2012.01.17 13:00 - Language, Animal Morality, and Red Meat

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Bruce Mowbray. The comments are by Bruce Mowbray.  An "engaged"

    Korel Laloix: Heya
    Bruce Mowbray: Hey, Kori.
    Korel Laloix: IN and out today...
    Bruce Mowbray: me too.
    Korel Laloix: Heya
    Bruce Mowbray: Terrific hair, Kori.
    Korel Laloix: Thanks.
    Bruce Mowbray: Yo, Cal!
    Korel Laloix: Thinking of doing something very different so looking as styles in SL first.
    Bruce Mowbray: yeah -- good place to try it all out.
    Calvino Rabeni: Hi Bruce, Korel
    Korel Laloix: My employer would not approve of this... but maybe if I have it cut like this, I could work it so it looked fairly normal when down.
    Bruce Mowbray: If you folks don't mind, I will now lower the fountain. . .
    Korel Laloix: Please
    Calvino Rabeni: I wonder if we can turn off the yakbox
    Bruce Mowbray: Wigs are also a possibility...
    Korel Laloix: Too much trouble.
    Bruce Mowbray: I don't hear the yakbox, Cal -- Where is it?
    Korel Laloix: But I had thought of it.
    Calvino Rabeni: its right above the fountain
    Bruce Mowbray: Mmmm. It's boxy's.
    Bruce Mowbray: I didn't even see it at first because of my camera angle.
    Korel Laloix: It makes a good seat... smiles
    Bruce Mowbray: I'm in a mood for red meat - - some topic that's hearty!
    Calvino Rabeni: heheh
    Calvino Rabeni: a t-bone steak topic
    Bruce Mowbray: yeah.
    Bruce Mowbray: T-bones for moi!
    Korel Laloix: In another class with an ethics portion.
    Bruce Mowbray: ethics -- around eating meat, Kori?
    Korel Laloix: A question that the professor asked today...... would it be moral to completely destroy and entire disease.
    Bruce Mowbray: Hey, Zon.
    Zon Kwan: heya
    Korel Laloix: TO completely kill off a disease.


    --BELL--


    Korel Laloix: Like small pox or Ebola or the like.
    Bruce Mowbray: like smallpox? or polio?
    Bruce Mowbray: [drops]
    Zon Kwan: moral ?
    Zon Kwan: why not
    Bruce Mowbray: Fascinating question.
    Calvino Rabeni: or how about an invasive weed that's taking over an ecosystem?
    Korel Laloix: We are sad that we killed off all the dodo birds... why not sad we killed off smallpox?
    Zon Kwan: cause that harms us
    Bruce Mowbray: Through our altering habitats, many species are becoming extinct..
    Bruce Mowbray: but I think that begs the prof's question.
    Calvino Rabeni: because dodos are more special in a way than bacteria?
    Korel Laloix: True.. but is that a judgement we can make?
    Korel Laloix: Smallpox is actually a virus.
    Zon Kwan: why not
    Bruce Mowbray: Well, how are any ethical judgments to be made?
    Bruce Mowbray: Maybe that's what the prof is aiming to have the students consider.
    Zon Kwan: based on our survival
    Bruce Mowbray: So, human survival is the measure of all ethics?
    Zon Kwan: yup, for us
    Calvino Rabeni: how about a notion of greatest good for the greatest number
    Bruce Mowbray: not for me.
    Bruce Mowbray: That sounds too much like a medical model to me..
    Zon Kwan: greatest number of ?
    Bruce Mowbray: I prefer a more soulful model..
    Korel Laloix: Or something a lawyer would use.
    Bruce Mowbray: especially when it comes to ethical concerns.
    Calvino Rabeni: greatest number of species, for instance
    Zon Kwan: mosquitoes ?
    Zon Kwan: if there is morality..it is based on the one who creates it
    Bruce Mowbray: So - - greatest good for greatest number. . . the criteria is population?
    Bruce Mowbray: More humans than zebras, so zebras have to go?
    Zon Kwan: greatest numbers of Nazis ?
    Calvino Rabeni: quality and diversity
    Calvino Rabeni: numbers not so important
