A few premises on ethical absurdism/existentialism/nihilism
Posted: Posted February 5th, 2017
Edited February 5th, 2017 by Louis De Pointe du Lac
I wonder if this post is gonna make me some enemies..
1. Purpose is the intended function of a created being that can be attended to or ignored at will.
2. To do good would be to act in a way that fulfills purpose. To do evil would be to act in a way that ignores purpose. If a watch were intelligent and it chose to tell time, then it would be a good watch. If it chose not to tell time, then it would be a bad watch.
3. It should not be assumed that we are created with intent. (see my previous post)
Conclusion: Therefore it should not be assumed that there is an objective way to do good or to do evil.
4. Even though we cannot assume a purpose, it cannot be denied that evolution has at least provided us with skills. We are good at staying alive, we are good at working together, we are good at learning, and we are good at inventing things.
5. Even though it is not the same as a purpose, to behave in a way that nurtures our skills is more efficient than to behave in a way that ignores or sabotages them.
Conclusion: We do have a semi-morality based on skills. It is more efficient to behave in a way that nurtures human potential and less efficient to behave in a way that harms it. Even though neither choice is necessarily good or evil.
6. The natives of any reality will inherently mirror the nature of that reality. In other words a creature's home-universe is inherently the best of all possible universes for that creature. (See my previous post.)
Conclusion: The natives of an amoral universe are inherently suited to live without an objective moral compass. In humanity's case, we need only follow our genetic programming and the habits we learned growing up in order to function.
Conclusion: Therefore like purpose, objective morality can be thought of as superfluous.
Now then a society that permits murder is not as efficient as one that does not. A society that permits theft is not as efficient as one that does not, and so on. On the other hand it is not quite as clear whether a society that makes it mandatory to vote is as efficient as one that does not. So that is still being determined.
Therefore following their instincts and knowing on at least some level what humans are and are not good at, people will start to develop and tweak the societies of the world accordingly. As generations within these societies come and go, a culture will start to form based on the habits the population learns while trying to maintain their respective societies. Based on these cultural habits, a genetic instinct to survive and thrive, and a basic knowledge of how to nurture human skills most regular people will be able to live their day to day lives as "good" people.
And that is what morality really is. Not some objective set of rules. But a measure of how genetically healthy you are, how healthy your habits are, and how keen you are in the art of nurturing human potential. (By "healthy" I mean how in tune you are with what is culturally accepted.)
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