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How can moral systems be justified ?

Apart from acting morally, this essay tries to give possible reasons for the justification and, probably, the exigency of moral systems.

According to one of the most discussed questions in ethics, which system is most successful, you also have to deal with the "meta-question", how you can justify, from the startup, the existence of moral terms and systems.

Moral systems use to get judged by either their intentions or their effects, intuitively by both of them.

What seems even more interesting is, however, what effects are desirable, especially for whom. Having several desires doesn´t directly lead to the conclusion, that there are some kindhearted individuals, who first think of the wellness of a community (unless it isn´t their own).

Let´s say there is a role model existing, who is quite aware of his function. Couldn´t it be imagined that he desires only his own advantage, at least is willing to increase it ?

Due to the fact of being that role model, it would be presumably frugal to dupe his fellows adoring him. Thus, he could, by his adjucated ability, form a kind of system all and sundry could take a little benefit of, most benefit would nevertheless approach to him.
It´s not that simple to say that this individual behaves amoralic, although, intuitively, you could incline to argue so.
He could perhaps justify the existence of such a moral system by arguing that everyone would profit by that system.

Secondly, an argument could be, that nobody else is able to found a better system, by the meaning of "better" in that way of maximizing profit for every individual in the concerned society. That seems quite plausible, I guess, and intuitively, we use to call those systems moral ones, which do create the most benefit for us.
Living an acceptable and kindly life without harming other human beings is the meaning of what I call the most reachable benefit. First point is what the individual wants, even from an egoistic point of view. Second is a kind of a quantitative argument because obviously, we gain the most benefit, if nobody harms us, so most benefit for society is given if nobody harms anybody. So far about a definition given intuitively.

As we can take out of the mentioned ideas, one meta - justification of moral systems is (obviously) maximizing benefit.
Furthermore, and this is the more interesting point, the benefit should be accessible to as much individuals as possible. So, at least, it seems like that.

I do mention this because if that is a point where humankind can agree with, it leads to the question, why, then, the conclusion should be any moral system: Why do we need rules to regulate our behaviour, if we all know, what we want to reach?

If that´s only a question of organisation, then a emerging system can´t be called a moral one, from my point of view, because the standards, doctrines, or beliefs are given before this system gets emerged.
Even more, it emerges caused by the existence of such rules.
Thus, if a moral system is given with some standards which 1) rule behaviour, for the 2) attainment of maximizing profit it seems to be justified by various possible reasons:

The first one is, people really don´t know what they can call benefit, thus, some standards seem to be needed to be given, to reach the highest possible benefit for them (IF that is the intention of the ones creating these standards)
Taking the most possible benefit doesn´t, necessarily, imply the knowledge of the specific desire.
That one implies a little, weakness of self assurance, due to the fact that some ability might be missing.
Therefore moral systems could get justified by leading, which is, in another interpretation, nothing more than bearing a hand for those.

The second reason could be, that people are quite aware of what their benefit would be, but are incapable of reaching this target. From that point of view, the justification of moral systems would be a chastisement of the Mighty, defined as the ones 1) knowing about their own desires and 2) averting the benefit of the Weak, for maximizing their benefit in an exorbitant way.
In that comprehension, moral systems is not meant as the first mentioned Guiding but rather more than that: Repression of the Mighty for giving the Weak a chance.

I think that these two reasons are the main important ones for establishing any moral system: The first one deals with the intrinsic wish of the system itself, the second one is rather more pragmatic.

Why should there be a moral system if there weren´t any differences in society ? If all same - skilled people would agree in those benefits they want to reach, there wouldn´t be any need of founding a moral system. And if they are same-skilled, they will know about their desires, I guess, so any given system wouldn´t be regulating behaviour. (Here I have the strong hypothesis, that "same skill" shall lead to "same opinion", which itself implies that there is actually one correct opinion existing. The more skill you have, the closer you get to that idea.)

But, in fact, that´s excactly what moral systems do.

That point is for sure very important, because on that differentiation, I guess, there are always these two parties existing.
If a system was founded, anyway, it couldn´t be called moral, because, as I said, the norms the system refers to, exist before the system is founded.
So moral systems can be justified easily, because you could also argue that maximus benefit should arise from a system which gives same opportunities to mankind itself, not to individuals, for sure, if you take benefit as a axiom of morality. This would obviously be an utilitarian point of view.

