“Moral Emotions and Moral Behavior”
“Shame, guilt, embarrassment, and pride are members of a family of “self-conscious emotions” that are evoked by self-reflection and self-evaluation. This self-evaluation may be implicit or explicit, consciously experienced or transpiring beneath the radar of our awareness. But importantly, the self is the object of these self-conscious emotions. As the self-reflects upon the self, moral self-conscious emotions provide immediate punishment (or reinforcement) of behavior. In effect, shame, guilt, embarrassment, and pride function as an emotional moral barometer, providing immediate and salient feedback on our social and moral acceptability. When we sin, transgress, or err, aversive feelings of shame, guilt, or embarrassment are likely to ensue. When we “do the right thing,” positive feelings of pride and self-approval are likely to result. Moreover, actual behavior is not necessary for the press of moral emotions to have an effect. People can anticipate their likely emotional reactions (e.g., guilt versus pride/self-approval) as they consider behavioral alternatives. Thus, the self-conscious moral emotions can exert a strong influence on moral choice and behavior by providing critical feedback regarding both anticipated behavior (feedback in the form of anticipatory shame, guilt, or pride) and actual behavior (feedback in the form of consequential shame, guilt, or pride). In our view, people’s anticipatory emotional reactions are typically inferred based on history—that is, based on their past consequential emotions in reaction to similar actual behaviors and events. Ref
Think there is no objective morality?
So, if I can show one simple objective morality fact then there is at least the possibility of objective morality right?
Humans/feeling beings/life are to be protected over dirt/garbage/non-life, and to care for the harm of dirt/garbage/non-life over the harm of Humans/feeling beings/life is unethical and of course a possibility of objective morality right? Are there objective facts about or in the world? Yes, then we indeed can evaluate them objectively. So yes, then we can say what is a better or worse choice objectively in relation to the objective facts. “Morality Confusion” doesn’t start at the dilemma but the value judgments of the parts. Morality is not just the final conclusion reached or offered but all the parts that are involved and the most responsible and reasonable based on the assumption that there are a set of things not just one thing involved and this an assessment of the “value” of what’s involved and thus what would be a “most responsible and reasonable choice. So, are there objective facts? Is there such thing as objective methods? Can we objectively conclude the value of objective facts with objective methods to conclude objective conclusions of value of or in relation to objective facts? To me, it is an answer of yes and thus morality is not a special thing it to can involve objective facts and objective methods and thus can involve objectively conclusions about the value of objective facts with the objective methods to conclude objective conclusions of value, of or in relation to objective facts. To me, morality is a pro-social behavioral response. Therefore, it is involving the moralizer, saying that somehow means there is no objective is a nonsense skepticism confusion, as with such a thinking one can not objectively even say there is anything objective as one is always limited to their mind perceiving what it believes is an outside world. saying we should think beyond ourselves is hard but not at all impossible. I hold that morality is a human invented judgment, but so is “reason” and that does not mean we can not tell the difference from unreason right?
Why care? Because we are Dignity Beings.
“Dignity is an internal state of peace that comes with the recognition and acceptance of the value and vulnerability of all living things.” – Donna Hicks (2011). Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict
I am inspired by philosophy, enlightened by archaeology and grounded by science that religious claims, on the whole, along with their magical gods, are but Dogmatic-Propaganda, myths and lies. Kindness beats prayers every time, even if you think prayer works, you know kindness works. Think otherwise, do both without telling people and see which one they notice. Aspire to master the heavens but don’t forget about the ones in need still here on earth. You can be kind and never love but you cannot love and never be kind. Therefore, it is this generosity of humanity, we need the most of. So, if you can be kind, as in the end some of the best we can be to others is to exchange kindness. For too long now we have allowed the dark shadow of hate to cloud our minds, while we wait in silence as if pondering if there is a need to commiserate. For too long little has been done and we too often have been part of this dark clouded shame of hate. Simply, so many humans now but sadly one is still left asking, where is the humanity?
Why Ought We Care?
Because kindness is like chicken soup to the essence of who we are, by validating the safety needs of our dignity. When the valuing of dignity is followed, a deep respect for one’s self and others as dignity beings has become one’s path. When we can see with the eyes of love and kindness, how well we finally see and understand what a demonstrates of a mature being of dignity when we value the human rights of others, as we now see others in the world as fellow beings of dignity. We need to understand what should be honored in others as fellow dignity beings and the realization of the value involved in that. As well as strive to understand how an attack to a person’s “human rights” is an attack to the value and worth of a dignity being. Yes, I want to see “you” that previous being of dignity worthy of high value and an honored moral weight to any violation of their self-ownership. And this dignity being with self-ownership rights is here before you seeking connection. what will you do, here you are in the question ever present even if never said aloud, do you see me now or are you stuck in trying to evaluate my value and assess worth as a fellow being of dignity. A violation of one’s dignity (Which it the emotional, awareness or the emotional detection of the world) as a dignity being can be quite harmful, simply we must see how it can create some physiological disturbance in the dignity being its done to. I am a mutualistic thinker and to me we all are in this life together as fellow dignity beings. Therefore, I want my life to be of a benefit to others in the world. We are natural evolutionary derived dignity beings not supernatural magic derived soul/spirit beings. Stopping lying about who we are, as your made-up magic about reality which is forced causing a problem event (misunderstanding of axiological valuations) to the natural wonder of reality. What equals a dignity worth being, it is the being whose species has cognitive awareness and the expense of pain. To make another dignity being feel pain is to do an attack to their dignity as well as your own. What equals a dignity worth being, it is the being whose species has cognitive awareness and the expense of pain. When I was younger I felt proud when I harmed those I did not like now I find it deserving even if doing it was seen as the only choice as I now see us for who we are valuable beings of dignity. I am not as worried about how I break the box you believe I need to fit as I am worried about the possibility of your confining hopes of hindering me with your limits, these life traps you have decided about and for me are as owning character attacks to my dignity’s needs which can be generalized as acceptance, understanding, and support. As I see it now, how odd I find it to have prejudice or bigotry against other humans who are intact previous fellow beings of dignity, we too often get blinded by the external packaging that holds a being of dignity internally. What I am saying don’t judge by the outside see the worth and human value they have as a dignity being. Why is it easier to see what is wrong then what is right? Why do I struggle in speaking what my heart loves as thorough and as passionate as what I dislike or hate? When you say “an act of mercy” the thing that is being appealed to or for is the proposal of or for the human quality of dignity. May my lips be sweetened with words of encouragement and compassion. May my Heart stay warm in the arms kindness. May my life be an expression of love to the world. Dignity arises in our emotional awareness depending on cognition. Our dignity is involved when you feel connected feelings with people, animals, plants, places, things, and ideas. Our dignity is involved when we feel an emotional bond “my family”, “my pet”, “my religion”, “my sport’s team” etc. Because of the core sensitivity of our dignity, we feel that when we connect, then we are also acknowledging, understanding, and supporting a perceived sense of dignity. Even if it’s not actually a dignity being in the case of plants, places, things, and ideas; and is rightly interacting with a dignity being in people and animals. We are trying to project “dignity developing motivation” towards them somewhere near equally even though human and animals don’t have the same morality weight to them. I am anthropocentric (from Greek means “human being center”) as an Axiological Atheist. I see humans value as above all other life’s value. Some say well, we are animals so they disagree with my destination. But how do the facts play out? So, you don’t have any difference in value of life? Therefore, a bug is the same as a mouse, a mouse is the same as a dolphin, a dolphin is the same as a human, all to you have exactly the same value? You fight to protect the rights of each of them equally? And all killing of any of them is the same crime murder? I know I am an animal but you also know that we do have the term humans which no other animal is classified. And we don’t take other animals to court as only humans and not any other animals are like us. We are also genetically connected to plants and stars and that still doesn’t remove the special class humans removed from all other animals. A society where you can kill a human as easily as a mosquito would simply just not work ethically to me and it should not to any reasonable person either. If you think humans and animals are of equal value, are you obviously for stronger punishment for all animals to the level of humans? If so we need tougher laws against all animals including divorce and spousal or child support and we will jail any animal parent (deadbeat animal) who does not adequately as we have been avoiding this for too long and thankfully now that in the future the ideas about animals being equal we had to create a new animal police force and animal court system, not to mention are new animal jails as we will not accept such open child abuse and disregard for responsibilities? As we don’t want to treat animals as that would be unjust to some humans, but how does this even make sense? To me it doesn’t make sense as humans a different from all other animals even though some are similar in some ways. To further discuss my idea of *dignity developing motivation” can be seen in expressions like, I love you and I appreciate you. Or the behavior of living and appreciating. However, this is only true between higher cognitive aware beings as dignity and awareness of selfness is directly related to dignity awareness. The higher the dignity awareness the higher the moral weight of the dignity in the being’s dignity. What do you think are the best ways to cultivate dignity? Well, to me dignity is not a fixed thing and it feels honored or honoring others as well as help self-helping and other helping; like ones we love or those in need, just as our dignity is affected by the interactions with others. We can value our own dignity and we can and do grow this way, but as I see it because we are a social animals we can usually we cannot fully flourish with our dignity. Thus, dignity is emotionally needy for other dignity beings that is why I surmise at least a partially why we feel empathy and compassion or emotional bonds even with animals is a dignity awareness and response. Like when we say “my pet” cat one is acknowledging our increased personal and emotional connecting. So, when we exchange in experience with a pet animal what we have done is we raze their dignity. Our dignity flourishes with acceptance, understanding and support. Our dignity withers with rejection, misunderstanding, and opposition. Dignity: is the emotional sensitivity of our sense of self or the emotional understanding about our sense of self. When you say, they have a right to what they believe, what I hear is you think I don’t have a right to comment on it. Dignity is the emotional sensitivity of our sense of self or the emotional understanding about our sense of self. To me when we say it’s wrong to kill a human, that person is appealing to our need to value the dignity of the person.’ The person with whom may possibly be killed has a life essence with an attached value and moral weight valuations. And moral weight,’ which is different depending on the value of the dignity being you are addressing understanding moral weight as a kind of liability, responsibility, or rights is actualized. So, it’s the dignity to which we are saying validates the right to life. But I believe all living things with cognitively aware have a dignity. As to me dignity is the name I home to the emotional experience, emotional expression, emotional intelligence or sensitivity at the very core of our sense of self the more aware the hire that dignity value and thus worth. Dignity is often shredded similar to my thinking: “Moral, ethical, legal, and political discussions use the concept of dignity to express the idea that a being has an innate right to be valued, respected, and to receive ethical treatment. In the modern context dignity, can function as an extension of the Enlightenment-era concepts of inherent, inalienable rights. English-speakers often use the word “dignity” in prescriptive and cautionary ways: for example, in politics it can be used to critique the treatment of oppressed and vulnerable groups and peoples, but it has also been applied to cultures and sub-cultures, to religious beliefs and ideals, to animals used for food or research, and to plants. “Dignity” also has descriptive meanings pertaining to human worth. In general, the term has various functions and meanings depending on how the term is used and on the context.” Dignity, authenticity and integrity are of the highest value to our experience, yet ones that we must define for ourselves. People of hurt and harm, you are not as free to attack other beings of dignity without any effect on you as you may think. So, I am sorry not sorry that there is no such thing in general, as hurting or harming other beings of dignity without psychological destruction to the dignity being in us. This is an understanding that once done hunts and harm of other beings of dignity emotionally/psychologically hurts and harms your life as an acceptance needy dignity being, as we commonly experience moral discuss involuntary as on our deepest level as dignity beings. Disgust is deeply related to our sense of morality.
Is the choice of morality truly all subjective or all objective?
As an axiological thinker I don’t see morality as an all or nothing endeavor, i.e. all subjective or all objective but do think we can come to objective truths to some extent, even in a seeming subjective situation. I think in a way morality is both an emergent reasoning expressed in cognitive capacities of highly developed minds. However, morality is also a behavioral and social interaction not always requiring highly developed minds. Why would I say that, is because there is not one moral choice we can make but many different moral behaviors, some simple and some very complex. But morality is not just limited to what I have already stated either as to me, it’s also better understood in a biopsychosocial thinking view that variable interactions of biological factors, psychological factors (mood, personality, behavior, etc), and social factors (cultural, familial, socioeconomic, medical, etc) affect morally and or ability to engage in or process moral reasoning. To me such absolute propositions as all subjective or all objective are odd as if one universal idea can label all and every moral thought, behavior and moral agent or moral property is all or nothing terms is confusing or applying a too simplistic box to a very complicated often positional shifting riddle, not an unsolvable one but varying in complexity. I believe in realism, thus that there are real facts about the world as well as that humans can learn or know them or assess and quantify them with a value realism and that human interactions are behavioral actions in the world which can also be learned or known to some extent or another. I think the conception of morality is limited to behavioral actions with others there is not an immoral action we do to ourselves as we cannot violate our own consent. Can one defend themselves? And is there any choice in this self-defense morality that is truly all subjective or all objective to all situations and all peoples? Is this act of self-defense that harms or attacks another always subjective or always objective in itself? Do you need more facts positional to a given situation to know or make a reasoned moral choice? Do you think there is some fact or facts which can be known that make it always objective to defend oneself? Or do you think self-defense is always subjective and no facts can turn such a moral choice of self-defense into anything else than always a subjective moral choice? Is any of the thousands of choices one could make in any given situation limited to all or nothing morality under the cloak of nothing but always a subjective morality? To me, I reject an all or nothing endeavor to every moral action or by every moral agent in every situation instead see it often as more a sliding set of factors among a myriad of element or choices not all subjective or all objective in every way, at all times, to every moral agent, in every situation. Think even if I say it’s an objective fact that self-defense is always morally defensible, does that mean any action I or someone else does is morally excusable in such a moral endeavor? As in does it matter the threat and is that always subjective or always objective? Or is the chosen response in the act of self-defense always subjective or always objective? I.e. if a baby hits an adult, can the adult beat them to death and if you make a moral judgment on this would you say it was always subjective or always objective? If a parent hits a small child can the small child shoot them to death and if you make a moral judgment on this would you say it was always subjective or always objective? If an adult of lesser size, strength, or power and means hits an adult of greater size, strength, or power and means, can the greater size adult beat them to death and if you make a moral judgment on this would you say it was always subjective or always objective? If an adult of greater size, strength, or power and means hits an adult of lesser size, strength, or power and means, can the lesser size adult shoot them to death and if you make a moral judgment on this would you say it was always subjective or always objective? I as an axiological (value theory or value science) thinker I don’t see morality as an all or nothing endeavor, i.e. all subjective or all objective but do think we can come to objective truths to some extent even in a seeming subjective situation. I think it is in a way morality is an emergent cognitive capacities of highly developed minds but is also a behavioral and social interaction not always requiring highly developed minds. To me , rue morality is not starting with a us or me focused morality as morality is a social interaction exchange thus it must be other focused. “treating others as they should be treated” To me, I see everyone as owning themselves all equal in this right as humans. Moreover, to me morality is behavioral and a social property, there is no immoral thing one can do to themselves as one cannot violate themselves or their own consent as they choose their own actions. Thus, to me all morality is about others and our interactions with them and them with us. So, morality arises in a social context with all things not that all things have the same moral weight. Therefore, moral relationships with life outside humans has a different moral weight or value. Such as killing 100 humans is not the same as killing 100 dogs, killing 100 fish, killing 100 flies, etc. Of course, the method of killing used should inflict the least amount of suffering to the animal or plant. And to not do that could make it immoral. Such as torturing them to death is immoral even if the killing was not. And this understanding can be applied to theism. Every child born with horrific deformities shows that those who believe in a loving god who is in control and values every life is not just holding a ridicules belief it is an offensive belief to the compassion for life and a loving morality.
