The foundation of a moral/ethical structure. - Politics | PoFo

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Much has been said and written on this subject, but it still intrigues.

Many of us, if asked, can come up with some sort of list of do's and dont's in response to the question, 'How should we live our lives?' Yet, if asked for the basis for the statements -- the underlying assumptions -- not much is offered. For some, the answer is simply 'The Bible' or 'The Torah' or 'the Koran'. Yet, that begs the question.

Just as a geography, whether plane [Euclid] or other [Riemann, spherical, etc.,] rests upon a set of irreducible postulates forming the foundation on which the structure is erected, there may be a set of postulates upon which to base an ethical/moral structure.

What would they be?
Torus34 wrote:Yet, if asked for the basis for the statements -- the underlying assumptions -- not much is offered.

That's not true, morality has been grounded six ways from Sunday. Go read some meta-ethics.

What would they be?

Metaethics is a branch of analytic philosophy that explores the status, foundations, and scope of moral values, properties, and words. Whereas the fields of applied ethics and normative theory focus on what is moral, metaethics focuses on what morality itself is. Just as two people may disagree about the ethics of, for example, physician-assisted suicide, while nonetheless agreeing at the more abstract level of a general normative theory such as Utilitarianism, so too may people who disagree at the level of a general normative theory nonetheless agree about the fundamental existence and status of morality itself, or vice versa. In this way, metaethics may be thought of as a highly abstract way of thinking philosophically about morality. For this reason, metaethics is also occasionally referred to as “second-order” moral theorizing, to distinguish it from the “first-order” level of normative theory.

Metaethical positions may be divided according to how they respond to questions such as the following:

Ÿ What exactly are people doing when they use moral words such as “good” and “right”?
Ÿ What precisely is a moral value in the first place, and are such values similar to other familiar sorts of entities, such as objects and properties?
Ÿ Where do moral values come from—what is their source and foundation?
Ÿ Are some things morally right or wrong for all people at all times, or does morality instead vary from person to person, context to context, or culture to culture?

Metaethical positions respond to such questions by examining the semantics of moral discourse, the ontology of moral properties, the significance of anthropological disagreement about moral values and practices, the psychology of how morality affects us as embodied human agents, and the epistemology of how we come to know moral values. The sections below consider these different aspects of metaethics.
Those who are clueless as the basis of moral/ethical structure are those who do not care to consider how their belief system was established.

In Psychology, they have a term "socialization" that refers to how we become civilized. I think morals are part of socialization. Right and wrong is established early on when we are babies up to our adolescence or even adulthood, if you believe that we never stop believing about ethics. I studied Philosophy and part of the major required me to learn moral philosophy and ethics. We learn what is acceptable and unacceptable from social cues, from observing people's reactions and hearing verbal feedback from others.

I also think that those who were raised to be Christian, Catholic, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or whatever religion...they learn morality and ethics from their spiritual leaders and parents.

Even if people are not raised to be religious, if they read fables like Aesop's Fables, they learn morals from the stories. Every story has a lesson to be learned whether it be to not hurry to win the race or not to be jealous of what is not in your reach.

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