    Korel Laloix: Brings up a lot of strange questions.
    Bruce Mowbray: Well, I think ethics also has a collective aspect to it, Zon..
    Zon Kwan: based on ?
    Zon Kwan: survival of collective ?
    Bruce Mowbray: Did the captain of the sunken cruise ship behave ethically? Calvino Rabeni: there's also the idea of considering the future generations rather than immediate short term effects
    Bruce Mowbray: indeed, Cal.
    Zon Kwan: based on ?
    Bruce Mowbray: there is also the possibility of considering the past generations..
    Bruce Mowbray: although few of this era might consider that.
    Zon Kwan: where does the morality come from ?
    Calvino Rabeni: past generations need different care than the future generations
    Zon Kwan: animals don't act morally
    Zon Kwan: why should we?
    Calvino Rabeni: I think animals act morally just like people
    Calvino Rabeni: but it gets more complex
    Bruce Mowbray: I think they sometimes do -- but I doubt that animals act upon ethical considerations -- reflections..
    Bruce Mowbray: like the prof is asking Kori to do.
    Zon Kwan: animals are driven by the desire to survive and continue species
    Bruce Mowbray: Mu dog will NOT eat food (even steak) out of anyone's hand.
    Bruce Mowbray: I think he regards that as a "moral" matter.
    Calvino Rabeni: yes
    Bruce Mowbray: But I doubt that he spends much time in ethical reflection.
    Calvino Rabeni: animals aren't machines any more than humans
    Zon Kwan: morality means defining something is good and something is bad
    Bruce Mowbray: yes, Zon.
    Bruce Mowbray: agree.
    Zon Kwan: so
    Zon Kwan: what is good ?
    Bruce Mowbray: but "ethics"?
    Korel Laloix: I think there is moral neutrality.
    Zon Kwan: hm
    Korel Laloix: Things that are neither right nor wrong.
    Calvino Rabeni: The idea of ethical reflection seems to assume that ethics needs to be placed on a cognitive basis, doesn't it?
    Zon Kwan: then its not moral to me
    Zon Kwan: rather amoral
    Korel Laloix: Like which side of the bed I get up on.
    Bruce Mowbray: My silverware and plates are amoral. . .; Is that "neutrality"?
    Korel Laloix: OK.. Amoral.
    Calvino Rabeni: That really narrows its concerns and makes only certain people believe they are qualified to participate in the ethical process
    Bruce Mowbray: yes, amoral.
    Korel Laloix: Well, we all in one way or another try to enforce our model of morality.
    Korel Laloix: When you vote, you do that.
    Bruce Mowbray: We have several establishments hierarchies that are invested in their own rights to dictate morality for others.
    Zon Kwan: defining something as good requires defining some kind of end result ?
    Zon Kwan: where u compare
    Zon Kwan: the act
    Calvino Rabeni: well there's process theology
    Bruce Mowbray: process theology -- and moral situationalism.
    Calvino Rabeni: the "good" doesn't need to be defined by the categorical properties of its end states
    Korel Laloix: Same as moral relativism?
    Calvino Rabeni: after all there aren't any end states
    Bruce Mowbray: not quite the same, Kori.
    Korel Laloix: OK.
    Korel Laloix: Will look up.
    Zon Kwan: gtg,,sya
    Korel Laloix: Ciao
    Bruce Mowbray: no end states. . . but there are results, right?
    Bruce Mowbray loves this RED MEAT!
    Korel Laloix: There are always consequences.
    Bruce Mowbray: Hey, Multi!
    Korel Laloix: For each action there is a reaction in most systems.
    Korel Laloix: Not just the sciences.
    Korel Laloix: Heya
    Bruce Mowbray: but should the morality or ethics of an act be judged by the consequences of it?
    Korel Laloix: Ends justifies the means you mean?
    Bruce Mowbray: [drop coming in one minute]


