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empleat

Ethics are emergent from emotions and are an evolutionary mechanism for a suvival

What would say is right?  

1 member has voted

  1. 1. Are any of these choices right, or wrong ethically, or neither? Corporation tries to evict you: to build a highway, which will benefit thousands of people! Gives you a small sum (can be raised), but you love your home and don't care about money!

    • Defend yourself with a lawyer against eviction.
      0
    • Accept money and let yourself to be evicted.
      1
    • Neither of these is right, or wrong.
      0
  2. 2. You are forced on gunpoint to chose between 2 philanthropists - who will die and who will live. While you're a philanthropist yourself. Lets say all of you are approximately-equally good people. If you don't choose any of them, you will die! Is any of these answers right, or wrong, or neither?

    • Choose one of them is right.
      0
    • Chose one of them is wrong.
      0
    • Chose yourself is right.
      0
    • Neither of these is right, or wrong.
      1
  3. 3. Someone forces you to decide: between your girlfriend and 10 unknown people, who will be killed and who won't. Are any of these answers right, or wrong, or neither?

    • Chose your girlfriend is not wrong.
      0
    • Chose random people is right.
      0
    • Neither of these is right, or wrong.
      1


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People have belief system of what is right, or wrong. Which is inherent to them. Even babies will cry, if they need attention, when people are fighting, or are frustrated etc. But that's a basic emotion. When we are angry, that's because someone is damaging our interest, so we get angry at someone who wronged us. There are 2 basic emotions: pleasure, or pain. All emotions can be put to one, or another of these categories. Emotions are universal in any demographic. Yet moral standards will differ from country to country, from group to group, from person to person.

To be honest even emotions aren't universal to some event: for one person something can be pleasure, for another that can be a pain. Let me give you an example: for one person studying math can be a pleasure, for another it can be a pain. To add: emotions are universal in a way, that an expression of pleasure means the pleasure, or expression of pain the pain. But feeling what is right, or wrong differs subjectively! How is that determined? Brain has system on its own how to decide and they are dependent on what information we gather. Emotions are processed subconsciously. But ethics are more deliberate and thought about consciously, even they are determined by our emotions at the end!

Pleasure, or pain exist in evolutionary science as mechanism for a survival. Evolution is fact, it is not even theory!

Before we developed part of a brain, which engages in thinking. We were dependent more on limbic system, which processes emotions. And even today neocortex tries to satisfy limbic system most of the time (Elon Musk confirms :D). Brain determines what is good for your survival and what is not. Sometimes genes can go even awry and cause an extinction. It is not that survival is goal of an evolution, more like a chance in the natural selection. Some races survived, because they did decisions good for their survival, some died, because they did not. Nevertheless we are primed for survival, that's how we evolved and we are still here. It serves us well!

No person can choose his emotions, you just start to feel in a some way. Sure neocortex can regulate them, but it can't suppress them, or you would probably die, or get a disadvantage. Before we were able of abstract thinking, we were dependent on emotions for survival. Neurologists say: even most logical person, decides by emotions at the end! We are still dependent on them - as i said before. Ethics stems from emotions, we are making moral standards, which feel right to us. Notion of what is right is a positive emotion, while notion of wrong is associated with negative emotions.

So reason why i write this now is this article:

People give higher value to a human life, than to an animal life. Denmark's Prime minister wants to cull 15 million minks. Imagine 15 millions, that's like almost whole country of people - crazy. While i am not even animal activist, or anything. I am neutral in my thinking, i very logical person and even my behavior is decided by emotions at the end. I just wanted to know the truth.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-mink-denmark-to-cull-15-million-animals-concern-mutated-covid-infections-in-humans/

Would you say, if you could chose between one person dying and one living, any choice is right? E.g. if both people weren't criminals and were approximately similar in terms of moral standards and reputation.

