Re: aesthetic evaluation (was: RE: (OT) Music
|From:||Tim May <butsuri@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, June 15, 2002, 0:02|
Andy Canivet writes:
> >From: JS Bangs <jaspax@...>
> >Interesting. How do we reconcile the differences in subjective experience,
> >then, when different people's expectations of morality may be wildly
> >different, and neither can act without affecting the other?
> >Jesse S. Bangs firstname.lastname@example.org
> In short, wisdom. Ultimately, I think a minimal number of laws, axioms, or
> precepts are required for any society - but the idea is that moral behavior
> is a skill rather than a set of principles or guidelines for action. Moral
> action becomes more like riding a bicycle than like programming a computer;
> but as such, it is sticky and hard to talk about. Fortunately, its easier
> to learn than to talk about I think - which seems to be what Socrates, the
> Stoics, Taoists, Buddhists, etc. were all on about - even if we can't define
> what is right, people can learn how to act rightly. Partly I think it comes
> from a sort of Socratic dialog, but it also comes from training attention so
> that we learn to observe and consider our own thoughts and emotions better,
> before they can become harmful actions that we'll regret later.
I don't understand what this can mean.
In my view, morality can be reduced to the following:
A) A (probably fairly short) list of what is to be considered
fundamentally desirable/undesirable, and the order of precedence of
these things should they conflict.
B) Judgements on how best to behave in order that the universe should
be in as desirable a state as possible.
A cannot be justified, and must be taken as axiomatic. Anyone
attempting to formulate A will be guided by the existing A that they
have inherited from biology and society, but it's not possible to say
that any A is right or wrong without reference to some A, and from a
purely objective viewpoint A is arbitrary, all you can ask for is that
it be self-consistent.
B cannot be complete, probably, as any set of rules will fail to cover
some circumstances. In such circumstances individual judgement must
be exercised. This is a seperate issue to the unjustifiable nature of
A; there is no theoretical difficulty in justifying B, it's justified
with respect to A.
In some circumstances B will be extremely complex, and hard to define,
but we can judge its rightness by whether it succeeds in acheiving A.
In riding a bicycle, B may be so complex as to be uncommunicable, but
it's easy to judge whether one can ride a bicyle or not, because we
judge it by A: did you reach your destination without falling off?
Perhaps I've fallen into some unperceived naivete, but that's my idea
of the situation.