    --BELL--


    Multiverse1 Resident: Hi, didn't want to enter or sway the fray.
    Korel Laloix: Just a good little chat.
    Bruce Mowbray: How about just doing the "right thing" because in your heart you "know" it is right?
    Korel Laloix: Started out on the moral issue of killing of an entire disease.
    Bruce Mowbray: Please do join in, Multi!
    Bruce Mowbray: Her, Ara!
    arabella Ella: Hiya!
    Multiverse1 Resident: yes, apparently started with something your prof said
    Korel Laloix: We hate that we killed off dodo birds.
    arabella Ella: Hey Bruce!
    Bruce Mowbray: hey!
    Korel Laloix: Should we hate that we killed off natural smallpox?
    Multiverse1 Resident: species, or disease, or are they one in the same?
    Korel Laloix: And we moved on from there.
    Korel Laloix: Smallpox is a species of virus.
    Bruce Mowbray: Excellent question, Multi - - - can a species be considered a disease?
    Multiverse1 Resident: ok, thought that's what you referred to.
    Bruce Mowbray: or is disease tapping into another category of thought altogether?
    Korel Laloix: So we benefited from the extinction of a life form.
    Korel Laloix: Just an interesting question from one of my classes today.
    Bruce Mowbray: "species" and "disease" and "life form" are all pretty broad categories. . .
    Multiverse1 Resident: well, there lies the "importance" factor, or morality vs: amorality
    Bruce Mowbray: It sounds like that would be taking each in isolation from the others. . .
    Bruce Mowbray: except maybe for "disease" - which is a "relationship" of one species to another.
    Multiverse1 Resident: looking from the viruses perspective, you become amoral
    Multiverse1 Resident: we become their disease then
    Bruce Mowbray: yes, we become their disease.
    Multiverse1 Resident: and if animals have morality, well
    Korel Laloix: Yes, we try to kill the virus, so we are the 'bad' ones...
    Multiverse1 Resident: though I disagree with that
    Calvino Rabeni: Do you think my "just knowing" and yours ought to be opened to dialogue ... if not, then are we otherwise concerned with the quality of that "just knowing"?
    Bruce Mowbray: we are our own disease, as well.
    Korel Laloix: True.
    Bruce Mowbray: yes, just knowing must be carefully considered.
    Multiverse1 Resident: yes, when does consciousness apply?
    Bruce Mowbray: "just knowing" sounds a little like "common sense"
    Multiverse1 Resident: You said your dog has morals?
    Bruce Mowbray: When does "equanimity" apply? - - no preferences? no p[prejudices?
    Bruce Mowbray: I feel that he is operating out of a moral frame, yes.
    arabella Ella: dogs with morals??
    Multiverse1 Resident: hmmm, can't be objective there
    Bruce Mowbray: when he doesn't eat from anyone's hand -- without warnings not to do so.
    Multiverse1 Resident: yes , ara, your thoughts on that?
    arabella Ella: i would disagree completely
    Bruce Mowbray: perhaps it is rather a sense of "etiquette" (doggie style)
    arabella Ella: it sounds to be like a typical way of imposing our humanity on other creatures
    Multiverse1 Resident: that to me must lie in a past experience for him
    Calvino Rabeni: If a dog acts loving, rather than aggressive, is that a moral act, or does the dog need to have an idea that it is categorically better to act loving, in order to be credited with moral awareness?
    Bruce Mowbray: How did you and I learn our morality, then?
    Bruce Mowbray: if not from other persons?
    Multiverse1 Resident: anthropological thinking, yes
    Bruce Mowbray: why can't the dog also do that?
    arabella Ella: anthropomorphic
    Bruce Mowbray: Does the dog not understand "right" and "wrong" as taught to him?
    arabella Ella: dogs don't have language, concepts or morality
    Multiverse1 Resident: if I grew up in the wild, I would have morals, however, they would be much different from those I currently possess
    Bruce Mowbray: That's a very categorical statements, Ara. . .
    Multiverse1 Resident: They have a form of language and concepts I think
    arabella Ella: I'm afraid so Bruce but it is what i believe
    Calvino Rabeni: Human infants appear to exhibit moral types of behavior before they have developed cognitive skills
    Bruce Mowbray: I suspect dogs (and other species as well) have some pretty "clear" (to themselves) concepts.
    Bruce Mowbray: That's fine!
    arabella Ella: you can only have concepts if you possess a language
    Bruce Mowbray: Ara -- I very much respect your viewpoints.
    Calvino Rabeni: so morality needn't stand on cognitive abilities
    Bruce Mowbray: I am just after some RED MEAT today. . .
    arabella Ella: even the bonobos that have been training to react to some language can only express themselves as much as a human 2 or 3 year old no more
    Multiverse1 Resident: many animals possess, types of body languages, and sound communications
    Bruce Mowbray: I once had an argument with someone who insisted that dogs do NOT dream.
    arabella Ella: we interpret them as such Multi
    Bruce Mowbray: I asked her to watch my dog when he was obviously dreaming.
    Multiverse1 Resident: birds
    Calvino Rabeni: Well, cognition has been DEFINED using language, but that doesn't mean it necessarily stands on it
    Multiverse1 Resident: whales
    Bruce Mowbray: feet moving
    Bruce Mowbray: moans
    Multiverse1 Resident: sheep
    Bruce Mowbray: whining
    Bruce Mowbray: what was going on there?
    Multiverse1 Resident: wolves
    arabella Ella: we interpret that as language
    arabella Ella: cos it suits us to do so
    Bruce Mowbray: Indeed, Cal. There are other forms of cognition besides language-based.
    Multiverse1 Resident: even if I cannot speak, I can possess body language. Certain actions communicate certain meanings
    arabella Ella: what other forms are there then?
    Multiverse1 Resident: eye contact
    arabella Ella: we interpret body language using concepts which form part of language
    Bruce Mowbray: We also possess body-awareness (a form of cognition or knowing).
    Multiverse1 Resident: especially in animals
    arabella Ella: nothing has meaning unless it is interpreted in language
    arabella Ella: for us humans
    Bruce Mowbray: oh dear.
    Multiverse1 Resident: So before humans had language, they could not communicate?