I am a Realist in Many ways.
I have a positive epistemic attitude (belief) towards or in philosophical realism that there is a real external world and that is can be know or substantially approximated by humans objectively. I have a positive epistemic attitude towards or in scientific realism that the content of the best scientific theories, models, and aspects of the world described by the sciences can be know or substantially approximated by humans objectively. I have a positive epistemic attitude towards or in logical realism such as that logic is the means of discovering the structure of facts and its projection in the language such as the Law of Non-Contradiction or logical fallacies which represent logical truths pertaining to aspects of the world and can be know or substantially approximated by humans objectively. I have a positive epistemic attitude towards or in mathematical realism such as that 2 + 2 equals 4 even if there are no intelligences or minds. Because math is in a sense a method of communication or description of and or about aspects of the world quantifying what can be know or substantially approximated by humans objectively. I have a positive epistemic attitude towards or in value realism roughly speaking “axiological realism,” is that value claims (such as, nurturing a baby is good and abusing a baby is bad) can be literally true or false; that some such claims are indeed true; that their truth can be know or substantially approximated by humans objectively. I have a positive epistemic attitude towards or in epistemological realism roughly speaking, is that what you know about an object exists independently of your mind. Relating directly to the correspondence theory of truth, which claims that the world exists independently and innately to our perceptions of it. Our sensory data then reflect or correspond to the innate world and that such truths can be know or substantially approximated by humans objectively. I have a positive epistemic attitude towards or in moral realism roughly speaking, is that some moral claims do purport to report facts and are true if they get the facts right. Moreover, wile not all at least some moral claims actually are true or have connection to additional commitments which the truth can be reached, and those facts in some specified way can be know or substantially approximated by humans objectively.
(Rachels, James. Ethical Theory) a moral theory must be able to solve:
The ontological problem: an adequate theory must account for ethics without assuming the existence of anything that does not actually exist. The epistemological problem: if we have knowledge of right and wrong, an adequate theory must explain how we acquire such knowledge. The experience problem: An adequate theory about ethics must account for the phenomenology of moral experience. The supervenience problem: An adequate theory must be consistent with the supervenient character of evaluative concepts. The motivation problem: an adequate theory must account for the internal connection between moral belief and motivation (or if there is no such connection, it must offer an alternative account of how morality guides action). The reason problem: An adequate theory must account for the place of reason in ethics. The disagreement problem: An adequate theory must explain the nature of ethical disagreement. Ref
Sociological and Psychological Ontology of Morality in Relation to
The Objective and Subjective Correspondence to Reality.
To me, morality (relatively involves moral actors, moral reasoning, moral capital, moral concerns and moral compulsions) is a thinking in relation of behavior to or with “other” and is involved in a cognitive aware (psychological development of, pertaining to, or affecting the mind, especially as a function of awareness, feeling, or motivation) interaction (most commonly social interaction) by humans and thus is both a subjective aspect in the world as it is only positioned to cognitive aware interaction of humans and objective to impacts on the moral actors, moral reasoning, moral capital, moral concerns and moral compulsions choices positioned to cognitive aware interactions of humans. Nonhuman animals are not doing or held accountable for this thing/things we label morality, though this does not remove all moral capital they hold or moral weight in our relations to them, because what happens to nonhuman animals can be attached to moral relevant interactions with them or some indirect secondary connections to other factors (i.e. someone’s pet). I feel that morality and the morally relevant choices only relates to occurrences linked to thinking in the relation of behavior involved in relation to or with “other” in a cognitive aware interaction of humans. Thus feel with no interaction relation to or with “other” then there is no such thing as morality occurring. In a sense to me when nothing of interaction is happening to an external “other” even if, the internal self in question is a cognitive aware human. Such as, if one is by them self and only do things to themselves there is no morality involved. I feel morality in a sense cannot happen to you by you, it is your interacting with others, other things, or their relation to “other” but to me, this is likely an unavoidable reality that corresponds to morality.
Axiology, Realism, and the Problem of Evil (THOMAS L. CARSON)
Although moral realism is the subject of lively debate in contemporary philosophy, it would seem almost all standard discussions of the problem of evil presupposes the truth of moral realism. So, if nonrealism is true, then it would seem we need to rethink and/or re-frame the entire discussion about the problem of evil. Ref
If evolutionary critics of morality seek to critique by revealing the unreliability of evolutionary origins by showing that they have generated moral beliefs we know to be false. Indeed, this sort of critique would be self-defeating, for if we were able to sort true moral beliefs from false ones, then we could rely on that knowledge to correct for any epistemically harmful effect, especially in a gradual or subtle way evolutionary influence on the formation of our moral beliefs.
Moral disagreement (Geoff Sayre-McCord)
The mere fact of disagreement does not raise a challenge for moral realism. Disagreement is to be found in virtually any area, even where no one doubts that the claims at stake purport to report facts and everyone grants that some claims are true. But disagreements differ and many believe that the sort of disagreements one finds when it comes to morality are best explained by supposing one of two things: (i) that moral claims are not actually in the business of reporting facts, but are rather our way of expressing emotions, or of controlling others’ behavior, or, at least, of taking a stand for and against certain things or (ii) that moral claims are in the business of reporting facts, but the required facts just are not to be found. Taking the first line, many note that people differ in their emotions, attitudes, and interests and then argue that moral disagreements simply reflect the fact that the moral claims people embrace are (despite appearances) really devices for expressing or serving their different emotions, attitudes, and interests. Taking the second line, others note that claims can genuinely purport to report facts and yet utterly fail (consider claims about phlogiston or astrological forces or some mythical figure that others believed existed) and then argue that moral disagreements take the form they do because the facts that would be required to give them some order and direction are not to be found. On either view, the distinctive nature of “moral disagreement” is seen as well explained by the supposition that moral realism is false, either because cognitivism is false or because an error theory is true. Interestingly, the two lines of argument are not really compatible. If one thinks that moral claims do not even purport to report facts, one cannot intelligibly hold that the facts such claims purport to report do not exist. Nonetheless, in important ways, the considerations each mobilizes might be used to support the other. For instance, someone defending an error theory might point to the ways in which moral claims are used to express or serve peoples’ emotions, attitudes, and interests, to explain why people keep arguing as they do despite there being no moral facts. And someone defending noncognitivism might point to the practical utility of talking as if there were moral facts to explain why moral claims seem to purport to report facts even though they do not. Moreover, almost surely each of these views is getting at something that is importantly “right” about some people and their use of what appear to be moral claims. No one doubts that often peoples’ moral claims do express their emotions, attitudes, and do serve their interests and it is reasonable to suspect that at least some people have in mind as moral facts a kind of fact we have reason to think does not exist.
I am a Moral Realist?
Moral realists are committed to holding, though, that to whatever extent moral claims might have other uses and might be made by people with indefensible accounts of moral facts, some moral claims, properly understood, are actually true. To counter the arguments that appeal to the nature of moral disagreement, moral realists need to show that the disagreements are actually compatible with their commitments. An attractive first step is to note, as was done above, that mere disagreement is no indictment. Indeed, to see the differences among people as disagreements—rather than as mere differences—it seems as if one needs to hold that they are making claims that contradict one another and this seems to require that each side sees the other as making a false claim. To the extent there is moral disagreement and not merely difference, moral realists argue, we need at least to reject noncognitivism (even as we acknowledge that the views people embrace might be heavily influenced by their emotions, attitudes, and interests). While this is plausible, noncognitivists can and have replied by distinguishing cognitive disagreement from other sorts of disagreement and arguing that moral disagreements are of a sort that does not require cognitivism. Realists cannot simply dismiss this possibility, though they can legitimately challenge noncognitivists to make good sense of how moral arguments and disagreements are carried on without surreptitiously appealing to the participants seeing their claims as purporting to report facts. In any case, even if the nature of disagreements lends some plausibility to cognitivism, moral realists need also to respond to the error theorist’s contention that the arguments and disagreements all rest on some false supposition to the effect that there are actually facts of the sort there would have to be for some of the claims to be true. And, however moral realists respond, they need to avoid doing so in a way that then makes a mystery of the widespread moral disagreement (or at least difference) that all acknowledge. Some moral realists argue that the disagreements, widespread as they are, do not go very deep—that to a significant degree moral disagreements play out against the background of shared fundamental principles with the differences of opinion regularly being traceable to disagreements about the non-moral facts that matter in light of the moral principles. On their view, the explanation of moral disagreements will be of a piece with whatever turns out to be a good explanation of the various nonmoral disagreements people find themselves in. Other moral realists, though, see the disagreements as sometimes fundamental. On their view, while moral disagreements might in some cases be traceable to disagreements about non-moral matters of fact, this will not always be true. Still, they deny the anti-realist’s contention that the disagreements that remain are well explained by noncognitivism or by an error theory Instead, they regularly offer some other explanation of the disagreements. They point out, for example, that many of the disagreements can be traced to the distorting effects of the emotions, attitudes, and interests that are inevitably bound up with moral issues. Or they argue that what appear to be disagreements are really cases in which the people are talking past each other, each making claims that might well be true once the claims are properly understood (Harman 1975, Wong 1984). And they often combine these explanatory strategies holding that the full range of moral disagreements are well explained by some balanced appeal to all of the considerations just mentioned, treating some disagreements as not fundamentally moral, others as a reflection of the distorting effects of emotion and interest, and still others as being due to insufficiently subtle understandings of what people are actually claiming. If some combination of these explanations works, then the moral realist is on firm ground in holding that the existence of moral disagreements, such as they are, is not an argument against moral realism. Of course, if no such explanation works, then an appeal either to noncognitivism or an error theory (i.e. to some form of anti-realism) may be the best alternative. Ref
Benefit of Seeing Morality as a Matter of Objective Facts
(Liane Young & A.J. Durwin) getting people to think about morality as a matter of objective facts rather than subjective preferences may lead to improved moral behavior, Boston College researchers report in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Ref
Wish to Reject Moral Realism?
(Geoff Sayre-McCord) those who reject moral realism are usefully divided into (i) those who think moral claims do not purport to report facts in light of which they are true or false (noncognitivists) and (ii) those who think that moral claims do carry this purport but deny that any moral claims are actually true (error theorists). It is worth noting that, while moral realists are united in their cognitivism and in their rejection of error theories, they disagree among themselves not only about which moral claims are actually true but about what it is about the world that makes those claims true. Moral realism is not a particular substantive moral view nor does it carry a distinctive metaphysical commitment over and above the commitment that comes with thinking moral claims can be true or false and some are true. Still, much of the debate about moral realism revolves around either what it takes for claims to be true or false at all (with some arguing that moral claims do not have what it takes) or what it would take specifically for moral claims to be true (with some arguing that moral claims would require something the world does not provide). The debate between moral realists and anti-realists assumes, though, that there is a shared object of inquiry—in this case, a range of claims all involved are willing to recognize as moral claims—about which two questions can be raised and answered: Do these claims purport to report facts in light of which they are true or false? Are some of them true? Moral realists answer ‘yes’ to both, non-cognitivists answer ‘no’ to the first (and, by default, ‘no’ to the second) while error theorists answer ‘yes’ to the first and ‘no’ to the second. (With the introduction of “minimalism” about truth and facts, things become a bit more complicated. See the section on semantics, below.) To note that some other, non-moral, claims do not (or do) purport to report facts or that none (or some) of them are true, is to change the subject. That said, it is strikingly hard to nail down with any accuracy just which claims count as moral and so are at issue in the debate. For the most part, those concerned with whether moral realism is true are forced to work back and forth between an intuitive grasp of which claims are at issue and an articulate but controversial account of what they have in common such that realism either is, or is not, defensible about them. By all accounts, moral realism can fairly claim to have common sense and initial appearances on its side. That advantage, however, might easily outweighed, however; there are a number of powerful arguments for holding that it is a mistake to think of moral claims as true. Ref
(Shin Kim) the cognitivist understanding of moral judgments is at the center of moral realism. For the cognitivist, moral judgments are mental states; moral judgments are of the same kind as ordinary beliefs, that is, cognitive states. But how are we to know this? One manageable way is to focus on what we intend to do when we make moral judgments, and also on how we express them. Moral judgments are intended to be accurate descriptions of the world, and statements express moral judgments (as opposed to command or prescription) just as statements express ordinary beliefs. That is, statements express moral language. The statements that express moral judgments are either true or false just as the statements that express ordinary beliefs are. Moral truths occur when our signs match the world. Language allows us to communicate with one another, typically using sentences and utterances. A large part of language involves, among many other things, influencing others and us. Normative language, in contrast with descriptive language, includes moral language (that is, moral language is part of evaluative or normative language). It is even more important not to be swayed by moral language because moral reality grips us. It is bad that others try to deceive us, but it is worse that we deceive ourselves into accepting moral facts simply because of the language that we use. That is, moral language — if it is not to describe the world —must not be mistaken as descriptive. Moral language binds us in a certain manner, and the manner in which it binds us is important. If it is noncognitivism that provides the antirealist a way of rejecting moral truth, moral knowledge, and moral objectivity, the denial of noncognitivism (that is, cognitivism) must be necessary for the realist to properly claim them. Cognitivism is the view that moral judgments are cognitive states just like ordinary beliefs. It is part of their function to describe the world accurately. The realist argument that stems from cognitivism — as we saw from the above argument— is oftentimes guided by the apparent difficulties that the noncognitivist analysis of moral judgments faces. For instance, there is the famous Frege-Geach problem, namely, the noncognitivist difficulty of rendering emotive, prescriptive or projective meaning for embedded moral judgments. Geach (1965) uses the “the Frege point,” according to which “a proposition may occur in discourse now asserted, now unasserted, and yet be recognizably the same proposition,” to establish that no noncognitivist (“the anti-descriptive theorist”) analysis of moral sentences and utterances can be adequate. Consider a simple moral sentence: “Setting a kitten on fire is wrong.” Suppose that the simple sentence means, “Boo to setting a kitten on fire!” The Frege point dictates that the antecedent of “if setting a kitten on fire is wrong, then getting one’s friends to help setting a kitten on fire is also wrong” must mean the same as the simple sentence. But this cannot be because the antecedent of the conditional makes no such assertions while the simple moral sentence does. In other words, the noncognitivist analysis of moral sentences cannot be given to the conditional sentences with the embedded simple moral sentence. The problem can be generally applied to cases of other compound sentences such as “It is wrong to set a kitten on fire, or it is not.” Even if the noncognitivist analysis of the simple sentence were correct, compound sentences within which a simple moral sentence is embedded should be given an analysis independently of the noncognitivist analysis of it. This seems unacceptable to many. For the following argument is valid: “It is wrong to set a kitten on fire, or it is not; it is not ‘not wrong’; hence, it is wrong to set a kitten on fire.” If the argument is valid, then the conclusion must mean the same as one of the disjuncts of its first premise. The argument would be otherwise invalid because of an equivocation, and the noncognitivist seems to be forced to say that the argument is invalid.
