I figure morality as a topic is popular enough and important enough and related-to-rationality enough to deserve its own thread.
Questions, comments, rants, links, whatever are all welcome. If you're like me you've probably been aching to share your ten paragraph take on meta-ethics or whatever for about three uncountable eons now. Here's your chance.
I recommend reading Wikipedia's article on meta-ethics before jumping into the fray, if only to get familiar with the standard terminology. The standard terminology is often abused. This makes some people sad. Please don't make those people sad.
So where can I find your ten paragraph take on meta-ethics?
A common response (although, one I cannot find an example of via the search feature, blah) I have observed from Less Wrongers to the challenge of interpersonal utility comparison is the claim that "we do it all the time". I take this to mean that when we make decisions we often consider the preferences of our friends and family (and sometimes strangers or enemies) and that whatever is going on in our minds when we do this approximates interpersonal utility calculations (in some objective sense). This, to me, seems like legerdemain for basically this reason:... (read more)
The other day, I forgot my eyeglasses at home and while walking I got a good sized piece of dust or dirt lodged in my eye. My eye was incapacitated for the better part of a minute until tears washed it out. I had a bit of an epiphany: 3^^^3 dust specks suddenly seems a lot scarier, something you obviously need to agregate and assign a monstrous pile of disutility to. So Basically I have updated my position on torture vs specks.
I have a pill that will make you a psychopath. You will retain all your intellectual abilities and all understanding of moral theory, but your emotional reactions to others suffering will cease. You will still have the empathy to understand that others are suffering, but you won't feel automatic sympathy for it.
Do you want to take it?
I am having a discussion on reddit (I am TheMeiguoren), and I have a a moral quandry that I want to run by the community.
I'll highlight the main point (the context is a discussion about immortality):... (read more)
I have a question: what is akrasia exactly?
Say I have to finish a paper, but I also enjoy wasting time on the internet. All things considered, I decide it would be better for me to finish the paper than for me to waste time on the internet. And yet I waste time on the internet. What's going on there? It can't just be a reflex or a tick: my reflexes aren't that sophisticated. Given how complicated wasting time on the internet is, and that I decidedly enjoy it, it looks like an intentional action, something which is the result of my reasoning. Yet I reasoned... (read more)
Summary: I'm wondering whether anyone (especially moral anti-realists) would disagree with the statement, "The utility of an agent can only depend on the mental state of that agent".
I have had little success In my attempts to devise a coherent moral realist theory of meta-ethics, and am no longer very sure that moral realism is true, but there is one statement about morality that seems clearly true to me. "The utility of an agent can only depend on the mental state of that agent". Call this statement S. By utility I roughly mean how goo... (read more)
Love - in increase in her utility causes an increase in your utility.
Hate - in increase in her utility causes a decrease in your utility.
Indifference - a change in her utility has no influence on your utility.
Love = good.
Hate = evil.
Indifference = how almost everyone feels towards almost everyone.
I've gotten to thinking that morality and rationality are very, very isomorphic. The former seems to require the latter, and in my experience the latter gives rise to the former. So they may not even be completely distinguishable. We've got lots of commonalities between the two, noting that both are very difficult for humans due to our haphazard makeup, and both have imaginary Ideal versions (respectively: God, and the agent who only has true beliefs and optimal decisions and infinite comp... (read more)
Question: What is the definition of morality? What is morality? For what humans use this concept and what motivitates humans to better understand morality, whatever it is?