What is the essence of morality?
Hello, dear Ladies and Gentlemen!Each of us knows that we need to be good, not bad. We have a conscience that tells us what is good and what is bad.The believer connects his conscience in one way or another with God's law, which is embedded in man. And that's right. But as they say, human nature is darkened and a person does not hear his conscience, and when he hears, he misunderstands. Yes, and the conscience itself is darkened by a sinful life. That is why the external law is given by God.Yet we have many atheists and materialistic philosophers. Ordinary people also follow them. Now and in school, no one will tell a child about God. And they talk a lot about morality.What will these philosophers and those who think materialistically or scientifically say? Is conscience a social consciousness? Is morality a collective experience of survival and living together? Apparently, partly yes.But questions of morality are very controversial and ambiguous. Various moral teachings are often created (in Socrates, Epicurus, Spinoza, etc.)What do you think is the essence of morality? Is there any way to justify and systematize it? Where does morality come from in a person? What is it for? Maybe you can live differently, immorally? If not, why not?What is conscience? Where is it from? Is it possible and necessary to work on your conscience? Is your conscience always right?What I mean here is precisely philosophical reasoning.
As far as I know, there are no well-established meanings of the words “morality”, “ethics” and “morality”, but the division given in Yaroslav's answer looks quite convenient to apply. So I will continue to talk about morality.
The present time has reached unprecedented moral heights. Never before has morality been extended so widely and deeply, we apply its norms not only to all sectors of society, but also to all people outside of our society, and even begin to discuss the extension of morality to animals and nature in general. The object of morality-that is, those who can be treated morally or not morally-is now everyone who is capable of suffering. We see moral problems where previously no one would have thought about the situation.
No need to mix everything in a pile. The juxtaposition of materialism and idealism in philosophy is a propaganda construct of Marxism, its significance is exaggerated, and attempts to divide all philosophers into materialists and idealists are simply ridiculous. The solution of ethical questions is indifferent to whether a person is a materialist or an idealist. And science is not a source of ethical principles at all, it is not its business, it does not do such things. I am an atheist and this does not prevent me from recognizing the independent existence of mathematical concepts.
You also don't need to confuse the history of an item with what it is or should be. The fact that our sense of conscience is most likely a consequence of natural selection and inherits simple rules of cooperation within the community in animals, brought to the realm of awareness, does not mean that it should be so. Our minds are the result of evolution and a means of adaptation, a survival tool, but we don't have to use our minds for that purpose. Similarly, conscience and morality. They are self-existing phenomena given to us as a part of our being, and we can comprehend them, develop them, and discuss them.
Morality is easily justified as a phenomenon necessary for the existence of society. Just as much as a person is interested in society, he is interested in morality. This morality can not be any, society for its existence requires very specific universal norms – not to kill each other, not to attack each other, not to steal from each other. The degree of complexity of morality is directly proportional to the degree of complexity of society, and the global world of 7 billion people needs more complex principles than a tribe of a couple of dozen. In particular, it requires tolerance, because 7 billion people cannot be unified, and therefore it is necessary to recognize the right to live and be themselves for everyone whose life and being themselves does not threaten society. Clear and formalized rules of the game are required, allowing everyone to defend their interests within reason. It requires recognition of the value of the individual by default, because self-respect can be lost, but it cannot be gained without having it initially. And without people's respect for each other, a large society cannot exist. The golden rule is also quite universal.
But it is impossible to give a definitive and complete description of morality. First, society is changing. Secondly, there are always several options for how to do it correctly. These options may not be any, but they can be many. Morality inevitably creates dilemmas – and this is a sign of morality, no doubt there is no morality, you can only be sure that something is immoral, and you can only doubt whether you did the best thing.
All of the above does not require the involvement of God or religion at all, but is derived only from the premise of the value of society. You can live differently only by rejecting this premise.
I see no need for more complex hypotheses than the evolutionary origin of conscience. When applied to human communities, conscience and the complexity of ethical systems are an adaptive feature. It may or may not be developed. People living in primitive hunter-gatherer tribes in the Amazon jungle do not develop this trait as unnecessary, they do not have such complex situations where it would be required. Europeans have developed and we see the result – large productive communities. Whether it's good is a personal matter. Who doesn't like it, the Amazon jungle is waiting, you can always say goodbye to this level.
Conscience as a value is the criterion of rightness. Not the only one. You can (and should)have other values as well. They will come into conflict. A person must decide for himself how he will get out of this conflict. And we will decide for ourselves what we will do with it now.
Morality belongs to the sphere of the personal, morality-to the public. Everything written here about morality is de facto morality. There are different morals. And when the arguments about this issue begin, they are already questions of morality, not morality.
Morality is a set of certain norms of due behavior that promote interaction and survival of the species. Usually, it means a set of certain rules that formulate a particular form of behavior, reaction in a particular situation. Exactly as an indication: “Thou shalt not kill”, “an eye for an eye”, “pioneer is an example to all”, etc. With these schemes, the situation is checked, evaluated, and behavior is formed in accordance with them.
Conscience is a condition for the ability to NOTICE the bad things about yourself, the ability to recognize a certain discrepancy with certain criteria. WHAT these criteria are, what their origin is, what they are rooted in, etc. – this is another question, it can also be very different. A Christian has a conscience as well as a cannibal, but the difference is only in the content.
There is also shame – a feeling inherent in people who depend on other people's assessments and are guided by other people's opinions in cases when their morals and ideas about what is due differ from those around them. Then they do their own thing, but they are ashamed of others, feeling that this is wrong.
PS: Atheism and materialism are not synonymous. Atheism is not reduced to materialism.
Well, first of all, the absence of inadequacy and stupidity, or their strict control, is the first conscious step towards restoring morality. This is the first step. You don't walk around people in a stupid outfit, with your underwear missing, waving your arms around and throwing yourself at passers-by. Although, now everything is coming to that. That's right, the survival of the community is questionable, if so.
Secondly, it is quite easy to formalize the task. For example, for AI. Assign weights to the concepts. For example, in the pair “eat-eat”, you can put it like this, according to the five-point (ten-point, from-plus and minus) system: “-2-5”. “Eat” pulls on minus 2. “Eat” on +5.
Third, there are the commandments of Christ. There is nothing inhuman about them. Do it, at least somehow, try. That's all. The Communists copied the “Code of the Builder of Communism” from the commandments. See how the people have moved on. How many feats and selflessness there were in Soviet times. While the people did not clear the substitution and did not turn 180 out of desperation.
Fourth, Mayakovsky was still writing: “And asked Tiny: What is good and what is bad?” But, if now in society parents can not intelligibly answer the child to these questions, what should the child ask?
Fourth, what do our scientists and others get paid for if they don't have studies of life concepts on the subject “What is good and what is bad?”. No coherent theory, nothing. But because then you will have to recognize the rightness of Christ, and that there is no death. So the Judgment of God after all the “fun” is inevitable.
Techno revolution was, social – was, sexual-is or was, mental was not. How not to get sick with stupidity. Don't put on devils. Only priests, and even then not all, act as healers. And in such a form as it is now, “secular”, non-church life is a dead-end path of development. Wall.
So that's the trick here.
A person has an area of the unconscious in the psyche, frozen at the level of a child at the age of 1.5-2 years. It is not exactly bad, but it does not develop together with all other components and therefore, when forming a personality, it comes into conflict with the real needs of the individual, including social ones. And so what a person is forced to do in order to satisfy the demands of unconscious needs is precisely beyond the scope of conscience, that is, the individual's own idea of reasonable or conscious behavior.
And the boys are bloody in the eyes…