But than we have automatic cars, which will prioritize just that. They will give priority to kids, over adults. Because they are younger, so they have more life ahead, therefore more value. Random people, if they had to chose who lives, or dies. It would be more likely to chose criminal to die, than a honest person. That's basically killing someone indirectly. Would you say killing is right? Yet we do it on daily basis for the survival. Someone would argue we need that to survive, but killing people is different (especially for not survival reasons ofc.) - i will get to that later. And in future, we can stop killing by growing artificial cells (for obtaining food, isn't relevant to all situations that exist and will exist probably at least at some point in time!).

See ethics are not about what is right, or wrong. It is all about survival! Sure we can try to make utilitarian ethics to try favors all people much as possible. Also it is logical from perspective of a civilization, to save as many lives possible, but always from an individual perspective. Like when someone is trying to take your house to construct a road, which will benefit many people, but may destroy your live. Why the hell you would be fine with that?! So when there is a bomb, police will try to minimize casualties, if it cannot be defused and put it somewhere, where it will do least damage. Problem is people are not equal and never will be probably. That would be possible only in perfect environment theoretically. And i bet people, which have higher social status are enjoying it, so that will never happen...

Sometimes it is win-win situation, but at the end, life is a zero sum game - i know life sucks! There will be always situations who from whom. To be something truly right, you would have to kill all people, when choosing between one, or another, from perspectives of both sides! Which is worse than to spare at least someone.

I find it most ridiculous, that some people think, that they are better than someone else! Also all people got advantages, or disadvantages from point they were born... We are no better than animals, or one another, we are all from same particles - atoms. Doesn't make sense for one to have greater value, than another. Humans are animals too, it is just name for the animal. Also if there were no moral standards, there would be just chaos. I don't say we shouldn't have any, better than nothing. It is just whole concept is ridiculous and misinterpreted by religion mostly and some people - i am just calling it how it is... There is no right, or wrong inherently in the universe, so far as science can tell. Do you think one atom cares about another atom? It is just you vs someone else in clash of your interests - survival needs. Caused deterministically, or randomly, without any agency. Nothing is right, or wrong everything just is.

But why do people think: it is not same to kill an animal as person? We give ourselves priority, but it is not different. It is just survival. Or we experiment on animals. Now imagine: you being an animal. It wouldn't seem fair, you would be outraged, if you had part of a brain, which allows abstract thinking. So you see - it is you vs someone else. Even most utilitarian wouldn't probably apply their believes to most of situations. Imagine if someone threat you with a torture, or killing your family, to force you do some crime, which may kill more people. But is it really wrong for you to do it? (kinda impossible situation) It is just you vs someone else in some situations. Civilization is emergent phenomena, but each individual interaction with another is causing it. Than civilization has properties, which any of its parts do not have and can perhaps, affect people back - makes sense. But it is in fact: all people interacting together, or a new phenomena? I am not sure, if it is something new. As 1 individual can't have these properties, but interaction itself between is emergence. Don't quote me on this :D Don't know about emergence that much!

Imagine if you talk about an object e.g. mountain vs river. River is caused by a rain, or by springs etc. River will wash away a mountain. Is it right, or wrong for river to do that? It is just physical process, which occurs due to physical laws, same as anything else in the universe! Does it make sense to assume, it is either way? Do you feel anything, when imagining it? No! There aren't some universal laws, if river will do that, it will be punished and evaporate. While ethics make more sense in religion (i am not saying they do at all!). If you do something right - you will be rewarded, if you do something wrong - you will be punished. It is supposed to be some universal system from a god. Do you have proof, that good said/write these to us? And it wasn't just some caveman, who wrote these in a book? :D As there is literally 0 proof for the former, but they are very conspicuously similar to human emotions. Wow what a coincidence!