    --BELL--


    Multiverse1 Resident: thank you bell, that was most welcome
    Calvino Rabeni: a categorical knowing or perceptual ability, that includes some degree of abstraction (such as they all do) and can be combined with other such units, needn't be encoded in language, unless you really broaden the notion of language
    Bruce Mowbray: ;-)
    arabella Ella smiles
    arabella Ella: you can communicate without a language as animals do but you cannot have normativity or morality without a language neither can you form concepts
    Bruce Mowbray: My dog doesn't USE human language, but he certainly understands some of it.
    Multiverse1 Resident: then . Of course, 1st, language must be defined and agreed upon
    arabella Ella: language and communication are not identical
    arabella Ella: machines communicate with each other using signals
    Multiverse1 Resident: yet the dog can form concepts
    Calvino Rabeni: that strikes me as a case of circular definition .. defining language relative to concepts and concepts relative to language, without nailing down functionally what either of them really means
    Multiverse1 Resident: yes
    arabella Ella: language is what makes us human
    arabella Ella: and what distinguishes us from animals
    Multiverse1 Resident: concepts, are Not language
    arabella Ella: through language we have the ability to form concepts
    Calvino Rabeni: then we have body language, bird language, animal calls, computer language ....
    Bruce Mowbray: When an animal ducks its tail between its legs and bows its head -- if a human takes a certain tone of voice (no words - just a sort of HMMMM sounds), what do you suppose is going on there?
    arabella Ella: and to be moral creatures capable of helping those in need, or charity, philanthropy, etc
    Calvino Rabeni: Not just to be contrary, but, could it be that language has the job of describing concepts that are already present grounded in other structures?
    arabella Ella: Bruce that is non verbal communication of course
    arabella Ella: i don't think so Calvino
    Multiverse1 Resident: a language
    Bruce Mowbray listens and thinks.
    Calvino Rabeni: So what then does the concept of a sore toe stand on?
    Multiverse1 Resident: Monkeys have been shown to possess, a form of language have they describing concepts, I like that definition
    Bruce Mowbray loves it when folks can be "contrary" for the sake of a good RED MEAT conversation.
    arabella Ella: LOL
    Calvino Rabeni: Is that a concept, Bruce, or a metaphor ? :)
    arabella Ella: Jane Rumbaugh Savage taught some basic language to bonoboos which are a form of chimps but they only go as far as a human 2 or 3 year old
    Multiverse1 Resident: lol
    arabella Ella: whereas humans aged around 3 suddenly explode with their creative application of language use
    Bruce Mowbray: definitely a metaphorical concept, Cal.
    Bruce Mowbray: well, a human 2 or 3 year old goes PRETTY FAR!
    Bruce Mowbray: amazing how much has been learned by then.
    Bruce Mowbray: brain capacity. . . ; genetic limitations.
    Multiverse1 Resident: they have been shown to possess their own language as do birds in the wild, and many animals have communication, (which is language) to me.
    arabella Ella: it is only simple words, instructions, commands that the bonoboos get hard wired into them to react in a Skinnerian way through stimulus and response or operant conditioning
    Multiverse1 Resident: yet it is a language they understand
    Bruce Mowbray: I worked with adults with profound retardation for 13 years -- and was amazed by how many different kinds of intelligence they used.
    Calvino Rabeni: Here's a critique I heard recently ... comparing primate and human cognitive abilities is not a level playing field, it's like comparing human children raised in rich privileged environments with apes that are the equivalent of orphans raised in isolation from their social field
    Bruce Mowbray: hmmm. interesting, Cal.
    Bruce Mowbray: so nurture is also part of the equation?
    Calvino Rabeni: it would be a bit different comparing human orphans with apes raised in a natural environment where they learned
    arabella Ella: sounds right to me calvino
    Calvino Rabeni: then it wouldn't look quite so one-sided
    Multiverse1 Resident: So then, non-verbal communication cannot be considered language then?
    Bruce Mowbray: of course it is, Multi.
    arabella Ella: human infants start learning from birth through non verbal communication which they then turn into language like Mama or yes and no cos our brain is structured to be able to operate using language which animals don't possess
    Multiverse1 Resident: Just because we do not use or understand a language Or, concept does not make it " Not Exist"
    arabella Ella: the clothes we wear and our hairstyles or jewelry are a type of non verbal communication which is not language
    Multiverse1 Resident: so do wolves
    Calvino Rabeni: Birds can learn hundreds of songs, food cache locations, etc.
    arabella Ella: so?
    Multiverse1 Resident: language to me is a basic form of communication
    arabella Ella: language is one form of communication amongst others
    Bruce Mowbray: birds even learn dialects of birdsongs.
    Korel Laloix: Have to go.. ciao all.
    Multiverse1 Resident: verbal or non, or even chemical, in some instances
    Bruce Mowbray: BYE, Kori!
    Calvino Rabeni: The categorical "humans are different" paradigm seems to really limit insight into what language and intelligence consists of, and whether other animals have it or not
    Multiverse1 Resident: back to the viruses now
    arabella Ella: planes or machines communicate with each other and use signals not language
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye, Korel
    Bruce Mowbray: ;-)
    arabella Ella: ah intelligence is another matter altogether
    arabella Ella: animals can learn to exhibit intelligent behaviour
    arabella Ella: as can humans
    Multiverse1 Resident: we are the supreme beings after all, even though we may make many others extinct in our time
    Multiverse1 Resident: lol
    Bruce Mowbray does not feel at all "supreme."
    arabella Ella: we may not be supreme but we are possibly arrogant
    Multiverse1 Resident: my point
    arabella Ella: hubris is another better word to describe us as humans
    Multiverse1 Resident: the only entities that possess language