The Frege-Geach problem demonstrates the noncognitivists’ requirement of adequately rendering the emotive, prescriptive, expressive, or projective meaning of those moral sentences that are embedded within compound moral sentences. (For more on the Frege-Geach problem, see Non-Cognitivism in Ethics. See also Darwall, Gibbard, and Railton 1992: 151-52.) Ref
What do Professional Philosophers Believe?
What are the philosophical views of 1,972 contemporary professional philosophers?
On God: atheism 72.8%; theism 14.6%; other 12.6%.
Meta-ethics: moral realism 56.4%; moral anti-realism 27.7%; other 15.9%.
Moral judgment: cognitivism 65.7%; non-cognitivism 17.0%; other 17.3%.
Moral motivation: internalism 34.9%; externalism 29.8%; other 35.3%
Science: scientific realism 75.1%; scientific anti-realism 11.6%; other 13.3%.
Truth: correspondence 50.8%; deflationary 24.8%; epistemic 6.9%; other 17.5%.
It should be acknowledged that this target group has a strong (although not exclusive) bias toward analytic or Anglocentric philosophy. As a consequence, the results of the survey are a much better guide to what analytic/Anglocentric philosophers (or at least philosophers in strong analytic/Anglocentric departments) believe than to what philosophers from other traditions believe. Ref
Consider the Judgment (Shin Kim)
“Suffering from lack of food is bad.” The judgment is usually expressed with the statement “suffering from lack of food is bad.” Call it a “B-statement.” Sometimes, we find it necessary to express it with “it is true that suffering from lack of food is bad.” Call it a “T-statement.” (To complete it, there are “F-statements” like “it is false that suffering from lack of food is bad.”) We use T-statements to emphasize partiality toward “being true to the world.” However, regardless of what motivates us to use T-statements, the explicit ascription of truth in T-statements commands our attention. Does the T-statement add anything extra to the B-statement? If so, what is it that the T-statement says over and above the B-statement? There are two broad ways to answer the question: deflationism and various forms of substantial theory (or what we called above “inflationist theory”). Substantial theorists deny that the B-statement and the T-statement are exactly the same while the deflationist maintains that the difference is merely stylistic. If the deflationist has her way, then it is obvious that antirealists could have truth in moral judgments. (David Brink argues against the coherentist theory of truth with respect to moral constructivism. See Brink 1989, 106-7 and 114; see Tenenbaum, 1996, for the deflationist approach.) Antirealist moral truths would seem irrelevant in marking the realist territory. If some form of substantial theory is true, then the T-statement adds something to what the B-statements say. Here are two alternatives. Letting a coherence theory of truth stand in for the range of “modified theories” (namely, the inflationist theories of truth that are different from the correspondence theory of truth), and the “B-proposition” for what the B-statement describes the world, the T-statement adds that: (1) The B-proposition corresponds to an actual state of affairs. (2) The B-proposition belongs to a maximally coherent system of belief. It is worth noting also that even the non-descriptivist may say that the T-statement adds to the B-statement, insofar as the B-statement expresses something other than the B-proposition. The non-descriptivist has two alternatives as well. The T-statement adds that (letting a coherence theory of truth stand in for the range of “modified theories,” and the “B-feeling-proposition” stand in for the range of non-descriptivism, for example, the speaker dislikes suffering from lack of food): (3) The B-feeling-proposition corresponds to an actual state of affairs. (4) The B-feeling-proposition belongs to a maximally coherent system of belief. We may say that the T-statement specifies truth conditions for the B-proposition or for the B-feeling-proposition. It could be objected that the non-descriptivist must deny that there are truth-conditions for moral language. Nonetheless, she need not object to moral language describing something about the world figuratively. If option (1) were true, then there would have to be an actual state of affairs that makes the B-statement true. That is, there must be a truth-maker for the statement, “suffering from lack of food is bad,” and the truth-maker is the fact that suffering from lack of food is bad. But no other alternatives require the existence of the fact for them to be true. If one ignores deflationism, truth in moral judgments gives rise to exactly four alternative theories of truth. Realists cannot embrace options (3) and (4) because, as we saw, non-descriptivism is sufficient for moral antirealism. The remaining option (2), although it is a viable option for the realist, falls short of guaranteeing that there are moral facts. In other words, moral realists must find other ways to establish the existence of moral facts, even if option (2) allows a way of maintaining moral truths for the realists. Modified theories, for example, the coherence theory of truth are simply silent about whether there are B-facts. That is, option (2) could be maintained even if there were no B-facts such as suffering from lack of food is bad. Thus, the most direct option for realists in marking her territory from the above list of alternatives is (1). It appears then that the correspondence truth in moral judgments properly marks the realist territory. This is captured in C2: (C2) S is a moral realist if and only if S is a descriptivist; S believes that moral judgments express truth, and S believes that the moral judgments are true when they correspond to the world. Is C2 true? No, it is not. For the antirealist may choose to deny that moral judgments literally describe the world. Ref
Axiology (value science) & Neuroscience (brain science)
(Demarest, Peter D.; Schoof, Harvey J. ) Axiogenics™ is, “the mind-brain science of value generation.” It is a practical life-science based on applied neuro-axiology1 — the integration of neuroscience (brain science) and axiology (value science). Neuroscience is the study of the biochemical mechanics of how the brain works. We are, of course, primarily interested in the human brain, which, owing to our genetics, is one of the most complex and magnificent creations in the known universe. Axiology is the study of how Value, values and value judgments affect the subjective choices and motivations of the mind—both conscious and sub-conscious. Formal axiology is the mathematical study of value—the nature and measurement of value and people’s perception of value. Both axiology and neuroscience have existed separately for years. In many ways, the two sciences have approached the same question (What makes people tick?) from opposite directions. Neuroscience, a relatively young science, seeks to understand brain function and explain human behavior from a neuro-biological perspective. In contrast, for 2500 years, axiologists have sought to understand and explain human behavior and motivation from the perspective of the moral, ethical, and value-based judgments of the mind. Many human sciences, including neuroscience and axiology, have come to the realization that the mind-brain is value-driven. That is, Value, values, and value judgments drive many, if not most or even all, of the processes of both the brain and the mind, including our sub-conscious habits of mind. Think about it—have you ever made a conscious choice that wasn’t, at that moment, an attempt to add greater value at some level? Unfortunately, to our knowledge, the neuroscientists and axiologists have not been comparing notes. Consequently, until now, the amazing value-based connection between the mind and brain has been overlooked. This book makes that connection and more. Axiogenics is not some rehashed mystical, moral, or religious philosophy, nor is it a newfangled twist on the rhetoric of so-called “success gurus.” It is a fresh, new paradigm for personal, leadership and organizational development. It is a science-driven technology for deliberately creating positive changes in how we think, how we perceive, the kinds of choices we make, and the actions we take. Life is about adding value. Whether you realize it yet or not, your entire life is about one thing: creating value. Virtually every thought, action, choice, and reaction you have is an attempt to create or preserve value. Success in life, love and leadership requires making good value judgments. Real personal power is in knowing which choices and actions will create the greatest net value.
Axiogenics is based on four core principles. They are:
1. Value drives success in all endeavors.
2. Your mind-brain is already value-driven.
3. There is an objective, universal Hierarchy of Value.
4. Accurately answering The Central Question is the key to maximizing your success.
Demarest, Peter D.; Schoof, Harvey J. (2011-06-24). Answering The Central Question (Kindle Locations 130-136). Heartlead Publishing, LLC. Kindle Edition.
Moral Reasoning & Crime (Carey Goldberg)
People who commit crimes are dumb, but what happens is, in the moment, that information about costs and consequences can’t get into their decision-making. Research shows that brain biology governs not just our choices but also our moral judgments about what is right and wrong. Using new technology, brain researchers are beginning to tease apart the biology that underlies our decisions to behave badly or do good deeds. They’re even experimenting with ways to alter our judgments of what is right and wrong and our deep gut feelings of moral conviction. One thing is certain: We may think in simple terms of “good” and “evil,” but that’s not how it looks in the brain at all. In past years, as neuroscientists and psychologists began to delve into morality, “Many of us were after a moral center of the brain, or a particular system or circuit that was responsible for all of morality,” says assistant professor Liane Young, who runs The Morality Lab at Boston College. But “it turns out that morality can’t be located in any one area, or even set of areas — that it’s all over, that it colors all aspects of our life, and that’s why it takes up so much space in the brain.” So there’s no “root of all evil.” Rather, says Buckholtz, “When we do brain studies of moral decision-making, what we are led into is an understanding that there are many different paths to antisocial behavior.” If we wanted to build antisocial offenders, he says, brain science knows some of the recipe: They’d be hyper-responsive to rewards like drugs, sex and status — and the more immediate, the better. “Another thing we would build in is an inability to maintain representations of consequences and costs,” he says. “We would certainly short-circuit their empathic response to other people. We would absolutely limit their ability to regulate their emotions, particularly negative emotions like anger and fear.” If it’s all just biology at work, are we still to blame if we commit a crime? And the correlate: Can we still take credit when we do good? Daniel Dennett a professor of philosophy at Tufts University who incorporates neuroscience into his thinking and is a seasoned veteran of the debates around free will. He says it’s not news that our morality is based in our brains, and he doesn’t have much patience for excuses like, “My brain made me do it.” “Of course my brain made me do it!” he says. “What would you want, your stomach to make you do it!?” The age-old debate around free willis still raging on in philosophical circles, with new brain science in the mix. But Dennett argues that science doesn’t change the basic facts: “If you do something on purpose and you know what you’re doing, and you did it for reasons good, bad or indifferent, then your brain made you do it,” he says. “Of course. And it doesn’t follow that you were not the author of that deed. Why? Because you are your embodied brain.” Ref
Antisocial Personality; Not a Lack of Intelligence
Sociopaths and psychopaths, or the catch-all clinical diagnosis of Antisocial personality disorder, fall under the above description, except intelligence is often high. Consequences do not seem to devour them, so definitely something not right in the mind/brain, however, this is not lack of intelligence. Here are some books relating to this: The gift of fear, by Gavin Debecker. Without conscience, by Robert Hare, Men who hate women and the Woman who love them, and the Sociopath Next Door. Link, Link, Link, Link
Too quick to condemn?
However, But don’t be too quick to condemn all Sociopaths and psychopaths, or those with the clinical diagnosis of Antisocial personality disorder, because just having Mental Health Issues does not mean you cannot be moral. A scientist who studies psychopaths found out he was one by accident — and it completely changed his life. Around 2005, Fallon started to notice a pattern in the scans of some of the criminals who were thought to be psychopaths, which led him to develop a theory: All of them appeared to have low levels of activity in a region of the brain located towards its center at the base of the frontal and temporal lobes. Scientists believe this region, called the orbital cortex, is involved in regulating our emotions and impulses and also plays a role in morality and aggression. One day, Fallon’s technician brought him a stack of brain scans from an unrelated Alzheimer’s study. As he was going through the scans of healthy participants, they all looked normal — no surprises. But then he got to the last one. “It looked just like those of the murderers.” The identity of the brains in the scans had deliberately been masked so as not to bias the results. But Fallon couldn’t leave it alone. “I said, we’ve got to check the [source] of that scan,” Fallon recalled recently to Business Insider. “It’s probably a psychopath… someone who could be a danger to society.” Turns out, the image wasn’t a scan of just any random participant — it was a scan of his own brain. Ref
Axiological Realism (Joel J. Kupperman)
Many would consider the lengthening debate between moral realists and anti-realists to be draw-ish. Plainly new approaches are needed. Or might the issue, which most broadly concerns realism in relation to normative judgments, be broken down into parts or sectors? Physicists have been saying, in relation to a similarly longstanding debate, that light in some respects behaves like waves and in some respects like particles. Might realism be more plausible in relation to some kinds of normative judgments than others? Ref
Are we born with a moral core? The Baby Lab says ‘yes’ Moreover, Studies have shown babies are good judges of character in fact, Even Babies Think Crime Deserves Punishment thins should make you consider The Case for Objective Morality.
