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  1. 1

    Zero

    1) What is morality?
    //Morality is the term for our attempt to maximize happiness and minimize suffering. //

    This definition is an intuited ethical value claim. If you wish for it to be taken seriously you must present some evidence that supports the possibility that the claim may be true.

    //That is why we are so concerned about it. Morality means reducing people’s behaviors that cause suffering by classifying different behaviors as desirable or undesirable.
    This is a general definition but that is what defines morality at its core. To be any more specific about the basic definition of the term would be to declare opinions about what the best moral beliefs are.//

    As above, your opinion was contained within the first sentence, and you supply no supporting evidence for it. Even if we were to accept your initial claim (for the sake of argument) in the Critique of Practical Reason Kant, like you, argues that the aim of the moral will is maximal happiness and minimal suffering, (i.e. perfection). But since perfection is not to be found in this world, the only possible way to achieve it is through communion with God in the afterlife. Why is Kant wrong?

    2) “How we got here” doesn’t matter

    //It should be recognized that “how we got here” is irrelevant to morality. Whether we were made by gods, or evolved by natural processes, or even randomly snapped into existence by total infinitesimal chance — it makes no difference. What morality is remains unaffected because those things are logically irrelevant.//

    Another intuited ethical value claim for which you present no rationale or evidence.

    Reply
    1. 1.1

      Aaron

      I’m not sure what happened, but the page seems to be presenting you a prior version of the page. Some of this has been rephrased to be clearer and part 2 has been removed. I am in the process of editing this series and re-arranging some parts. However I stand by the overall stance in the post so I will reply to your comments.

      In the newer version I explain that the definition of morality I am using above is the meaning that people generally use. But yes, I should explain in more detail. My point is that we care about suffering and therefore that is what we base our concepts of right and wrong around. If suffering is irrelevant to your views of right and wrong then that would seem to be a view that is simply irrelevant to our lives and no one has any reason to care about it.

      Also, yes I should explain point 2 better. I thought it was clear, but perhaps not for everyone. My point there is that if morality is about suffering, then any issues about how we originated don’t ultimately matter. You could say that they are related in the sense that god or lack of god or what sort of god there is has an impact on how we alleviate suffering, but the specifics of origination itself are not what make something moral or immoral because they are not what cause suffering or create happiness. They are related by subject, but not by any factors that serve any moral purpose.

      Regarding Kant, he is wrong because we don’t have sufficient evidence to believe a god exists, and plenty reason to be certain that the Christian god is an invention. So “communion with God” is nonexistent and thus not a solution. However if we could determine that the Christian god did exist in the full glory of people’s promises, then it would indeed be the morally correct thing to do.

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