    --BELL--


    Bruce Mowbray: I feel that as long as we think of ourselves merely as individuals -- or of our species as unique and separate from others - then we are not thinking clearly, ecologically, holistically.
    Multiverse1 Resident: morality is a completely different topic, I think?
    Calvino Rabeni: I agree, Bruce, and I'd add "thinking functionally" to that
    Multiverse1 Resident: rationality
    arabella Ella: shhhhh
    Bruce Mowbray: perhaps our species should give more concentration to "collective" awareness.
    Multiverse1 Resident: oops
    Bruce Mowbray: and not merely among humans.
    Bruce Mowbray: sry.
    Bruce Mowbray: (often the "drop" at the top of the hour is ignored. . . )
    Bruce Mowbray: since folks are coming and going.
    Calvino Rabeni: You're welcome, Play as Being 15 minute bell
    Bruce Mowbray: but still sry for not honoring the drop
    arabella Ella: i think each species can be distinguished from other species in various ways but that should not create any obstacles to viewing things holistically
    Bruce Mowbray: Hey, Mick!
    arabella Ella: and it is language and morality and concepts which all lead to rationality and normativity and autonomy that distinguish humans from other species
    arabella Ella: Hiya Mick!
    Multiverse1 Resident: can you define holistically ,please?
    Wol Euler: hello ara, cal, bruce, multi
    Multiverse1 Resident: HIYA wol
    arabella Ella: holistically means seeing things as a whole not each as a separate part as you may view us as individuals
    arabella Ella: Hiya Wol!
    Multiverse1 Resident: hmm
    Bruce Mowbray: intertwined relationships that influence behavior, identity, and the course of living -- for all species involved.
    arabella Ella: holistically - as a whole system all interlinked
    Bruce Mowbray: often unintentional.
    Multiverse1 Resident: not distinguished from other species then
    Mickorod Renard: Hi
    Multiverse1 Resident: Hiya, Mick!
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Arabella, Cal Multi, and dapper Bruce
    arabella Ella: interlinked but as a separate species
    arabella Ella: Hiya Eliza!
    Bruce Mowbray: I doubt that the birds that brought down the jetliner had an intention to do so. . . but they sure had an influence.
    Bruce Mowbray: so they need to be considered in relationship with humans.
    Eliza Madrigal: :)) lovely to see you
    arabella Ella: lovely to see you too Eliza!
    Bruce Mowbray: Hey, Eliza!
    Multiverse1 Resident: Not cognitive in that instance though, I'm sure a few died even
    arabella Ella: or rational either
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Bruce, Multi
    Mickorod Renard: ayup Cal
    Bruce Mowbray: I was looking for a RED MEAT discuss at the beginning of last hour -- and we started talking about morality...
    arabella Ella: LOL
    Eliza Madrigal: hmm
    Eliza Madrigal: with fangs?
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Zen :)
    Bruce Mowbray: Kori wondered if completely killing off a species (like smallpox) were ethical.  and we went from there...
    Zen Arado: Hi all
    Wol Euler: 7sm
    Calvino Rabeni: Hi Zen
    Wol Euler smiles.
    Multiverse1 Resident: Hi Zen
    Wol Euler: hello zen
    Bruce Mowbray: to communication among non-human species, and morality of non-humans, etc.
    Bruce Mowbray: Hi, Zen.
    Multiverse1 Resident: Eliza, nice boots!
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Zen
    Bruce Mowbray: yeah, definitely with fangs, Eliza.
    Eliza Madrigal: ty :) made for walkin...
    Mickorod Renard: very nice boots Eliza :))
    arabella Ella: Hiya Zen!
    Bruce Mowbray: I insisted that my dog has a sense of morality.
    Bruce Mowbray: and also that he understands some human language.
    Mickorod Renard: my dog is the most imoral there is on the planet
    Multiverse1 Resident: and I carried it on to dog language
    Bruce Mowbray: ara would disagree, Mick.
    arabella Ella: and i disagreed completely with Bruce so we were having a discussion on that topic
    Bruce Mowbray: but I could possibly agree.