Animals and Morality?
5 Animals With a Moral Compass Moreover, Animals can tell right from wrong: Scientists studying animal behaviour believe they have growing evidence that species ranging from mice to primates are governed by moral codes of conduct in the same way as humans. Likewise, in the book: Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals: Scientists have long counseled against interpreting animal behavior in terms of human emotions, warning that such anthropomorphizing limits our ability to understand animals as they really are. Yet what are we to make of a female gorilla in a German zoo who spent days mourning the death of her baby? Or a wild female elephant who cared for a younger one after she was injured by a rambunctious teenage male? Or a rat who refused to push a lever for food when he saw that doing so caused another rat to be shocked? Aren’t these clear signs that animals have recognizable emotions and moral intelligence? With Wild Justice Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce unequivocally answer yes. Marrying years of behavioral and cognitive research with compelling and moving anecdotes, Bekoff and Pierce reveal that animals exhibit a broad repertoire of moral behaviors, including fairness, empathy, trust, and reciprocity. Underlying these behaviors is a complex and nuanced range of emotions, backed by a high degree of intelligence and surprising behavioral flexibility. Animals, in short, are incredibly adept social beings, relying on rules of conduct to navigate intricate social networks that are essential to their survival. Ultimately, Bekoff and Pierce draw the astonishing conclusion that there is no moral gap between humans and other species: morality is an evolved trait that we unquestionably share with other social mammals.
Moral Naturalism (James Lenman)
While “moral naturalism” is sometimes used to refer to any approach to metaethics intended to cohere with naturalism in metaphysics more generally, the label is more usually reserved for naturalistic forms of moral realism according to which there are objective moral facts and properties and these moral facts and properties are natural facts and properties. Views of this kind appeal to many as combining the advantages of naturalism and realism. Ref
Realism, Naturalism, and Moral Semantics (David O. Brink)
He prospects for moral realism and ethical naturalism have been important parts of recent debates within metaethics. As a first approximation, moral realism is the claim that there are facts or truths about moral matters that are objective in the sense that they obtain independently of the moral beliefs or attitudes of appraisers. Ethical naturalism is the claim that moral properties of people, actions, and institutions are natural, rather than occult or supernatural, features of the world. Though these metaethical debates remain unsettled, several people, myself included, have tried to defend the plausibility of both moral realism and ethical naturalism. I, among others, have appealed to recent work in the philosophy of language—in particular, to so-called theories of “direct reference” —to defend ethical naturalism against a variety of semantic worries, including G. E. Moore’s “open question argument.” In response to these arguments, critics have expressed doubts about the compatibility of moral realism and direct reference. In this essay, I explain these doubts, and then sketch the beginnings of an answer—but understanding both the doubts and my answer requires some intellectual background. Ref
Formal Axiology: Efficiency of good?
“I thought to myself if evil can be organized so efficiently [by the Nazis] why cannot good? Is there any reason for efficiency to be monopolized by the forces for evil in the world? Why have good people in history never seemed to have had as much power as bad people? I decided I would try to find out why and devote my life to doing something about it.” – Robert S. Hartman http://www.hartmaninstitute.org/resources/journal-formal-axiology/
Formal Axiology is a specific branch of the science of Axiology. The late Dr. Robert S. Hartman developed this science between 1930 and 1973. It is a unique social science because it is the only social science that has a one to one relationship between a field of mathematics (transfinite set calculus) and its dimensions. More About Formal Axiology Ref More About Dr. Robert S. Hartman http://www.cleardirection.com/docs/articles/drhartman.asp
The Dimensions of Value
Dr. Hartman identified three dimensions of reality, which he called the Dimensions of Value. We value everything in one of these three ways or in a combination of these dimensions. The Dimensions of Value are Systemic, Extrinsic, and Intrinsic. More About The Dimensions of Value: http://www.cleardirection.com/docs/dimensions.asp
Formal Axiology – Another Victim in Religion’s War on Science (William J. Kelleher)
Formal Axiology is R.S. Hartman’s foundation for the development of value science. In order to properly discuss Rem’s book we will first summarize Hartman’s understanding of Formal Axiology and his hopes for a science of values. What are “values”? “Values” are the ideas and feelings of people about such matters as likes/dislikes, right/wrong, good/bad, beautiful/ugly, and other preferences. Clearly, it is a fact that people have values. But a science which can raise our knowledge of values above that of ideas, feelings, and opinion has yet to be developed. Robert S. Hartman was a philosopher of science who believed he had found a way to place the study of values on a footing that is every bit as precise and above mere opinion as are physics, chemistry, and the other natural sciences. Indeed, he presented his “Formal Axiology” as the foundation upon which a “Second Scientific Revolution” would be launched. This foundation consists primarily of three parts. These are his Value Axiom, the three dimensions of value, and his Value Calculus. While it may seem difficult to understand at first, due to its unfamiliarity, upon sufficient reflection, the reader will come to see that Hartman’s system truly can make researching and analyzing values as precise and illuminating of value reality as any natural science is about its subject matter. Just as the chemical formula for “water” is H2O, so Formal Axiology has the capacity to make the structure of values and of valuing equally as precise. Let us consider the three elements of Formal Axiology before turning to Rem’s treatment of the subject.
The Three Elements of Formal Axiology
The first part of Formal Axiology is the Value Axiom, or the definition of “good. ”Hartman defines “good” as conceptual fulfillment. That is, a thing is a good such thing if it fulfills the definition of its concept or classification. For example, suppose we define a “chair” as an object with a back, a seat, and four legs. Then we look around the room and find just such an object. By matching the thing with our conception of it, we know at once that it is a chair. Beyond the initial identification of the object, we can also formulate a judgment as to how good of a chair the thing is. We can add to our specifications for the goodness of a chair by requiring that it has padding, or can rock, or can be folded and stored away. One chair can be compared to others. Then, using our conception of a good chair, we can make an assessment about which chairs are “better,” or “worse,” or “average,” and “best,” etc. We can assign a numbered scale to the predicates in our definition, and measure exactly how much better or worse one chair is compared to another. Suppose we say that on a scale from 1 to 10, a three-foot high seat is worth 5 points. A tilted back is worth 6 points, while a straight back is only worth 2, etc. To illustrate, suppose that newlyweds, Mary and John, go shopping at a furniture store, using the criteria we have discussed. They compare several sets of chairs, adding up the points for each set. Then Mary spots a set of chairs that not only measure up, but that she just loves, and must have. As to the second element of Formal Axiology, this Mary and John scenario illustrates what Hartman calls the three dimensions of value. These are the extrinsic, systemic, and intrinsic. In the extrinsic dimension, object and conception are matched together. As we have seen, this process can result in measurable degrees of goodness. In the systemic dimension of value, only identity is considered. An object is a “chair” or it isn’t. Beds and tables weren’t on John and Mary’s shopping list today. The systemic entails the process of classification or taxonomy. Identifying a thing is the first step taken before the more elaborate measurement of degrees can be undertaken. The intrinsic dimension of values is in the realm of feeling rather than in the more rational realm of measuring degrees or of making either/or judgments. Mary’s love of the set of chairs she and John bought can’t be quantified or even fully explained. The chairs just fit her aesthetic sensibility and the vision of how she wanted to decorate her living room. They also remind her of her happy childhood and her holiday visits to Aunt Jane’s house. The third element of Formal Axiology is the more formal part, the Value Calculus. Here is the computational aspect that makes precise value sciences possible. Hartman developed a system of notation using the letters S (systemic), E (extrinsic), and I (intrinsic) to represent the three dimensions of value as categories, and using the same letters as ways of notating how the object in the categories is being valued. To illustrate this computational system, let us continue to follow John and Mary as they shop. When Mary was shopping she first scanned the store’s inventory to identify which objects are chairs or not. Since chairs are things, they are in the extrinsic value category. Her classifying of things as chairs or non-chairs is a systemic valuation of them. In the Value Calculus, this would be notated as E S. This is read as “E power S,” or the systemic valuation of an extrinsic value. Mary’s love of the chairs she and John bought can be notated as E I; or, E power I. That is, the intrinsic valuation of an extrinsic value. Most of the chairs she saw, she felt indifferent to; hence, there was no valuation beyond the quick systemic valuations she made to identify the objects as chairs or not. Some of the chairs were so ugly, in her estimation, that she just hated them. This valuation would be notated as E I; or, E sub I – the intrinsic disvaluation of an extrinsic value.
Value Calculus Realism
Hartman’s Value Calculus takes a realistic, or fact-based, view of the world. People have and act upon values. Value scientists will seek to understand what those values are, and to analyze their structure. That empirical orientation is why the Value Calculus can serve as the formal side of the yet to be developed value sciences. To illustrate this realism, suppose that after church on Sunday Mary comments to her friend, Jane, that there are three things she loves most in the world. These are God, her new husband John, and her old dog Fido (no kids yet).How would a value scientist notate these value situations, or instances of valuing? Since the science of value has an empirical orientation, God is seen as a conception in Mary’s mind; hence, notated as S. Since she loves God, the valuation is intrinsic, or I. The Value Calculus formula for this is S I – read as S power I; or, as the intrinsic valuation of a systemic value. As to Mary’s valuation of John, the Value Calculus has a special rule: persons, and only persons, are always notated as I in the initial position of the Value Calculus formula. So her love of John is notated as I I – I power I; or, the intrinsic valuation of an intrinsic value. Since Fido is a non-human organism, or a thing in the world, his initial value category is E, an extrinsic value. Hence, E I – read as E power I; or, as the intrinsic valuation of an extrinsic value. Comparing value structures and trying to account for the similarities and differences will one day be a regular part of practicing value science. Instances of valuing can be far more complex than this illustration of Mary’s feelings. So, the Value Calculus uses “nesting” to notate further permutations of value. For example, notice that the formula for Mary’s love of Fido has the same value structure as her love of her new chairs: E I. But suppose Mary protests that she loves Fido even more than her chairs because he is a living thing, and the chairs are inanimate objects. So Mary’s love of Fido as a living organism requires a different value structure than her love of the chairs. Since “life” is a principle, or conception, which adds value to Fido, a different formula can be used: [E S] I; or, the intrinsic valuation of the systemic valuation of an extrinsic value. Take another example: Mary has surgery to remove the mole on her nose, and is delighted with the results. From the value scientist’s point of view, the value structure of this situation is, [I E] I. The doctor operating on Mary to improve her looks is marked as I power E, because Mary is an intrinsic value being acted upon, and action is an extrinsic value. Mary’s delight with the results is an intrinsic valuation of the doctor’s extrinsic valuation of her. So, this more complex formula is read as I power E power I; or, the intrinsic valuation of the extrinsic valuation of an intrinsic value. In the future, computers will be able to workout extremely complex value structures. In the Value Calculus, superscripts represent what Hartman calls “compositions”(positives) while subscripts are for “transpositions” (negatives) of value. For example, Mary hated that mole on her nose. The mole is an extrinsic value, and her hate for it an intrinsic disvaluation. The formula: E I; read as E sub I, or an intrinsic disvaluation of an extrinsic value. This is the same value structure as her disdain of the ugly chairs in the furniture store.
The Threat to Religion-based Morality
In a nutshell, then, this is Hartman’s Formal Axiology. It is the foundation, or computational framework, for the development of value sciences, but it is not value science in itself. Particular value sciences will have to be founded by pioneering thinkers. Hartman wrote that a new science of “ethics” will be developed unlike any of the existing ethical theories that philosophers and religious partisans have been arguing over for centuries. Value science, he hoped, would “secularize ethics,” and displace religion, superstition, and the current variety of ethical philosophies with an empirically based scientific method of thinking about ethical values. Hartman was fully aware of the threat Formal Axiology is to religion as a moral authority in the world today. He wrote that just as Galileo’s use of a formal system brought “revolutionary changes … in [pre-scientific] natural philosophy… the transition to moral science [will bring] radical changes in moral philosophy.” Hartman envisioned a scientific ethics that would eventually displace religion as an authoritative, but not authoritarian, source of moral advice. He was aware, as we all are, of the shameful wars that dogmatic and fanatical religions some times engage in against one another. Each side believes itself in possession of The One Truth, and therefore Morally Superior to apostates, infidels, and the heretics in the opposed religions. In the value structure of such deadly conflicts, ideas and doctrines are regarded as more important than the real human beings who are murdered in the name of such “Truths.” Indeed, such murder is often considered “morally good” by the Believers. But the Value Calculus can expose this hypocrisy. Killing a person in the name of a religion is formulated as [I E] S; or, the systemic valuation of the extrinsic disvaluation of an intrinsic value. The religious warriors think it is “good,” or morally honorable, to kill folks with different views. But the formal structure shows that no matter how good one sees such killing, the disvaluation of a person is contained in the self-delusion that the act was a purely positive act. Thus are religious warriors confronted with the Real Truth, the Truth of Formal Axiology. Using the Value Calculus, ideas are never more important than people. Hartman wrote that Formal Axiology “thus helps expose the real evils – the disvalues posing as values – of our civilization … which are chronic diseases of the so-called Christian world and which arise from its inverted hierarchy of values.” Hartman predicted that among the coming value sciences would be a new form of political science which could become an authoritative, but not authoritarian, a source of political wisdom. It would analyze the value structures of laws, policies, and government practices. Indeed, he outlined 18 different branches of the value sciences. Among these are a new form of aesthetics, economics, psychology, sociology, epistemology, jurisprudence, and literary criticism – all yet to be developed. Formal Axiology is intended to provide the formal system for the value sciences like mathematics provides the formal system for the natural sciences, such as astronomy, biology, chemistry, and physics. Hartman predicted that just as the natural sciences have produced amazing and revolutionary benefits for humanity, when the value sciences develop and mature, so they will enrich the quality of human life beyond what is currently thought achievable. Hartman introduced his Formal Axiology, and discussed his hopes for it, in his1967 book,
The Structure of Value
Unfortunately, the book was slow to catch on, and tragically, Hartman died in 1973. A group calling itself “The Hartman Institute,” headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee was given possession of Hartman’s voluminous unpublished writings, by his grieving widow, Rita, and in exchange they pledged to make his work known to the world. Rem Edwards was one of the founding members of that group, and the book we are reviewing here’s hows how they have gone about fulfilling their pledge to Rita Hartman (who is now deceased.)
