it's important to understand that values can change, with resultant
ripples through the moral fabric.

There is a tendancy for "what works" to proliferate over time.
Therefore shared values and accompanying moral judgments tend to
proliferate over time. (Broadening over time)

There is a tendenancy for previously isolated groups to interact over
time. On the whole it always moves in this direction and not toward
greater isolation. The result again is a tendency toward shared values
and therefore shared moral judgments. (Broadening of the interaction space)

There is a tendency toward increasing complexity and greater
intelligence (problem solving ability) in the universe. This is a
tendency toward increasingly discovering what works, and what works in
one place is likely to work in another place. As above, this tends
toward development of common values and common moral judgments overall.
(Broadening awareness or intelligence)

All of these tendencies are thermodynamic in nature and progressive.
This is why I call this thinking the Arrow of morality. Some jump to
the conclusion that this is the Naturalistic Fallacy in new clothes, but
if you look closely here there are no "oughts" imposed on what "is".
It's just the the Naturalistic Wisdom that it's better to choose what works.

- Jef

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