    Eliza Madrigal: so were you talking about embodied ways of being then?
    Calvino Rabeni: Should it concern us that, there are no clear or even consensus definitions of either "concept" or "information", let alone language ... in spite of the fact that we're now immersed in them as if everyone could basically agree what they are?
    Bruce Mowbray: did you mean to type "IMMORAL" (your dog)?
    Wol Euler: you disagreed about Bruce's dog having a sense of morality?
    Bruce Mowbray: Yes, embodies ways of being.
    Multiverse1 Resident: back to basics, yes Cal
    arabella Ella: yes Wol
    Mickorod Renard: yes Bruce
    Wol Euler: why?
    Mickorod Renard: sorry
    Eliza Madrigal: maybe companions soak one another up
    arabella Ella: for me animals do not possess and cannot possess language, rationality, morality, normativity, concepts, etc.
    Multiverse1 Resident: 2 different languages, sometimes cannot communicate without translation
    Bruce Mowbray: Interesting to talk about "concepts" with no clear concept of what we're talking about.
    Wol Euler nods.
    Zen Arado: words are useful so long as we remember they are just words, I think
    Mickorod Renard: sorry Cal, could you explain that?
    Bruce Mowbray: Hey, Wol.
    Multiverse1 Resident: lol
    Mickorod Renard: he he
    Wol Euler: I saw a dog apologise to another, once.
    Multiverse1 Resident: nice
    arabella Ella: isn't it words or language we are using to communicate here and now?
    Wol Euler: so I do believe that they understand some kind of moral standard
    Bruce Mowbray: Yes, Wol, I have too!
    Mickorod Renard: my dog knows more English than I know dog talk
    Bruce Mowbray: ;-)
    arabella Ella: Wol that is you imposing your human interpretation on what you observed
    Multiverse1 Resident: hehe
    Eliza Madrigal: they seem to feel shame
    Mickorod Renard: I must be stupid
    Wol Euler: then let me tell you what I saw, and you re-interpret it for me. Is that fair?
    Mickorod Renard: yes
    Multiverse1 Resident: I do not know Chinese, yet I have spoken to a chinaman
    Bruce Mowbray: Yes, Eliza, we were talking about dogs' feeling shame earlier.
    arabella Ella: go ahead if you wish but it is difficult to reinterpret something without having directly witnessed it
    Bruce Mowbray: go ahead Wol.
    Zen Arado: to me moral standards are just a consensus since of what most people think is appropriate behaviour, and that changes through the ages
    Mickorod Renard: go for it Wol
    Bruce Mowbray listens.
    Multiverse1 Resident: morality, in some instances, apparently limited, compared to humans they possess, a degree of morality then
    Mickorod Renard: I have been trying to get my dog to remove his shoes when he comes in
    Wol Euler: okay, two dogs, agéd pets of my equally aged aunt and uncle. One was trying to sleep, other was indulging in some rather creaky and stiff play
    Multiverse1 Resident: when does the 1st step begin
    Wol Euler: and nipped the other on the leg
    Zen Arado: to me dogs just express their doggy nature, limited by the humans they associate with
    Wol Euler: my interpretation: unintended, he simply didn't have the muscular control he used to have
    Wol Euler: the nipped dog howled
    Mickorod Renard: stiff play,,,,mmmm
    Bruce Mowbray listens.
    Wol Euler: so the accidental nipper rolled onto his back and shouldered his way along the floor until his throat was under the jaws of the dog he nipped
    Multiverse1 Resident: Red Meat for you Bruce, Instinctive reaction
    Calvino Rabeni: Dogs apparently have a clear ability to track human intentionality .. follow their gaze, anticipate their immediate intentions ... as skillful as human infants, perhaps more so than chimps
    Wol Euler: looked pretty much like an apology to me
    Bruce Mowbray: fascinating story, Wol.
    Wol Euler: "here I am, you can hurt me if you wish"
    Multiverse1 Resident: yes, and morally communicative
    Mickorod Renard: Cal, my dog is good at that if it involved food
    Wol Euler smiles at Ara. Your turn.
    Eliza Madrigal: hmm