The Augustinian Plot
Rem’s book presents itself as an explanation of R.S. Hartman’s Formal Axiology. But it is not that at all. Unhappily, it is a rambling, repetitious, screed bent upon so mutilating and misrepresenting Hartman’s work that no one will be interested in learning more about it. It is, in short, not a difference of opinion, but an act of sabotage. A little history will put this poison pill in its proper context. In the Fifth Century, Saint Augustine formulated Church doctrine with such books as The City of God, which, among other things, disparaged Pagan beliefs and the study of nature. Philosopher Michael Polanyi notes that Augustine “denied the value of a natural science which contributed nothing to the pursuit of salvation. His ban destroyed interest in science all over Europe for a thousand years.” As interest in science began to re-emerge with the Renaissance, one of the major challenges to Christian beliefs was brought by Copernicus. He claimed that the universe did not revolve around Earth, as Church officials taught, but that Earth revolved around the sun. Galileo used a telescope to gather evidence which, among other things, supported Copernicus. In the 1630s the blessed Bishops of the Catholic Church threatened Galileo with torture and prison if he didn’t recant some of his more offensive findings. Mindful of what happened to Giordano Bruno, Galileo complied. The astronomer Bruno went even further than Copernicus, and asserted that our sun was just one among many in the universe. In 1600 he was burned at the stake after the Inquisition declared him guilty of heresy. Over the years, many other scientists, as well as witches, heretics, Pagans, and suspected or known nonbelievers suffered imprisonment, torture, and death for their independence of mind. But religion’s war on science didn’t stop in ancient Europe. It has continued well in to modern times. For example, Christian Fundamentalists had a law passed in Tennessee prohibiting the teaching of Darwin’s theory of evolution in public schools, because they said such teachings contradicted the Bible. The Scopes Trial was conducted in that Bible Belt state in 1925, and high school teacher John Scopes was convicted and fined $100 for “teaching Darwin.” (A new Model T Ford, then, cost around $300.) Now, if Rem and his group of True Believers in the Scope’s Trial sub-culture have their way, value science will suffer a fate like that of natural science under Augustine, and be neglected for the next 1000 years. They have already let Hartman’s main book, The Structure of Value, go out of print, even as they publish a stream of their own works on “Christian Values.” They have kept Hartman’s papers locked up in Tennessee, not put online, inaccessible to the world for nearly 40 years. Their Augustinian plot is well on its way towards success.
Hartman’s Unitary Vision
As stated above, Hartman’s Formal Axiology consists primarily of three parts. These are his Value Axiom, the three dimensions of value, and his Value Calculus. Hartman presented these conceptions with math-like clarity. However, Rem’s strategy is to save religion by discouraging anyone from seeing the opportunity to build value sciences on the foundation Hartman has provided.Rem does this by misrepresenting the parts of Formal Axiology as the muddled musings of a Perplexed Philosopher, who deserves feint praise for his efforts butwho has not left us with anything useful.For example, Hartman presents his “Value Axiom” as the core insight for FormalAxiology. It not only defines the meaning of “good,” but it enables the valuescientist to see that the value realm consists of three dimensions of value – theextrinsic, the systemic, and the intrinsic. Awareness of these three dimensionsmakes possible the Value Calculus, which uses the letters E, S, and I. But, as wewill see, the unity of Hartman’s vision is deceptively presented by Rem as anamateurish hodge-podge of disconnected nebulous notions.The role of vision in science has been well documented. Thomas Kuhn, thehistorian of science, has written that a field of natural science is defined by a“paradigm,” which is a vision of the field shared by its practitioners. Over time,this paradigm is “articulated” by working scientists. Hartman understood this when he wrote that the “cumulative process of science is the differentiation of the unitary vision.” Formal Axiology was his “unitary vision.” This vision captured, for him, “the infinite unity of the whole field … the integrative core of the totality of all the phenomena in question.” He saw the Value Axiom as “the symbolic form of the core of [the] phenomenal field [of values].” Hartman came to know the Value Axiom through “a direct and immediate intuition.” Rem refuses to honor Hartman’s presentation of the Axiom of Value as the foundation for a science of values. Instead, Rem refers to the Value Axiom throughout his book as “the Form of the Good.” He uses that term scores of times, while Hartman never used it in The Structure of Value. Rem uses the term in an attempt to characterize Hartman as a ladder day Platonist who has succeeded where Plato failed; that is, at defining the Form of the Good. Rem condescendingly praises this as an achievement that all academic philosopher scan admire, but of no practical use. By associating Hartman with Plato, who pursued “Forms” and had no interest in the mundane studies of science, Rem’s rubric aims to distract his readers from Hartman’s decidedly non-Platonic scientific intentions. While Hartman held a “unitary vision” of Formal Axiology, Rem denounces that as delusional. He argues ad nauseam that the three dimensions of value are neither inclusive of the entire value realm, nor deducible from the Axiom of Value, but are mere constructs and “attachments.” Rem challenges Hartman’s discussion of the three dimensions of value by asking, “How do we know that there are only three?” Without skipping a beat, Rem answered his own question by proclaiming, as if speaking for all humanity, “We don’t.” But he pats Hartman on the head for at least making a “great start” on thinking about values. Actually, Rem’s claim that the three dimensions of value “cannot be deduced or inferred from” the Value Axiom is true from a hyper literal-minded point of view. The three dimensions of value cannot, literally, be deduced from the words “goodness is conceptual fulfillment.” But Rem’s failure to see the unity of parts does not mean that no unity exists. Hartman often referred to “Gestalts;” that is, the vision of relations within a whole, as opposed to picking at words about the vision. A landscape painting might feature a tree, but there is also the sky, clouds, birds, the ground in which the tree is rooted, grass, flowers, and a blanket upon which picnickers are enjoying themselves. When a viewer says “the focus of this painting is a tree,” the rest of the picture “cannot be deduced or inferred from” the literal words about the painting. But all the parts are there when the picture itself is looked at, as a whole. Hartman wanted people to know that when contemplating the Value Axiom, which he primarily illustrated with examples of extrinsic value, the other two dimensions come into view as completing the Gestalt of the value realm. For the holistic thinker, the three dimensions cover the field, but not for Rem, who insists that the three dimensions were pulled from a hat. Indeed, Rem’s insistence that Hartman’s three dimensions can’t be “inferred or derived from it [the Value Axiom], despite his claim to the contrary, ” actually attributes a claim to Hartman that he never made. For Hartman, the three dimensions of value constitute the entire value realm of the human mind and are neither “inferred” nor “derived” from anything. At best, Rem is simply reifying his own value blindness.
The Moral Fallacy
Rem’s main strategy is to undermine Hartman’s claim that Formal Axiology is a “science,” and make it appear to be just another moral philosophy. Although Hartman uses such words as “good” and “goodness,” and even “bad” on occasion, he intends Formal Axiology to be a method for describing and analyzing actual value situations, and not at all a philosophy about prescribing what kinds of thoughts or actions are right or wrong, good or bad. For Hartman, Formal Axiology is no more a moral system than is chemistry. But if Rem can effectively muddle this distinction in the minds of his readers, and make Formal Axiology appear to be morally prescriptive, then scientific minded folks will turn away from it rather than use it to develop the value sciences that Hartman hoped would follow. Early in his book, Rem sets the stage for the “faith based” line of attack he will take against Hartman’s efforts to establish a foundation for the science of values. After expounding on what he mislabels “the Form of the Good,” Rem criticizes both Hartman and Plato for failing to see that there could also be “a Form of the Bad.” Rem tries to give Hartman’s use of the word “goodness” a moral gloss by contrasting it with the term “badness.” Rem writes that, “badness, evil, or ‘sin,’ as the theologians would say, has real power and reality in itself; and, despite Hartman, it is not mere privation of goodness.” Human vices, for Rem, “are real and powerful inner forces or manifestations of evil that actually exist.” Rem believes in “morally bad people. Hitler, for example, was not a bad man simply because he lacked [good qualities]. No, he was a bad man because he possessed demonic power, hatred, malice, viciousness, cruelty, etc.” Here Rem seeks to undermine the very possibility of a science of value, independent of religion, by associating Hartman’s Value Axiom not only with the speculative philosophy of Plato, but with such bizarre theological notions as that “badness, evil, or ‘sin,’” have as much “reality” as wind and rain, or arms and legs. For Rem, “values” cannot be understood, except through the interpretive framework of religious morality, the only frame of reference he can imagine. As Hartman intended it, when “good” is defined as conceptual fulfillment, then goodness can be measured on a scale from good, to fair, to not good, or bad. A “bad” chair, for example, is one that collapses when you sit on it. Hartman’s use of the words “good” and “bad” are descriptive of measurements based on defined concepts. In Formal Axiology, these words are as completely free of any moralizing connotations as are the degrees measured by a thermometer. Temperature extremes may cause people some discomfort, but few people would call them “evil,” or “morally bad.” But Rem wants to pollute that scientific moral detachment and clarity by baptizing his presentation of “the Form of the Good” with Holy Water. Hartman saw this type of confusion coming, and warned against what he called the “Moral Fallacy.” This is a logical “confusion of different types of frames of reference, such as … the axiological with the moral.” It also occurs in the confusion of “goodness in general with moral goodness.” For value sciences, “goodness in general” is the Value Axiom – that goodness can be measured as degrees of conceptual fulfillment. “Moral goodness” is a subset of goodness in general. Indeed, there won’t be any single theory of “moral goodness” in the value sciences, as there is in religion. Instead, moral goodness will be divided up as applied elements of the value science “ethics,” the value science “psychology,” “political science,” and other yet to be spelled out value sciences. These fields of pure research will develop applied branches which will then make recommendations about “morals,” that is, how to avoid or reduce value transpositions and enhance value compositions. One analogy is the growth of public health knowledge over the past century. As an example of Formal Axiology’s non-moralistic perspective, a murder can be “good.” That is, if a “good murder” is defined as “the unlawful killing of another person without leaving any evidence behind,” then one murder can be better than another. A “bad” murder would be one at which the murderer left behind his business card and a video tape of him committing the crime. The value structure of murder is I E; the extrinsic disvaluation of an intrinsic value. In Formal Axiology, killing a person is always the extrinsic disvaluation of an intrinsic value. This is not a moral position, but an axiologic formula. So, a good murder does not make murder good. From the moral point of view, a homicide can be justifiable. The value structure of a “justifiable homicide” would be [I E] S – the systemic valuation of an extrinsic disvaluation of an intrinsic value. While the same value structure as killing in the name of a religion, a justifiable homicide is free of self-deception because it recognizes the disvaluation of the victim, but excuses the wrongdoer from punishment. The value structure of the moral disapproval of killing a person is [I E] S; the systemic disvaluation of the extrinsic disvaluation of an intrinsic value. This is the same value structure of a conviction for murder under the law. The purpose of the Moral Fallacy, as an axiological maxim, is to preserve Formal Axiology’s status as a “science,” and to keep it from being misunderstood as amoral philosophy. But, “despite Hartman,” Rem persists in committing the Moral Fallacy on every page of his book, in line with his project of misrepresentation. For Rem, there is no scientific point of view from which to understand values, but only that of his Old Time Religion.
Components of the Value Calculus
As we have seen, there are three primary components of the Value Calculus. These are the initial position, in which the object of valuation is notated, the valuation of that object, and nesting as a way to show successive valuations. For Rem, Hartman’s Value Calculus is an abomination. He seems to find two aspects of it especially repugnant. We noted earlier that because value science is empirically oriented, God is classified as a conception in the minds of people. As such, God is a systemic value (which can be valued intrinsically by believers).Also, placing an individual person, and only an individual person, in the initial position as an I, or intrinsic value, is a rule of operation for the Value Calculus. But Rem wants God to be treated as real, and to be valued as an I-value in the initial position of the Value Calculus. If he cannot have his way, then he will try to destroy the Value Calculus.
Why Only Persons in the I-value Category?