The justification of the exigence of a system even counts more than the content of the system, because the content says what is actually the way to reach those targets, while the justification of any system says, as I mentioned, why we need, concerning this matter, any moral system.

Therefore, my intention is not to value that analysis that much. I don´t want to make a moral statement. It shall just give some possible reasons how moral systems can be justified (which can, however, also be moralic) or at least explained from a transcendental point of view.


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patrick wrote on 2007-11-27 13:55:25

Well, I don´t see that one really. If they were same-skilled on such a high level they know about the game-theory, they wouldn´t be egoistic, because they know that even for their egoistic point of view, not harming others means not to be harmed.
answerBUT you need this specification here, which did not appear in the text. Anyways, I don't think, that being same-skilled on a high level holds: Them being afraid does not mean, that they won't try to feed their egoism - I'd see that more on a "no risk no fun" basis: trying to find compromises between altruism and egoism, peril much to gain much.../answer

I could now answer your answer on my comment with your comment on my answer :)

It would get rather trivial and end up in anarchy. Since that does not happen, I suppose that there must be such an existing justification, while, otherwise, it couldn´t itself be created or called moral.
answerBut the people are all same-skilled on a high level, where they agree upon a certain basis of rules called "moral" to protect themselves :)/answer

Lambizzel wrote on 2007-11-25 20:55:21

Even if they were same-skilled, they might still be purely egoistic. They would need to know that the most benefit is, to arrange all goods, so that everybody has the same amount.

Well, I don´t see that one really. If they were same-skilled on such a high level they know about the game-theory, they wouldn´t be egoistic, because they know that even for their egoistic point of view, not harming others means not to be harmed. If the people, hence, really are same-skilled, they would have to be afraif of the others, being as mighty as they are. So, if they are egoistic, as I do not even want to deny,(in fact I do believe that human beings are egoistic, anyway.) they still would have to find an agreement, which causes that they would indeed find it.

The following is a comment on the comment you gave to my comment :P

This point also seems to represent a meta physicians view: theories here are the needed benchmark for moral - not the other way around. I think, the justification of moral - ethics - is only needed, if the world asks for it. In other words: a new theory demands ethical thinking, but ethics do never end in itself.

Just as to be simple and short, in fact I agree with that since I did not purpose that other way round The justification of a moral system is needed, because a lot of people really do ask that. For instance, I do. :) Regard the point you couldn´t justificate a constituted moral on a meta - level: It would get rather trivial and end up in anarchy. Since that does not happen, I suppose that there must be such an existing justification, while, otherwise, it couldn´t itself be created or called moral. My intention is, thus, not the question if we can justificate any system, but rather, how we do it. There is, in fact, a lot of work to be done on that. This is my conviction I tried to argue for.

Lambizzel wrote on 2007-11-25 20:51:46

Even if they were same-skilled, they might still be purely egoistic. They would need to know that the most benefit is, to arrange all goods, so that everybody has the same amount.

Well, I don´t see that one really. If they were same-skilled on such a high level they know about the game-theory, they wouldn´t be egoistic, because they know that even for their egoistic point of view, not harming others means not to be harmed. If the people, hence, really are same-skilled, they would have to be afraif of the others, being as mighty as they are. So, if they are egoistic, as I do not even want to deny,(in fact I do believe that human beings are egoistic, anyway. they still would have to find an agreement, which causes that they would indeed find it.

The following is a comment on the comment you gave to my comment :P

This point also seems to represent a meta physicians view: theories here are the needed benchmark for moral - not the other way around. I think, the justification of moral - ethics - is only needed, if the world asks for it. In other words: a new theory demands ethical thinking, but ethics do never end in itself.

Just as to be simple and short, in fact I agree with that since I did not purpose that other way round The justification of a moral system is needed, because a lot of people really do ask that. For instance, I do. :) Regard the point you couldn´t justificate a constituted moral on a meta - level: It would get rather trivial and end up in anarchy. Since that does not happen, I suppose that there must be such an existing justification, while, otherwise, it couldn´t itself be created or called moral. My intention is, thus, not the question if we can justificate any system, but rather, how we do it. There is, in fact, a lot of work to be done on that. This is my conviction I tried to argue for.

patrick wrote on 2007-11-24 10:14:08

Living an acceptable and kindly life without harming other human beings is the meaning of what I call the most reachable benefit. First point is what the individual wants, even from an egoistic point of view. Second is a kind of a quantitative argument because obviously, we gain the most benefit, if nobody harms us, so most benefit for society is given if nobody harms anybody.
This argument surely has its' foundations in classical economic game theory. Remember that movie "a beautiful mind"? 'Adams was wrong'! :)

