Re: "feels good" is inherently meaningful

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sat Jul 03 2004 - 16:01:05 MDT

On Jul 2, 2004, at 12:06 PM, Metaqualia wrote:

>> No, it is rather because your "morality" at its root is limited to
>> what
>> "feels good". I find that inherently meaningless.
> But morality is inherently about what feels good.

No, it isn't. Morality is part of ethics. It is about the behavior
that is proper between sentient beings. That some of this behavior
"feels good" says we have found some parts of what we consider moral of
value (and trained ourselves to "feel good when doing it) and/or
become evolutionarily wired to enjoy them. Saying that what we enjoy
is per se what is moral puts the cart before the horse. This is why I
object to your approach.

Many behaviors that are moral are not accompanied by feeling good.
Some of them are things that may feel quite bad or be counter to our
immediate well-being but are what we nonetheless believe is appropriate
behavior between sentients. If this ability to go beyond what feels
good did not exist then we would be forever at the mercy of our
evolutionary programming. We would also conclude that such
gaucheries as being wired to a non-addictive, non-debilitating heroin
supply is a fine solution for maximizing moral value to human beings.

- samantha

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