    --BELL--


    Mickorod Renard: that is quite spooky Wol
    Multiverse1 Resident: not at all, The dog whisperer, anyone, just a thought mind you. Or how about horses?
    arabella Ella: to me that sounds like dogs at play ... but who am i to judge if i was not present ... i have another example of a cat also interesting ... i was walking down a road at night rather quietly and my dad's cat who only sees me occasionally
    Eliza Madrigal: animals do feel deep emotions, even mourn and have protected rituals (like elephants), which would seem where 'morality' would spring from... sensitivity
    arabella Ella: came out of a doorway to greet me by meowing
    arabella Ella: sensitivity yes - morality no - pain yes - language or rationality no
    Eliza Madrigal: if able to signal then that seems language
    Calvino Rabeni: spring from empathic attunement with other entities
    arabella Ella: back to my cat story - it was dark at nighttime and she only heard my footsteps yet she recognised me immediately
    Mickorod Renard: food is the only language my dog understands
    Multiverse1 Resident: my interpretation of the word, Eliza, yes
    Multiverse1 Resident: smell
    arabella Ella: Eliza i had said communication and language are not identical language is one form of communication
    Wol Euler nods to Eliza
    Calvino Rabeni: yes also
    Eliza Madrigal: we just seem not to know so much about how we ourselves communicate
    Bruce Mowbray: There's an old saying, "Those who do not hear the music think the dancers mad."
    Multiverse1 Resident: or at times, fail to do so.
    Wol Euler smiles.
    Mickorod Renard: anything outside some manipulation to obtain food is outside my dogs range
    Bruce Mowbray: Just because we do not "hear" the languages of morality among other species does not mean that they do not exist.
    Bruce Mowbray: especially when we see evidence for them.
    Bruce Mowbray: (as in Wol's story)
    Multiverse1 Resident: and many others, methinx
    arabella Ella: of course they don't Bruce just as animals don't have anything we could call art and culture either
    Bruce Mowbray: oh dear.
    Multiverse1 Resident: back to us Neanderthals
    Calvino Rabeni: Human infants as young as 7 months have been shown to behave as if understanding and liking "punishment" ... if they haven't learned language, then that seeming moral concept must be precognitive in its basis ... or language also stands on precognitive knowing
    Bruce Mowbray: no animal 'culture'?
    Wol Euler is impressed by Ara's certainty
    Eliza Madrigal: think we know very little... amazing videos now of the way some birds create an artistic dwelling to lure other birds... arranging flowers, etc
    Eliza Madrigal: using particular colors
    Multiverse1 Resident: yep
    Bruce Mowbray thinks of termite colonies. . . bees communicating about where the pollen is, etc etc etc.
    arabella Ella: maybe i need to take of my teaching hat, Wol, and sound less certain :)
    Wol Euler: :)
    arabella Ella: yes Bruce animals can communicate no doubt and they feel pain and may be sensitive too ... but that's as far as i think they go
    Bruce Mowbray: Part of the modern human "problem," I think is that we have forgotten about instinctual behavior. . .
    Mickorod Renard: there was a video the other day of a crow like bird snowboarding down a roof. it took me two seasons to manage that
    Bruce Mowbray: especially our own instinctual behavior.
    Eliza Madrigal: :)) Mick
    arabella Ella: the human brain is structured in a way that allows us to learn language and morality from birth onwards
    Wol Euler: yeah, I saw that, it was riding a piece of plastic refuse down a tiled roofslope
    Wol Euler: then picked it up, flew up to the ridge and did it again
    Mickorod Renard: yes, impressive
    Eliza Madrigal: and climbing back up to do it again
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, lollol
    Wol Euler: wasn't exposing food etc, just did it for the sake of doing it
    Bruce Mowbray: amazing animal tales. I love it!
    arabella Ella: through language and rationality we can then be charitable, we help others, we feel compassion, etc.
    Wol Euler: wb multi
    Multiverse1 Resident: went for this.
    Multiverse1 Resident: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Turtles-Term...-/360420524211
    arabella Ella: if we take morality what is morality - do not steal, do not kill others, do not harm others etc right?
    Mickorod Renard: do not get into trouble
    Calvino Rabeni: There are also a set of studies showing that the conceptual type of moral argumentation is usually a justification or interpretation of a pre-existing emotional or implicit attitude or belief ..
    arabella Ella: morality and normativity involve the famous word 'ought' - what we ought to do
    Mickorod Renard: two sides of a coin
    Bruce Mowbray: (Thanks for that heads-up on the book, Multi).
    Wol Euler: sounds fascinating
    Calvino Rabeni: that the cognition is essentially storytelling
    Calvino Rabeni: to make the emotional predispositions coherent when engaging in conceptual styles of dialogue
    Bruce Mowbray: story-telling requires root metaphors.
    Eliza Madrigal: after the fact like mythology?
    Calvino Rabeni: yes
    Wol Euler: to me those are instances of moral acts, ara, not morality itself.
    Wol Euler: I would rather say that morality is the knowledge of right and wrong
    Calvino Rabeni: and yet, cognitivism as a philosophy likes to turn it around and say that morality stands on thought and language
    Zen Arado: it's just a societal consensus I think
    Eliza Madrigal: nods
    arabella Ella: yes Wol - the famous - what i ought to do or ought not to do
    Calvino Rabeni: surely they are in a circular relationship both with individuals and in group thinking
    Bruce Mowbray: The vast majority of Americans know that having no universal health care results in the deaths of almost 50,000 Americans each year. . .
    Zen Arado: well who decides what is moral?
    Bruce Mowbray: but they still do not want universal health care.
    Mickorod Renard: naturally there is also the knowing of well being one exhibits to ones own gene pool
    Eliza Madrigal: attributing to reason because reason seems something that can be managed
    Bruce Mowbray: Immoral??
    Calvino Rabeni: Who decides ??? In what case is it even a "decision"?
    Wol Euler: which is why, for my money, the dog was behaving morally. He knew he ought not to have done that.
    arabella Ella: well Zen some acts are considered moral in ome cultures and immoral in others but there are acts that are universally immoral
    Wol Euler: and offered to make amends
    Zen Arado: ah Kant
    Bruce Mowbray: Seems that Wol's dog had more moral character than many humans.
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    arabella Ella: not really Kant Zen :)
    Zen Arado: what is universally immoral?
    Bruce Mowbray: nothing.
    arabella Ella: killing infants or other people
    Wol Euler: incest
    arabella Ella: is universally immoral
    Bruce Mowbray: not even suicide.
    Eliza Madrigal: not in all cultures in all times
    Zen Arado: well he talked a lot about rules that should be universalizable
    Mickorod Renard: is my dog more moral because he is more honest in displaying his motives?
    Multiverse1 Resident: back to, " are we being immoral to the small pox" virus/
    arabella Ella: Kant really said don't do unto others what you don't want others to do to you
    Bruce Mowbray listens
    Zen Arado: I think you will find societies that did those things
    Bruce Mowbray: listens.
    Calvino Rabeni: Moral thinking and intuition are so similar in many ways ... yet moral thinking has more evident social consequences ... could this be the reason it is "popular" among philosophers, and intuitive knowing is not?
    arabella Ella: it is said that some Chinese practice infanticide but it is considered immoral
    Zen Arado: that's just the golden rule Ara and there are exceptions
    Bruce Mowbray: Kant's categories seem to ignore anything below the neck.
    Bruce Mowbray: yikes! Just realized the time. Gotta run. THANKS everyone for all the delicious RED MEAT!!!