Why should there be a moral system if there weren´t any differences in society ? If all same - skilled people would agree in those benefits they want to reach, there wouldn´t be any need of founding a moral system.
I think there's two problems about this: a) Alle same-skilled people might agree, that "gaining the most profit for myself is the way of thw walk". Even if they were same-skilled, they might still be purely egoistic. They would need to know that the most benefit is, to arrange all goods, so that everybody has the same amount. But why should they do so? Compare communist view and modern economics...

b) is a little more difficult: my opinion is, that moral itself descends from naturalistic reasons. There has to be a evolutionary advantage in being moral. Surely this point of view is difficult for many reasons, but arguing against several arguments you gave from this point of view might be successful, but where somebody might attack the easiest is this point you made:

I think that these two reasons are the main important ones for establishing any moral system: The first one deals with the intrinsic wish of the system itself, the second one is rather more pragmatic.
For describing an evolutionary scenario of moral the second reason holds completely, while the first reason might be disposed as metaphysics.

Now, a comment on your comment:

I do agree with that, since moral systems are in the need of having some benchmark, which is the justification of their existence.

This point also seems to represent a meta physicians view: theories here are the needed benchmark for moral - not the other way around. I think, the justification of moral - ethics - is only needed, if the world asks for it. In other words: a new theory demands ethical thinking, but ethics do never end in itself.

Lambizzel wrote on 2007-11-24 02:21:35

In fact, while thinking about it, I can only see that direction: new theories demand new ethics, never the other way around

I do agree with that, since moral systems are in the need of having some benchmark, which is the justification of their existence.

There's one idea, which struck me the most: What does emerge primarily, moralistic ideas, or the system they are part of?

I don´t see the possibility that a moral system could be created without having at least some moral ideas which establish that system. Since a system of regulating behaviour is in a structural need of having any basement, the idea, from my point of view, definitely, comes first. That doesn´t mean that new ideas can´t emerge, for some pragmatic reasons, f.e. just the improvement of any given system.

Lambizzel wrote on 2007-11-24 02:20:41

In fact, while thinking about it, I can only see that direction: new theories demand new ethics, never the other way around

I do agree with that, since moral systems are in the need of having some benchmark, which is the justification of their existence.

There's one idea, which struck me the most: What does emerge primarily, moralistic ideas, or the system they are part of?

I don´t see the possibility that a moral system could be created without having at least some moral ideas which establish that system. Since a system of regulating behaviour is in a structural need of having any basement, the idea, from my point of view, definitely, comes first. That doesn´t mean that new ideas can´t emerge, for some pragmatic reasons, f.e. just theimprovement of any given system.

Lambizzel wrote on 2007-11-24 02:19:07

In fact, while thinking about it, I can only see that direction: new theories demand new ethics, never the other way around

I do agree with that, since moral systems are in the need of having some benchmark, which is the justification of their existence.

There's one idea, which struck me the most: What does emerge primarily, moralistic ideas, or the system they are part of?

I don´t see the possibility that a moral system could be created without having at least some moral ideas which establish that system. Since a system of regulating behaviour is in a structural need of having any basement, the idea, from my point of view, definitely, comes first. That doesn´t mean that new ideas can´t emerge, for some pragmatic reasons, f.e. just theimprovement of any given system.

patrick wrote on 2007-11-23 08:22:24

Firefox now crashed for the second time while writing a comment on this one! I'll keep it extremely short now:

Please don't end your texts with useless linebreaks (I deleted the ones in this text manually).

Let's link texts, if they build an ongoing discussion (an idea I really enjoy), for readers can comprehend our talk. Link here is text(128) (written text ( 128 ) without the empty spaces).

There's one idea, which struck me the most: What does emerge primarily, moralistic ideas, or the system they are part of?

The French revolution might be an example for the first scenario, the ontologic changes of post-modernism might represent the second one.

Science may be another field, where we may distinguish the same effects: new inventions and theories depict new ethic thoughts, but Einstein worried and struggled about the consequences, while still working on an atomic bomb. Maybe the latter is a bad example, since the theory was developed before a bomb was build.

In fact, while thinking about it, I can only see that direction: new theories demand new ethics, never the other way around (can you recall any scientists, who gave up research for ethical resons?).

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