Regarding his first objection, Rem raises a legitimate question; that is, why is the I-value in the initial position of the Value Calculus reserved only for persons? In other words, why did Hartman treat people in the Value Calculus as categorically unique in value compared to any other living creature, or anything, or any idea? It appears that Hartman has built the seemingly moral principles of honor or respect for the individual person into the Value Calculus. But upon what grounds? One reason seems to be that Hartman took it as a matter of fact that one person’s life has special value in the minds of other persons. In recognition of this fact, persons get a special spot in the Value Calculus. But this value is non-quantifiable. Except for some lawyers and insurance agents, most folks would likely agree that, aside from business and legal affairs, intuitively “you can’t put a price on a human life,” at least not as a universal measure. Since the value of a person’s life cannot reasonably be quantified, and no limit can be put on it, Hartman sometimes used the term “nondenumerable infinity” for a person’s value. In this sense, the term “intrinsic value” refers to the special category of persons, whose value is immeasurable. Thus, he is not saying that all persons “ought” to be valued intrinsically, but only that for the Value Calculus this “is” the most fitting category for persons. This marker for the Value Calculus does not mean that folks cannot, or should not, regard other folks with disrespect, contempt, dislike, or even hatred. But those are valuations about the I-value category. Such valuations do not define the category itself, which is built into the Value Calculus. While Hartman does not say this, it seems that another weighty reason for giving persons a special category in the Value Calculus is that doing so enables the calculus to work. In other words, it is an intellectual commitment in the same sense that the commitment to “zero” is necessary for mathematics to work. Nobody has ever seen, touched, or measured “zero,” or nothing, but the concept is a necessary a priori condition for a useful mathematics. People might reasonably disagree that persons universally deserve a special and exclusive spot in the Value Calculus, but without it, there can be no Value Calculus for Formal Axiology. Hartman wrestled quite a bit with the problem of justifying a special spot for persons. He agreed with Kant, who wrote that respect for other people means that they should be treated “as ends in themselves, and not as means to an end. ”Formally, this maxim compares I E with I E. Kant’s doctrine has been widely accepted intuitively by people for over two centuries, although often violated. Hartman also offered his own speculative argument, or “proof,” of the infinite value of persons, as opposed to the limited value of extrinsic and systemic values. In short, besides agreeing with Kant, he also agreed with Aristotle’s understanding of “man” as “the rational animal,” and made human reason, or thinking power, one of the basis for the special category of persons as intrinsic values. But Hartman’s intrinsic value category for persons is regarded with horror by Rem, who sees it as heresy. Thus, Rem throws everything he’s got at it, in the hope that something negative will stick with the reader. “Traditional Christian theology,” Rem righteously declares, “was much more inclined to call us human beings infinitely worse than to call us infinitely good, something that Hartman never realized or considered.” A believer in the First Commandment, Rem invokes the wisdom of those theologians who see granting persons intrinsic value as a form of “heresy and a blasphemous self-deification.” Such a value category for human beings is “definitely not anywhere in the Bible.” A Knight of Faith, defending the doctrine of Original Sin, Rem reminds his readers that “Traditional Christianity clearly did not affirm that we have infinite value because of properties that we inherently possess [such as being born sinners].” Rem goes on at some length “refuting” Hartman’s special value category for the person. Concluding this section, Rem seriously wonders whether the Christian theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr (and perhaps Elvis), would see Hartman as “a devil in disguise, a finite being pretending to be infinite?” If Rem’s first line of attack has not put the fear of Jehovah in his readers and sent them running from the Value Calculus, he has other resources. As another line of attack, he simply misstates Hartman’s conception of the category “intrinsic value” so that it will include all “conscious beings.” Then he makes up the term “intrinsic value-objects,” uses it as if it were a part of Formal Axiology’s terminology, and repeatedly states that it includes “people and other conscious beings like animals and God.” To make Hartman look confused, Rem offers the baseless observation that in deciding what to include in the Value Calculus category of intrinsic value, Hartman’s “position on animals was ambiguous, to say the least.” Rem takes credit for clarifying Hartman’s perplexity by adding animals to the category, “as well as other unique conscious beings like God.” This misrepresentation reveals one of Rem’s tactics, which is to conflate uses of the word “intrinsic,” like in a shell game, and then attribute the confusion he causes to Hartman to make him appear as a Perplexed Philosopher. After executing this slight of hand, Rem innocently declares, as if speaking for the members of the Hartman Institute, “This leaves us wishing that Hartman would just make up his mind!” But it is Rem who is the obscurantist, not Hartman.
Rem’s Attack on the Forms of Valuation
Having demolished the clarity of the I-value category, or hoping he did so, Rem goes to work on the three forms of valuation. Rem knows that if the S, E, I forms of valuation are not as clear and distinct as the numbers 1, 2, and 3, the Value Calculus will seem to his readers to be a useless hodge-podge of blurry notions. Then Hartman’s foundation for the science of values will appear to be about as solid ground as a mud puddle, and no one will want to try to build on that. To that end, Rem shamelessly states the sheer fabrication that a “continuum of feelings runs throughout the three dimensions, so no sharp affective lines separate them.”
Why not say this? Since Hartman’s book has been out of print for at least a couple of decades, who’ll know the better? In case the reader missed the point, he repeats that S, E, or I valuation “typically differs significantly by degrees,” and that “all valuations are on a continuum of feelings; the lines between them are never drawn with exactitude.” Also, “The lines between the three are not absolutely sharp.” Let us then re-examine the differences between the three forms of valuation to test the veracity of Rem’s remarks.
A systemic valuation is a linear assessment of whether or not a thing fits in a certain category. Suppose Joe spots a coin in the street. He picks it up and assesses its proper category in an instant. Clearly, a penny is not a nickel, nor a dime a dollar – no matter how wishfully he feels that it was otherwise. The notation for Joe’s act of classification is E S; an extrinsic value, the coin, valued systemically. No feeling involved here, just a classification. But suppose Joe is a member of the Anti-Penny League, a group that demands Congress abolish the penny. He might view the coin with the feelings of anger and disgust. Then the value situation would be E I; an intrinsic disvaluation of an extrinsic value. If he goes to church and drops the penny in the poor box to make a contribution, he values it extrinsically; E E. If he then praises himself for his unbounded generosity; [E E] I. This is how “feeling” is accounted for in the Value Calculus. There isn’t any S or E feeling, but only I represent feeling as either superscript or subscript. If all valuations are a muddle on a continuum, as Rem has presented them, then of course lines cannot be drawn. But that is not how the Value Calculus works. Rem’s mendacious explanation of S, E, I valuations would make the Value Calculus untenable – a result he and his ilk value intrinsically.
I Value Intensity
An intrinsic valuation is a positive or negative feeling about something. Anything imaginable can be valued or disvalued intrinsically. A house, a car, an idea, a philosophical system, a TV program, a fairy tale, a star, the moon, a Martian, another person. It can be a slight feeling or a strong feeling. Indifference is no feeling about something, and thus not an intrinsic valuation. But the tiniest step, positive or negative, beyond indifference is an intrinsic valuation. Mary’s interest in the TV show, “Days in Our Lives,” is a positive feeling, and her disgust with “The Friday Night Fights” a negative feeling. John’s feelings are the reverse. But these are not intense feelings, so neither wants to murder the other for their different preferences. Rem, however, writes as though the “I” in intrinsic value stands for “intense.” For example, he characterizes the intrinsic valuation of systemic values, such as ideas, or philosophies, as involving “Intense curiosity or wonder,” “intense concentration,” or otherwise being “intensely involved” with an idea, etc. Rem earnestly assures us that “If we love anything with all our heart … we evaluate it intrinsically, we are one with it.” From there, Rem’s continuum moves to dimensions with less intense valuations. “Extrinsic evaluation is liking but not loving.” Rem further mutilates the lines that distinguish valuations by telling his readers that when negative emotions are “in their extreme forms they manifest intrinsic disvaluation. They may also be quite tame, mild, ordinary, and less extreme, thus extrinsic.” Nonsense!
Unlike the feelings of intrinsic valuations, and the either/or categorizations of systemic valuations, the extrinsic valuation is made with quantifiable degrees of fulfillment. As we saw in the example of a “chair,” the predicates in the definition of a thing can be numbered and matched with the corresponding properties of the thing. The number of matches between predicate and property can be counted. This count can be used as a measure of goodness. If the thing has 10 properties that match each of the 10 predicates, it is an excellent such thing. Five matches might be average, and one, two, or no matches, “bad.” For example, a “good” toilet bowl would make a “bad” chair. (Of course, in value science a “bad” chair is not a “sinful” chair, except perhaps for Rem and his cohorts.)The measure of a thing’s goodness can be made more precise by taking a closer look at each match of predicate and property. How well, or fully, a property matches up to its corresponding predicate can, for example, be rated on a scale of 1 to 10. There is no limit on the number of predicates someone can set out as a measure of goodness. Specifying a back, a seat (for one sitter), and four legs only sets up three predicates. But much more could be added. The type of wood, the style of the design, the thickness and length of each part, etc. can be requirements for the measure of goodness. Then each match of these rated 1 to 10. Thus, Hartman notes that for extrinsic valuation the predicates and properties can be numbered into infinity (a “denumerable infinity”). Fortunately, for most practical purposes that will not be necessary! But the point here is that extrinsic valuations are based on quantifiable matches, and are not vague feelings.As we have said, for the Value Calculus, intrinsic valuations are always expressions of feeling. They may be positive, and notated as a superscript, or negative, and notated as a subscript. But the intensity of feeling has no formal notation in the Value Calculus. Once the value structure of a value situation is formalized, people can be asked as a separate step to rate their feelings, for example, from 1-10. But such ratings are entirely subjective, both personally and culturally relative, and not amenable to the degree of objectivity required for formal expression in the Value Calculus. While value structures are universal among humans, the personal meanings and experiences of feelings are not. As the various value sciences emerge, they will explore personal meanings and experiences of feelings in greater depth. Formal Axiology is the general system to which each new value science will connect as a subsystem, like the various natural sciences connect to mathematics.
Math and the Cult of Hartman Fixers
Besides his Ph.D. in philosophy, Hartman also had a law degree and a Ph.D. in math. Given his interest in math, there are some lengthy discussions of that subject in The Structure of Value. For example, in reference to the Calculus of Value, he writes, “There are nine compositions and nine transpositions of the three value categories.” That is, each of the S, E, I categories of value can be valued with a positive or a negative systemic, extrinsic, or intrinsic valuation. By notating an S, E, I valuation subscript or superscript in connection with a value category, a “secondary value combination” is created. There are, then, 18 (and only 18) possible secondary value combinations, as follows: Compositions: S S, S E, S I; E S, E E, E I; I S, I E, I I
Transpositions: S S, S E, S I; E S, E E, E I; I S, I E, I I
As mentioned earlier, nesting begins with tertiary combinations. There are “108[possible] tertiary value combinations.” Using a double nest, there are “648quaternary combinations, and so on.” Theoretically, there is no end to the complexity of Value Calculus combinations for illuminating value situations. We also saw above that there is plenty of opportunity for mathematical complexity in the application of extrinsic value. Hartman writes, “like a mathematical formula in the natural sciences, a value formula is capable of infinite interpretation.” Indeed, Hartman was so taken by the parallels he saw between mathematics and the applications of extrinsic value and the Value Calculus that he frequently digressed into discussions of math throughout his book. Hartman experimentally drew parallels between his concepts of systemic, extrinsic, and intrinsic values, and mathematical theories of “finite numbers,” “denumerable infinities,” and “non-denumerable infinities.” He thought that by making such heuristic comparisons, there would be all kinds of “interesting possibilities for the axiological scientist.” Although a math lover (thus, S I, the same value structure as the love of God), Hartman was fully aware that it was only incidental to Formal Axiology, and not essential to it. That is one reason why he specified the “Metaphysical Fallacy;” an error of axiologic reasoning that occurs when “the mathematical frame of reference of the natural sciences is confused with the axiological frame of reference of the [yet to be developed] moral sciences.” Commission of this Fallacy shows a failure to understand that Hartman intended his Value Calculus to be the primary computational system for the value sciences, analogous to the role of math in the various natural sciences but not reliant upon it. Just as math enables natural scientists to articulate formal structures for the phenomena they study, so the Value Calculus will enable value scientists to articulate the formal structures of their phenomena. Unable, or unwilling, to separate the wheat from the chaff, Rem completely misrepresents the role of math in Formal Axiology. Seeing that Hartman took his parallels “from set theory and transfinite math,” Rem leaps to the unwarranted and false conclusion that transfinite mathematics is as essential to Formal Axiology as are the Value Axiom and the three dimensions of value. Although Hartman warned against the confusion of math with the Value Calculus, Rem writes deceptively that “He thought there could be no real science without mathematical formulas.” Then Rem rejects as “unworkable…Hartman’s own calculus of value, based as it was on applied transfinite mathematics and set theory.” Too bad: “Formal axiology will just have to find another math” Rem declares triumphantly, “We are only halfway there in creating a science of value.” And, “Having a formal calculus of value that is isomorphous with its subject matter still awaits the insights of creative mathematicians.” Thus Rem hopes to discourage everyone but a few “creative mathematicians” from trying to develop any value sciences based on Hartman’s Formal Axiology. Taking their cue from Rem, the Board of Directors of the Hartman Institute has made one of their five most “important goals … To develop a formal Calculus of Value that really works.” Oblivious to the meaning of the Metaphysical Fallacy, the Quest for this Holy Grail has inspired a whole crop of Hartman Fixers their motto seems to be “We must fix Hartman before we understand him!” – William J. Kelleher, Ph.D. Formal_Axiology_Another_Victim_in_Religions_War_on_Science
From this primary value axiom two “fallacies” and two “enhancements” follow.
Value Fallacies: The Ideological Fallacy — to value ideas over persons. The Instrumental Fallacy — to value persons solely for their usefulness.
Value Enhancements: The Ideological Enhancement — using ideas to enhance or enrich the lives of persons. The Instrumental Enhancement — using persons to enhance or enrich their lives.
Several members have made fortunes as business consultants using the Hartman Value Profile, but these “HVP millionaires” refuse to fund the publication of a free, peer-reviewed open access online journal from which scholars around the world could learn, and to which they could contribute to help in the development of the value sciences.
Axiology: Two Worlds in Three Dimensions of Value http://www.valueinsights.com/axiology3.html
I would like to offer my understanding of how I see the layout of morality, values, morals, and ethics as I see them. I see the term “morality” proper as the main moniker to a philosophic group (values, morals, and ethics to me is the process as well as different prosocial thinking to behavior classes) or a main heading that involves the subheadings of values, morals, and ethics. Values, morals, and ethics, in a basic observational way, should be understood as falling under branches expressing different but similar thinking and behavioral persuasion. Values are the internal catalyst often motivating our thinking and behaviors. Such as a value of all human life, would tend to motivate you to not wantonly end human lives. Just as a lack of value for all human life, may tend to motivate you to not have an issue with the wanton ending of human lives. Morals to me, are the personal persuasion that you value, such as having a desire for truthfulness. Then we have ethics and we know this is a different branch of the morality tree, as there is business ethics/professional ethics but not really business morals or professional morals; other than one’s self-chosen persuasion which may be adopted from business ethics/professional ethics. Ethics are as I have expressed our social universal prescriptions/persuasions public morality whereas morals to me are personal morality. Therefore, we can hold others to universal ethics standards (public morality) and not our moral proclivities that are not universal on others, as morals are for us (personal morality).