    --BELL--


    arabella Ella: i don't think that is a correct interpretation Bruce
    Wol Euler: bye bruce, be moral
    Mickorod Renard: bye Bruce
    Zen Arado: bye Bruce
    Multiverse1 Resident: my imoro-tality.
    arabella Ella: bye Bruce
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Bye Bruce, thanks
    Multiverse1 Resident: Me to Bruce, Bye all, Have some red meat, I shall have white tonight.
    Eliza Madrigal: Night Multi
    Mickorod Renard: night Multi
    Zen Arado: I think we act according to our urges and desires and they are moral or immoral in a given society
    arabella Ella: night Multi!
    Zen Arado: bye Multi
    arabella Ella: actually Zen we are encultured into the language traditions and morality of our environment from the moment of birth onwards
    Calvino Rabeni: I need to run also ... taking some of the RED MEAT to my BBQ
    arabella Ella: then comes a stage in life
    Wol Euler: :)
    Wol Euler: bon appetit. cal
    Eliza Madrigal: have to go too.. am being 'bad'
    Mickorod Renard: moral or immoral seems to be determined whether its punishable or not
    arabella Ella: when we reflect and assess those beliefs and practices
    Eliza Madrigal: online too long
    Calvino Rabeni: Thanks everyone
    Wol Euler: bye Eliza, take care
    Zen Arado: yes agree Ara
    arabella Ella: bye Eliza
    Wol Euler: bye mick
    Calvino Rabeni: nice discussion / engagement
    Mickorod Renard: bye folks
    Calvino Rabeni: bye :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)) Bye friends, thanks so much
    arabella Ella: i must go too once there is such an exodus!
    Zen Arado: but it is a kind of group consensus of all our urges to be moral and what we think is right morality?
    Wol Euler: heheh
    arabella Ella: good night everyone and thanks for the discussion
    Wol Euler: 'night ara, take care
    Wol Euler: thank you
    Zen Arado: bye Eliza :)
    arabella Ella: to some extent yes Zen :)
    arabella Ella: to a great extent
    Wol Euler: I#d say "yes but"
    arabella Ella: or the powers that be
    Zen Arado: nit oh everyone is going
    Wol Euler: we can and should decide for ourselves whether that consensus is just
    Wol Euler: and act accordingly
    Zen Arado: yes and it will be changes eventually then if enough ppl concur
    arabella Ella: we do that Wol when we are more or less teenagers and our rationality has developed to a certain level
    arabella Ella: unless we are born rebels
    arabella Ella: on that note i really must go!
    Wol Euler: adults do it too, or did I misunderstand your point?
    Zen Arado: kk ;)
    arabella Ella: good night once again!
    Zen Arado: bye Ara
    Wol Euler: bye!
    arabella Ella: yes adults too!
    Wol Euler: I suspect that we are again in violent agreement :()
    Wol Euler: :)
    Zen Arado: :)
    Wol Euler: as so often, I suspect that much of these discussions is actually about negotiating the meaning of words
    Wol Euler: that we do not really disagree as much as we seem to
    Zen Arado: yes and concepts
    Wol Euler: simply that we use words in different ways
    Wol Euler: what I think of as fairly neutral, is to you quite loaded
    Wol Euler: etc
    Zen Arado: that's why philosophy spends so much time clarifying meanings
    Wol Euler: yep
    Zen Arado: making sure we agree on what the terms we are using mean
    Zen Arado: but no two people have the same view
    Wol Euler nods.
    Wol Euler: like "we"
    Wol Euler smiles.
    Zen Arado: a rich tapestry
    Zen Arado: :)
    Zen Arado: amazing how ideas of morality have changed through the ages
    Zen Arado: they used to hang ppl for stealing sheep not long ago
    Wol Euler nods.
    Zen Arado: and boil them in oil
    Wol Euler: if SOPA gets passed, you can spend longer in jail for uploading a song to the internet than for killing somebody
    Zen Arado: :)
    Wol Euler: in other words, the rich make the laws and the poor live under them
    Zen Arado: they used to eat dead human bodies it is thought
    Zen Arado: yes
    Wol Euler: not long ago, sheep were wealth; now, intellectual property is wealth
    Zen Arado: desperation outweighs moral rules
    Wol Euler nods.
    Zen Arado: trying to get a handle on a non-dual perspective on morality
    Wol Euler: (for the record: that was not hyperbole. 5 year penalty for uploading a copyrighted song illegally; the doctor who killed Michael Jackson got 4 years.)
    Zen Arado: yes? amazing
    Wol Euler: yep
    Wol Euler: outrageous, is what it is
    Wol Euler: disgusting
    Wol Euler: remarkably callow
    Zen Arado: big business has power
    Zen Arado: hope ppl make their minds up about which week Wol
    Wol Euler: :)
    Wol Euler: yes, me too
    Wol Euler: if we can all do either week, then let us just make it the first
    Zen Arado: the end of June one?
    Wol Euler: yep
    Wol Euler: it's just the three of us?
    Zen Arado: well who decides that?
    Zen Arado: so far
    Wol Euler: I'm not afraid to decide it :)
    Wol Euler: I'll post a mail message to that effect
    Zen Arado: it needs to suit Pema
    Zen Arado: yes ok
    Zen Arado: I don't want to seem pushy
    Wol Euler: if we can all do either week, then let us just make it the first <-
    Wol Euler: and if not, then somebody has to say what they cannot do
    Zen Arado: agree
    Wol Euler: I'll write.
    Zen Arado: ok
    Wol Euler smiles.
    Zen Arado: better go then
    Zen Arado: :)
    Wol Euler: goodnight, zen, take care
    Zen Arado: you too byee

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