Collective Morality

June 8, 2018 Morality No Comments

This is not about any concrete ‘habits and rules of moral behavior.’ Collective morality is about the thinking about such habits and rules. It should be based on rationality as much as possible.

This rationality should be founded on two endeavors

as always when rationality is optimally exercised:

  • taking into account as much as possible all relevant factors, including emotional ones
  • being as logical as possible in combining these factors in strains of reasoning, avoiding biases and all other kinds of ‘errors of reasoning’.

Of course, there is always the ‘box’ in which this takes place.

in case of collective morality, this box mainly consists of the final goal.

To be sure, this is not a kind of ‘moral imperative’ to which all individual morality should comply, such as “do to others what you want others to do to you.”

To me, personally – thus: subjectively – such final goal may be the ‘relief of suffering’ in a very broad sense, including depth. [see ‘Morality Is the Relief of Suffering’]. ‘Broad’ in this also means: to all humans, even all ‘sentient beings’.

Does this resolve into a simple summation (and comparison) of all suffering, or relief of the same, as is done in ‘utilitarianism’?

Yes and no.

Rationality is not a belief system, therefore it’s never perfect.

The main reason for ‘yes and no’ is the existence – especially in morality – of many factors that just are too fuzzy and context-dependent to be able to work with in a strictly logical system (such as ‘propositional logic’ or ‘first-degree predicate logic’). This is the result of living in a very open world. While it’s theoretically possible to conceive / imagine a purely rational collective set of rules which maximize utilities, it’s practically impossible (‘intractable’). But: we don’t need to be able to reach it in order to strive for it (at cultural level). We should not abandon the latter because of the former.

So: utilitarian? Collectively: yes.

With lots of logical thinking and acknowledging many severe difficulties, mainly in how to validate:

  • human life
  • happiness
  • any effort of striving for depth
  • expansion of consciousness
  • the ‘well-being’ of a group
  • in-group human life/happiness versus the out-group
  • any risk on war
  • well-being of other species
  • well-being of future generations
  • well-being of future A.I.
  • etc.

Hopeless?

It may seem so. But again: the goal is in the striving.

Collective morality is also about motivation of the individual.

No use in just telling someone what to do. Motivation is always ‘inner’ [see ‘There are no extrinsic or intrinsic motivations’] but responsibility lies for a big part in the support. Like in case of a plant, growing by itself, yet needing sunshine, water, nutrients… which are the gardener’s responsibility.

As factors of motivation towards a humane kind of moral behavior – not the one that leads to depression for instance, or to a diminishment of gently strong sensitivity – guilt and shame are second-best [see ‘Moral Motivation‘]. Coercion is not even motivation.

True motivation is done by touching a person deeply inside in a way that at the same time heightens a person’s Stressional Intelligence [see that category].

Easy? No. Efficient? Absolutely!

 

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