“Intro to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs & Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development, Background -Believed people motivated by unsatisfied needs, proposed that people were in ethical error of prosocial actions not because they were “bad” but because needs were thwarted Maslow’s Hierachry of Needs. This is in a general way of referencing Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development that attempted to analyze the qualities of Self-Actualizing Persons Reality centered in, which was an sort of an endeavor to differentiate what is fake and dishonest from what is real and genuine Look at life’s difficulties as problems to be solved, not as personal troubles to be surrendered to Believe the ends don’t necessarily justify the means; the means could be ends themselves– the means–the journey is often more important than the ends. More efficient perceptions of reality & more comfortable relations with it comes with Moral Development: Acceptance of self, others, and nature, Spontaneity, Problem-centering, Quality of detachment; need for privacy, Autonomy, independence of culture & environment, Continued freshmess of appreciation, The democratic character structure, Philosophical, unhostile sense of humor, Creativeness human kinship; social interest, ethical interest, empaty, compassion, humanity; strong ethics. Lawrence Harvard professor in the 70’s Developmental psychologist, Influenced by Jean Piaget (Swiss) & John Dewey (American) whom Believed people progress in their moral reasoning through a series of stages. In general, few people reached stage 5 even less obtain stage 6, the rest tend to be at stage 4 or 3. Ref
Axiological Morality Critique of Pseudo-Morality/Pseudomorality?
True Morality summed up to me is largely the expression of axiological value judgments/assessments carried into an appropriate valueized action.
Formal axiology (science of value) is a foundation upon which a scientific revolution of scientific morality can be attained or at least furthered. To position humanism even secular humanism or to say there can be a scientific morality can come one day, is not an account of a current fact or a true justification of not just how one lives there life or even believes that life should be lived but what empirical or philosophical evidentiary validation is offered? If you want to read about “Formal Axiology” check out this link. Formal Axiology, the science of value, has the distinctive difference of being based on deductive reasoning, a method by which concrete applications & interpretative detail are deduced from axioms, definitions and postulates. Hartman’s “Axiom of Value” provided us with a formal mathematical norm which can be applied to any field of study to structure the value parameters of that field, and then it weighs or measures individuals or teams against that scientific norm. Dr. Leon Pomeroy in his book, The New Science of Axiological Psychology (Pomeroy, 2005), has shown that formal axiology is also empirically valid. Value Science in a Nutshell: Science = Reason + Empiricism, “Formal Axiology” the science of value. Hartman was a philosopher who used the tools of reason, logic and mathematics to build his theory. He was not a committed empiricist and never tested the reliability and validity of his theory or the HVP. For this reason Dr. Leon Pomeroy had little interest in Hartman when Albert Ellis brought his work to my attention. Without plans or preparation, seven years later, fate intervened. Hartman’s friend, the Mexican psychiatrist Salvatore Roquet, M.D., demonstrated the HVP and convinced me to take another look at it and the theory behind it. The mathematical model Hartman used is “set theory.” Dr. Leon Pomeroy accepted it as a first approximation revealing the architecture of “value logic” or “value grammar” implicit in the mind’s native cognitive processing of values and valuations. Dr. Leon Pomeroy appreciated that this approach to values was an exploration of a world where no one had gone before. It was a creative frame of reference that struck me as “ripe” for empirical testing. Hartman called his theory “formal axiology.” This retained the old philosophical concept of “axiology.” Although understandable, Dr. Leon Pomeroy found it a bit confusing as a scientist. Because Hartman had developed a “new axiology,” he called his theory “formal” axiology to distinguish it from the philosophy of axiology. This invited more confusion among those who are not philosophers. No matter, the “new axiology” or “formal axiology,” is grounded in mathematics which distances it from the philosopher’s axiology. This precise construction of theory and HVP-testing inspired several Hartman students to become entrepreneurs marketing The Hartman Value Profile (HVP) to individuals and corporate clients. It also inspired them to view the theory in a way Dr. Leon Pomeroy found unacceptable. Ref
Disgust as a Moral Emotion?
“Recent empirical research seems to show that emotions play a substantial role in moral judgment. Perhaps the most important line of support for this claim focuses on disgust. A number of philosophers and scientists argue that there is adequate evidence showing that disgust significantly influences various moral judgments. And this has been used to support or undermine a range of philosophical theories, such as sentimentalism and deontology. It may be that the existing evidence possibly also suggests something rather different: that moral judgment can have a minor emotive function, in addition to a substantially descriptive one.” Ref But what’s the Point of “Disgust as a Moral Emotion (Moral Outrage)? HUMAN beings have an appetite for moral outrage. You see this in public life — in the condemnation of Donald J. Trump for vowing to bar Muslims from the United States, or of Hillary Clinton for her close involvement with Wall Street, to pick two ready examples — and you see this in personal life, where we criticize friends, colleagues, and neighbors who behave badly. Why do we get so mad, even when the offense in question does not concern us directly? The answer seems obvious: We denounce wrongdoers because we value fairness and justice because we want the world to be a better place. Our indignation appears selfless in nature. In a Published Paper in the journal Nature, that present evidence that the roots of this outrage are, in part, self-serving. We suggest that expressing moral outrage can serve as a form of personal advertisement: People who invest time and effort in condemning those who behave badly are trusted more. Our paper helps address an evolutionary mystery: Why would a selfless tendency like moral outrage result from the “selfish” process of evolution? One important piece of the answer is that expressing moral outrage actually does benefit you, in the long run, by improving your reputation. In our paper, we present both a theoretical model and empirical experiments. The model involves “costly signaling,” the classic example of which is the peacock’s tail. Only healthy male peacocks with high-quality genes can manage to produce extravagant plumages, so these tails — precisely because of how “resource intensive” they are — function as honest advertisements to potential mates of a peacock’s genetic quality. In a paper, they argue that the same can be true of punishing others for wrongdoing, which can serve as a signal of trustworthiness. This is because punishing others is often costly — but less so for those people who find it worthwhile to be trustworthy. Consider: Trustworthiness pays off for you if others typically reciprocate your good deeds or reward you for good behavior. This includes being rewarded for promoting moral behavior via punishment. Therefore, if you are a person who finds being trustworthy rewarding, you’ll typically also find punishing less costly. The paper’s, mathematical model it seems to shows that, as a result, choosing to punish wrongdoers can work like a peacock’s tail — if I see you punish misbehavior, I can infer that you are likely to be trustworthy. To test whether people actually follow this logic, we ran experiments in which subjects interacted with anonymous strangers on the Internet. In the paper’s experiments, one subject (the signaler) received some money. Then, the subject had the chance to give up some of the money to punish somebody for being selfish. Our subjects turned out to be fair-minded: A sizable proportion of signalers were willing to pay to punish selfish acts, even though they had not been personally mistreated. Next, a second subject (the chooser) decided whether to trust the signaler — after observing whether or not the signaler had decided to punish. This decision had real consequences: If the chooser decided to trust the signaler, she earned money if the signaler turned out to be trustworthy, but lost money if he did not. (Either way, the signaler benefited from being trusted). We found that choosers were much more likely to trust signalers who had punished selfishness, earning these signalers extra cash in the long run. And choosers were right to be trusting, because signalers who punished really behaved in a more trustworthy way. Furthermore, signalers were less likely to punish when offered a more straightforward way to appear trustworthy (namely, helping others directly). Together, the paper’s model and experiments supported the theory that expressing moral outrage can serve to enhance our reputations. Again, this is a theory of evolution, not conscious motivation. It doesn’t mean that people who express outrage are deliberately trying to show off to others. But we do see this theory as helping to explain why humans developed a psychology of outrage in the first place. Our theory also explains why people sometimes punish in ways that don’t make sense from the perspective of benefiting the greater good. For example, punishment can sometimes be wildly disproportionate to the perceived offense. Take the case of a woman named Justine Sacco, who in 2013 tweeted a comment about AIDS in Africa — seen by many as racially insensitive, but by others as an ironic joke gone wrong — and was viciously attacked by thousands of outraged strangers, making her for a while the No. 1 worldwide trend on Twitter. Whether or not they were conscious of it, these attackers were most likely advertising to their Twitter audiences that they were not racist. Moral outrage is a part of human nature. But it’s worth keeping in mind that the punishment that it triggers is sometimes best explained not as a fair and proportionate reaction, but as a result of a system that has evolved to boost our individual reputations — without much care for what it means for others.” Ref
The Emotions Underlying Moral Outrage
The word outrage suggests that anger is a big part of this moral feeling. And when you are experiencing moral outrage, it certainly feels like intense anger. These researchers suggest that what separates moral outrage from anger, though, is disgust. They argue that people need the combination of disgust and anger to get real moral outrage. In one study, participants viewed testimony and lawyers’ arguments from a murder case. The testimony included pictures and descriptions of stab wounds from the victim’s throat. Afterward, participants stated whether they thought the defendant was guilty. They rated their degree of anger and disgust as well as their sense of moral outrage at the defendant. People’s judgments of moral outrage were predicted by a combination of anger and disgust. In particular, anger alone and disgust alone do not create moral outrage. Instead, it was important to have the combination of the two to experience moral outrage. The degree of moral outrage then influenced people’s sense of the guilt of the defendant and their confidence in that verdict. The researchers also replicated the relationship between anger, disgust and moral outrage using scenarios involving a church group picketing a soldier’s funeral and a description of a sexual assault. Once again, the combination of anger and disgust led to feelings of moral outrage. This research fits with a growing body of work exploring the role of disgust in moral judgments. Clearly, we experience disgust when there is some situation or food that is dirty. We extend that disgust to situations that violate our moral beliefs. So, things that are disgusting have the prospect to engage our moral sense. When we combine that disgust with anger, then we can slip into the white-hot rage that is common for moral outrage. Ref
Moral fear and Moral love (which together motivate axiological ethics)?
“Sometimes justice has to outweigh care and sometimes care has to outweigh justice.”
And one may ask or question how do you discern the appropriate morality course of action between what is ethically right? To me, it takes Axiology (i.e. value consciousness: value judgment analysis of ethical appropriateness do to assess value involved).
MORAL FEAR (fight or flight “justice perspective”):
To feel a kind of morality “anxiety” (ethical apprehension to potentially cause harm) about behaviors and their outcomes empathy (I feel you) or sympathy (I feel for you) about something moral that may be done, is being done, or that has been done, thus feeling of distress, apprehension or alarm caused by value driven emotional intelligence concern; moral/ethical anxiety to the possibility; chance (to do something as a moral thinker and an ethical actor) or dread; respect (to take the sensitivity of a personal moral choice that leads one to choose an ethical behavior(s) and grasping the moral weight of the actions involved and potential outcomes this engagement can or will likely create (using data from learning whether theoretical or practical to lessen the effect of an unpleasant choice as much as posable (morality development/awareness/goals/persuasion). “Moral Anxiety, improves us, while Social Anxiety kills. Some anxieties are indicators of healthy curiosity and strong moral fiber, while others are a source of severe stress. Knowing which is which can help you to navigate your personal, professional, and intellectual life more effectively.” http://bigthink.com/ideafeed/moral-anxiety-improves-us-social-anxiety-doesnt Moral fear thus is a kind of morality “anxiety” that motivates a fascinating aspect of humanity, which is that we hold ourselves to high moral standards. With our values and emotional intelligence and moral development, we gain a developed prosocial persuasion thus “tend to self-impose rules on ourselves to protect society from the short-term temptations that might cause us to do things that would have a negative impact in the long-run. For example, we might be tempted to harm a person who bothers us, but a society in which everyone gave in to the temptation to hurt those who made us angry would quickly devolve into chaos. And once we accept that emotion plays some role in complex decisions, it is important to figure out which emotions are influencing different kinds of choices. Therefore, when we make these moral judgments to an extent we are somewhat driven by our ability to reason about the consequences of the actions or are influenced by their emotions to or about the outcomes of the consequences of the actions.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ulterior-motives/201308/anxiety-and-moral-judgment
*ps. MORAL FEAR (fight or flight “consequentialist/utilitarian ethics”) is roughly referring to the fight-or-flight response, also known as the acute stress response, refers to a physiological reaction that occurs in the presence of something that is terrifying, either mentally or physically. https://www.verywell.com/what-is-the-fight-or-flight-response-2795194
MORAL LOVE (tend and befriend “voice of care perspective”):
To me, this relates to care/caring ethics, which affirms the importance of caring motivation, emotion and the body in moral deliberation, as well as reasoning from particulars.This moral theory is known as “ the ethics of care” implies that there is moral significance in the fundamental elements of relationships and dependencies in human life. Normatively, care ethics seeks to maintain relationships by contextualizing and promoting the well-being of care-givers and care-receivers in a network of social relations. Most often defined as a practice or virtue rather than a theory as such, “care” involves maintaining the world of, and meeting the needs of, ourself and others. It builds on the motivation to care for those who are dependent and vulnerable, and it is inspired by both memories of being cared for and the idealizations of self. Following in the sentimentalist tradition of moral theory, care ethics affirms the importance of caring motivation, emotion and the body in moral deliberation, as well as reasoning from particulars. One of the original works of care ethics was Milton Mayeroff’s short book, On Caring, but the emergence of care ethics as a distinct moral theory is most often attributed to the works of psychologist Carol Gilligan and philosopher Nel Noddings in the mid-1980s. Though there are notable thinkers who express early strains of care ethics such as those that can be detected in the writings of feminist philosophers such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Catherine and Harriet Beecher, and Charlotte Perkins. Offering a general charged that traditional moral approaches contain a kinda of male bias, and asserted the “voice of care” as a legitimate alternative to the “justice perspective” of liberal human rights theory. Annette Baier, Virginia Held, Eva Feder Kittay, Sara Ruddick, and Joan Tronto are some of the most influential among many subsequent contributors to care ethics. Typically contrasted with deontological/Kantian and consequentialist/utilitarian ethics, is that of care ethics.
*ps. MORAL LOVE (tend and befriend) is similar to the fight or flight which is also only part of a bigger picture, according to Shelley Taylor, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and her colleagues. In the Psychological Review, the researchers describe how stress can elicit another behavioral pattern they call “tend and befriend”–especially in females.
Disgust and morality?
