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Monday, December 8, 2008

bits of rubbish


I was voted "most conscientious" in high school.


The more fully we understand our historical context, the more capable we are of unearthing our major prejudices. We don't thereby gain so much power over these prejudices; at best we gain the ability to comprehend our resonant frequencies in relation to them and tune ourselves accordingly.

To change our prejudices more substantially than that takes a more substantial force (trajectory, the moment of crossing the Rubicon, no turning back, external reinforcers generally) and has a more substantial cost: time and the exclusion of other choices because of the limitations of time and the fact that you can only be formed in some ways at certain times in life.


Q: What do I call a person who needs the carrot on the stick called heaven/hell or some sort of divine command in order to behave morally and know what morality is?

A: an immoral person acting like a moral one

Which is certainly preferable to an immoral person acting like an immoral one.

I use the term "moral" in this way because the answer to the question "whose morality?" is ours. Meaning the culture in which our moral identity has been cultivated. The shape of this formative culture is increasingly varied and variable because of our increased use of technology to communicate across societies and cultures. Isolating your moral identity to your religious belief system or something else ideologically singular leaves you limited, blinded and dishonest. Refusal to take religious identity into account would also be a mistake.

"Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious? Or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?"

The Euthyphro [text | wikipedia]


Culture and language define the character of our consciousness.

Our consciousness is the ground from which everything else grows. It defines the parameters of everything else. It's analogous to the box in the expression "thinking outside the box" but it's the box that's impossible to think outside of. Not that it can't be shifted and changed but it can't be changed via thought experiments or propositional assent. Or at least I can't easily see how that'd be possible.

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