Also ethics even in religion will change over time, how you can explain that. Some religions even don't force their dogma on people anymore. How you can explain that? If it were right for some group of people than, but now it is wrong. Even at some point in time, there are many groups of same religion :D How than your rules can have any credibility, that something is right, or wrong. They literally change all the time and are subjective to each religion, which has no basis on the reality at all! And people are making these, which still steams base of some ancient book. Do you have proof god said these to us? If so, how come previously they were different? Ridiculous...

What if it favors someone else, over you, does it make sense for you not to do it, even it is not morally correct from perspective of a civilization? Ofc. this is very abstract situation, it would be discussion for weeks to dissect everything just to prove point...

Even religion is also just evolutionary mechanic for a survival. It is hard to topic to argue about, because there are situations, where it can benefit fitness and where it will not.

Edited by empleat

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Sorry for question 1. in the poll. I thought i edited that!

Lets say, if you choose any of these questions, it means: it is right.

  • Defend yourself with a lawyer against eviction.
  • Accept money and let yourself to be evicted.
Edited by empleat

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You seem to be using the terms "ethics" and "morals" interchangeably. They are not the same thing. Am I misunderstanding you?

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On 11/19/2020 at 8:14 PM, zapatos said:

You seem to be using the terms "ethics" and "morals" interchangeably. They are not the same thing. Am I misunderstanding you?

Sorry about that, i don't speak anywhere, so i am terrible at speaking :D I wish i could rewrite this, no edit :( I usually made core version and than improve it hundred times, but i can't put my thoughts into words, there are millions of permutations, even in short text like this, i don't understand how anyone can write without using tautology and expressing everything perfectly! Even if i double check it and i make huge effort, it still doesn't cut it :( :( :( I literally learn something in 2 hours and than write it almost whole day LOL, maybe less depends, how bad i am at expressing myself!!!

Morals:

mean values learned by experiences in life and established opinions about what is right, or wrong. These differs per individual and don't have to be abode by everyone in a society on daily basis.

Ethics:

Meta-ethics: "concerning the theoretical meaning and reference of moral propositions, and how their truth values (if any) can be determined"

Normative ethics: "concerning the practical means of determining a moral course of action"

Applied ethics: these need to be abode by a society on a daily basis: permits what an individual can/cannot do!

However i would argue, emotions lead to both: morals and ethics. As science says: we decide at the end based on emotions. As example: person got rod stuck in his brain, which severed his brain area processing emotions from other parts, then he was unable to perform almost any decisions at all!!!

https://theconversation.com/feelings-whats-the-point-of-rational-thought-if-emotions-always-take-over-128592

https://bigthink.com/experts-corner/decisions-are-emotional-not-logical-the-neuroscience-behind-decision-making

Moreover: moral emotions (when thinking about how our actions would affect other people, because of empathy) we get these strong moral emotions, which make us to change our behavior, about which we deliberated!

Citation from the following article: "It is now generally accepted that both emotional and rational processes contribute to moral decision-making".

Furthermore, i cite as this is complicated: "Research suggests, however, that emotional deficits in ASD are due to co-occurring alexithymia, meaning atypical moral judgments in ASD may be due to alexithymia also. Individuals with and without ASD (matched for alexithymia) judged the moral acceptability of emotion-evoking statements and identified the emotion evoked. Moral acceptability judgments were predicted by alexithymia. Crucially, however, this relationship held only for individuals without ASD. While ASD diagnostic status did not directly predict either judgment, those with ASD did not base their moral acceptability judgments on emotional information. Findings are consistent with evidence demonstrating that decision-making is less subject to emotional biases in those with ASD."

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4532317/

Moreover: Alexythimia (unable to identify feelings in themselves, but still have them subconsciously) increases moral acceptability of accidental harms. Which indeed shows, emotions are involved in judging what is morally acceptable and what not!!! Than ethics are emergent from individual interpersonal communication and enforcement of moral standards between each other, ultimately some sort of natural selection. Which will survive and anchors in a society. However ultimate morals are stemming from emotions and are not purely rational!

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/20445911.2014.929137

 

Edited by empleat

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