Disgust is deeply related to our sense of morality “MORAL DISGUST” which can be feelings of moral outrage elicited from or creating Moral fear or Moral love (which together motivate axiological ethics) either alone or both at the same time. “Disgust is the emotion and current theories suggest that we have to distinguish between affect and emotion. Affect is the feelings that you experience in different situations. As you start to read a harrowing story about child prostitution, you may get a pit in your stomach or feel a bit light-headed. Emotion occurs after you determine the cause of the feelings you are having. This process of finding the causes is called appraisal. So, feeling disgust after reading a news story requires appraising that your ill feeling is being caused by disgust for the events described in the story. This view of disgust suggests that the emotion of disgust is strongly connected to our sense of morality. That is, when we feel disgust, we should also express feelings of moral outrage. And to counteract those emotions, we should increase our concern with purity. A paper by E.J. Horberg, Christopher Oveis, Dacher Keltner, and Adam Cohen in the December, 2009 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology looked at this issue. First, they looked at the difference between disgust and anger. They had people read about relatively minor violations of purity and violations of justice. A violation of purity might be a story about a brother and sister who like to kiss passionately when nobody is around. A violation of justice might be a person who steals books from the library that other people need to study. People judged how wrong they felt that these violations were. People also rated how angry and disgusted they were feeling. The amount of disgust people were feeling was related to the strength of their ratings of the wrongness of the purity violations. The amount of anger people were feeling was related to the strength of their ratings of the wrongness of the justice violations. Another study in this series looked at the causal relationship between disgust and moral sense. In this study, people watched a video. For some people, the video was disgusting (the scene from the movie Trainspotting in which the main character has to reach through a toilet filled with feces). For other people, the video was designed to generate sadness (a scene in which a child watches a father’s death). After seeing these videos, people read about a variety of violations of purity and justice (like those I just described). The people who watched the disgusting video found the violations of purity to be much more wrong than the people who watched the sadness video. Neither of these videos had much impact at all on people’s judgments of the wrongness of violations of justice. These studies suggest that there is a tight relationship between our sense of moral purity and the emotion of disgust. Violations of our sense of moral purity lead us to feel the emotion of disgust. When we experience the emotion of disgust, we also change our judgments of the moral purity of others.” Ref
Moral Emotions and Moral Behavior?
“Living a moral, constructive life is defined by a weighted sum of countless individual, morally relevant behaviors enacted day in and day out (plus an occasional particularly self-defining moment). As imperfect human beings, however, our behavior does not always bear a one-to-one correspondence to our moral standards. And moral emotions represent a key element of our human moral apparatus, influencing the link between moral standards and moral behavior. This chapter reviews current theory and research on moral emotions. We first focus on a triad of negatively valenced “self-conscious” emotions—shame, guilt, and embarrassment. As in previous decades, much research remains focused on shame and guilt. We review current thinking on the distinction between shame and guilt, and the relative advantages and disadvantages of these two moral emotions. Several new areas of research are highlighted: research on the domain-specific phenomenon of body shame, styles of coping with shame, psychobiological aspects of shame, the link between childhood abuse and later proneness to shame, and the phenomena of vicarious or “collective” experiences of shame and guilt. In recent years, the concept of moral emotions has been expanded to include several positive emotions—elevation, gratitude, and the sometimes morally relevant experience of pride. Finally, we discuss briefly a morally relevant emotional process—other-oriented empathy.” Ref Click here to read more: LINK
|The Step-By-Step Plan to Building Moral Intelligence
by Michele Borba, Ed.D. Author of Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing
Moral intelligence is the capacity to understand right from wrong; it means to have strong ethical convictions and to act on them so that one behaves in the right and honorable way. It consists of seven essential virtues. Building Moral Intelligence by Dr. Michele Borba (Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2001) provides a complete step-by-step plan for teaching kids these critical virtues they’ll need to do what’s right and resist any pressures that may defy the habits of good character.
The Seven Essential Virtues of Moral Intelligence
|1. EMPATHY: Identifying with and feeling other people’s concerns.|
|Step 1. Foster awareness and an emotional vocabulary.
Step 2. Enhance sensitivity to the feelings of others.
Step 3. Develop empathy for another person’s point of view.
|2. CONSCIENCE: Knowing the right and decent way to act and acting in that way.|
|Step 1. Create the context for moral growth.
Step 2. Teach virtues to strengthen conscience and guide behavior.
Step 3. Foster moral discipline to help kids learn right from wrong.
|3. SELF-CONTROL: Regulating your thoughts and actions so that you stop any pressures from within or without and act the way you know and feel is right.|
|Step 1. Model and prioritize self-control to your child.
Step 2. Encourage your child to become his own self motivator.
Step 3. Teach your child ways to deal with temptations and think before acting.
|4. RESPECT: Showing you value others by treating them in a courteous and considerate way.|
|Step 1. Convey the meaning of respect by modeling and teaching it.
Step 2. Enhance respect for authority and squelch rudeness.
Step 3. Emphasize good manners and courtesy–they do count!
|5. KINDNESS: Demonstrating concern about the welfare and feelings of others.|
|Step 1. Teach the meaning and value of kindness.
Step 2. Establish a zero tolerance for meanness and nastiness.
Step 3. Encourage kindness and point out its positive effect.
|6. TOLERANCE: Respecting the dignity and rights of all persons, even those beliefs and behaviors we may disagree with.|
|Step 1. Model and nurture tolerance from an early age.
Step 2. Instill an appreciation for diversity.
Step 3. Counter stereotypes and do not tolerate prejudice.
|7. FAIRNESS: Choosing to be open-minded and to act in a just and fair way.|
|Step 1. Treat your kids fairly.
Step 2. Help your child learn to behave fairly.
Step 3. Teach your child ways to stand up against unfairness and injustice.
About the Author: Michele Borba, Ed.D. a former classroom teacher, is an internationally renowned consultant and educator who has presented workshops to over half a million participants. She is the recipient of the National Educator Award and the author of eighteen books including Parents Do Make A Difference (Jossey-Bass) which was named by Child Magazine as an “outstanding parenting book of the year.” She is a frequent guest expert on television and National Public Ratio talk shows including The view, ABC Home Show, The Parent Table, and is quoted in numerous national publications. She lives in Palm Springs, California with her husband and three teenage sons. Information on her publications and seminars can be accessed through her Web site, www.moralintelligence.com. Ref
Moral intelligence is the capacity to understand right from wrong and to behave based on the value that is believed to be right.Ref Moral intelligence was first developed as a concept in 2005 by Doug Lennick and Fred Kiel, Ph.D. Much of the research involved with moral intelligence agrees that this characteristic is ability-based, rather than trait-based. Therefore, moral intelligence is seen as a skill that can be further developed with practice. Beheshtifar, Esmaeli, and Moghadam (2011) claim that moral intelligence is the “’central intelligence’ for all humans.”Ref It is considered a distinct form of intelligence, independent to both emotional and cognitive intelligence. There are two general ‘models’ of moral intelligence that are recurrent in the literature. Doug Lennick and Fred Kiel, Ph.D., authors of Moral Intelligence and the originators of the term, identified four competencies of moral intelligence: integrity, responsibility, forgiveness, and compassion.Ref
|Lennick & Kiel’s competencies||Description|
|Integrity||Creating harmony between what we believe and how we act, doing what we know is right, always telling the truth|
|Responsibility||Taking personal responsibility, admitting mistakes and failures, embracing responsibility for serving others|
|Forgiveness||Letting go of one’s own mistakes, letting go of others’ mistakes|
|Compassion||Actively caring about others|
Another identified model of moral intelligence was proposed by author Michele Borba, Ed.D., in her book Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing. Borba notes seven essential virtues of moral intelligence: empathy, conscience, self-control, respect, kindness, tolerance, and fairness. In her book, Borba gives a step-by-step plan for parents to teach their children these virtues to enhance their moral intelligence.
|Borba’s essential virtues||Description|
|Empathy||Identifying with and feeling other people’s concerns.|
|Conscience||Knowing the right and decent way to act and acting in that way.|
|Self-control||Regulating your thoughts and actions so that you stop any pressures from within or without and act the way you know and feel is right.|
|Respect||Showing you value others by treating them in a courteous and considerate way.|
|Kindness||Demonstrating concern about the welfare and feelings of others.|
|Tolerance||Respecting the dignity and rights of all persons, even those beliefs and behaviors we may disagree with.|
|Fairness||Choosing to be open-minded and to act in a just and fair way.|
Moral intelligence is proposedly an important characteristic for leaders to have. Beheshtifar, Esmaeli, and Moghadam (2011) studied the effects of moral intelligence on leadership and identified that moral intelligence affects the overall performance of an organization because leaders who are morally intelligent are more committed, continuously learn from others around them, are more humble, and more willing to risk their own self-interests for the greater good of moral goals. Beheshtifar and colleagues argue that moral intelligence provides a “great potential to improve our understanding of learning and behavior,” and in particular within leadership roles. According to their research, moral intelligence is the driving force of our other forms of intelligences. Rahimi (2011) claims that humans are born with a natural moral instinct and that moral decisions are made rapidly and subconsciously. Beheshtifar and colleagues believe that within this moral instinct lies “inaccessible moral knowledge.” Beheshtifar, Esmaeli, and Modhadam (2011) reported that there is a significant amount of research to support that leadership effectiveness is positively correlated with intelligence. This means that more intelligent people are likely to be good leaders. However, the researchers suggest that smarter people are not always the best or most efficient leaders. They even go as far as to claim that other studies have found that “being much smarter than your subordinates can actually hinder effective leadership” due to the level of communication between the leaders and followers. Although moral intelligence is often highly associated with the business world, Beheshtifar and colleagues agree that this form of intelligence does not lie solely in the field of business psychology. Education has been said to be a “moral endeavor.” The Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) stated during a panel on moral education that schools should define and teach universal moral values as part of the curriculum. Rodney H. Clarken of the Northern Michigan University School of Education argued that moral intelligence must be taught to children by breaking it down into three different domains: cognitive, affective, and conative. The cognitive domain is used to understand and develop a sense of moral intelligence by teaching children right from wrong, practical application of virtues, and exercising moral problem-solving. The affective domain is an approach to develop moral intelligence through a sense of when a situation is a moral dilemma, knowing how to respond to a problem appropriately, and learning how to develop a set of values. Lastly, the conative domain includes setting goals and taking action and persevering. While virtues, moral values, and concerns have always been an inherent theme of philosophy, moral concerns in society appear to pace up and down. Mostly, there are particular events (such as military interventions, terror attacks, natural catastrophes, business scandals) or the development of new methods and technologies (such as cloning, stem cell research, and biotechnology) that lead to publicly recognized moral crises or moral hazards. As such, they can induce “moral revolutions” that result in changes in social practices (as e.g., the abolition of Atlantic slavery; Appiah 2010). No doubt, what has given rise to a new wave of a moral crisis more recently are the corporate ethical scandals and the financial crisis that have shocked the business world. Business practices are again heavily scrutinized and many people are asking what can be done to promote moral behavior and to prevent similar transgressions in the future.
Moral Intelligence – A Framework for Understanding Moral Competencies (PDF Download Available). Available from: Moral_Intelligence_-_A_Framework_for_Understanding_Moral_Competences
I have questions for someone believing all morality is subjective
How is moral knowledge possible? This question is central in moral epistemology and marks a cluster of problems. The most important are the following.
To me, some of our issues grasping the ontology of morality is our limited all or nothing, either or, and black or white thinking. Such as people saying morality is objective or subjective. They are both right. To me, morality is both, qualities that are subjective and has qualities that are objective. It is not either or, that is a false dichotomy of the ontology of morality. To understand the point I am making, think of love is it absolutely subjective? Yes and no we can experience love subjectively but even though this fact is true it is also simultaneously that it is also a fact that love the feeling can be said to be expressed in some universal ways as to which we can see love actions in others and in animals. It’s this fact that the feeling of love biologically inspires common and distinct universal behaviors that is objective, which is similar to what I am saying about morality. What we call truth is a “value judgment” of what we believe is the reality of the case. So, a claim of truth then like all claims needs some type supporting justification. The claim of truth’s integrity requires testing of what the theme of the offered truth involves if validly justified it should not be distrusted. However, if the claim of truth’s integrity is not justified then the term “Truth” has not been itself attacked rather it’s the using the word “Truth” that cannot substantiate the term that it should be distrusted because it is seemingly in error or a lie-pseudo truth. Therefore, the user/claimer of the improper use of the word “Truth” but believe in and promote pseudo-truth because it does not have a sound basis in logic or fact demonstrate the validity and reliability of their truth assertion. So, I love truth, its claims of the term “Truth” with no justification that I can’t stand because such claims are pseudo-truth. It’s like how science as a term is quite corrupted by pseudoscience right? Yes and No. Yes, because fake science is believed as real science where the user/claimer of the improper use of the word “Science” believe in and promote pseudo-science but because it does not have a sound basis in logic or fact demonstrate the validity and reliability of their truth assertion. However, we can know science from pseudoscience as the term is given other methodological structure to which to evaluate then prove true science or prove a claim as not science and in fact pseudoscience so to do we sadly have to a methodological structure to prove a claim as not truth and in fact pseudo-truth. To better grasp a naturalistic morality to me, one should see the perspective of how there is a self-regulatory effect on the self-evaluative moral emotions, such as shame and guilt. Broadly conceived, self-regulation distinguishes between two types of motivation: approach/activation and avoidance/inhibition. one should conceptually understand the socialization dimensions (parental restrictiveness versus nurturance), associated emotions (anxiety versus empathy), and forms of morality (proscriptive versus prescriptive) that serve as precursors to each self-evaluative moral emotion.
Babies & Morality?
“They believe babies are in fact born with an innate sense of morality, and while parents and society can help develop a belief system in babies, they don’t create one. A team of researchers at Yale University’s Infant Cognition Center, known as The Baby Lab, showed us just how they came to that conclusion.” Ref
I hope I am always strong enough to put my morality at the forefront in all I do, so much so, that it is obvious in the ways I think and behave.
People are fond of asking vary deep exploitive questions about complex issues in life but then want very simplistic universal generalizations about them or they usually don’t understand, misunderstand, don’t follow the reasoning/rationale, or just reject the answer or conclusion outright because it’s too complex or simply undesirable.
To me, often morality can be generally thought to start in an emotionally driven response or realization that is then hopefully navigated with emotional intelligence, social awareness, and rational thought to reach a just morally responsible response. We start with biological impulses that are responses to stimuli that can produce a sensation that can produce emotions and these emotions start the process that can be found to be involved in morality (moral/ethical reasoning).
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