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MatrixManNe0
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PostPosted: Thu 23 Nov, 2006  Reply with quote

Ooh, I remembered another philosophy train of thought - utilitarianism. The proposition is that it would be the ethical thing to do the greatest happiness for the greatest good. Hedonism is similar, except it advocates the betterness of one's self rather than people as a whole.

Utilitarianism and hedonism would both argue that the best thing to do is to do what would make you happy, because you can't possibly make someone else unhappy by doing whatever in your own dreams. Thus, it would be unethical to, say, murder someone if it made you feel bad, yet it would be ethical to murder someone (this is still in a dream, by the way) if it made you feel good.


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Bruno
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PostPosted: Thu 23 Nov, 2006  Reply with quote

My take on Aristotle's aurea mediocritas principle applied to dreams: you have infinite negative possibilities of an infinity of possible intensities, and infinite positive things to do of an infinity of possible intensities. The Ethical thing to do when you can do everything is to look for the less impact. In games theory, that would be to play on the {0,0} option. No one wins, no one loses from your actions. So the aurea mediocritas in dreams would be not to use your powers. grin You naughty LDers. wink5

Seriously, musing about ethics in dreams, what a sex–of–the–angels talk! Dreams are nonsensical, illogical realities and we're trying to frame them on a logic perspective and make sense out of them. This won't happen.


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MatrixManNe0
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PostPosted: Fri 24 Nov, 2006  Reply with quote

I know talking about dream ethics is nonsensical! I find the entire topic interesting, though. I love how dreams tend to refute... well... a lot of philosophy, now that I think of it...

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Shaper
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PostPosted: Fri 24 Nov, 2006  Reply with quote

Well, I still stand by what I said

Keep in mind I'm thinking about this from an atheist's point of view - the Universe was not created with it's own set of rules about what's right and wrong. I believe we were never given a set of rules to live by from God, and even if we were, God creating ethical guidelines for our way of life would still be a subjective experience from God's point of view.
So where do ethics come from? There are no objective ethical laws in the universe, just the ethics that we humans have come up with to help insure that society functions properly and no one gets hurt, and these rules are a product of lifetimes of experience and millions of years of evolution. No one put them there at the beginning of time for us to start using 15 billion years later, they arose via subjective experience.
So, if an entire society agrees that killing is wrong, that's okay, but it's still subjective. If I asked everyone here why killing is wrong, the answers would probably all be along the same lines, but they'd still be different, because there is no fundamental law in the universe that makes killing unethical; it's we humans who have created those laws.

So, that's what I mean when I say ethics are subjective smile


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Bruno
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PostPosted: Fri 24 Nov, 2006  Reply with quote

That means Ethics aren't absolute, which is very different. Subjective is the quality of something whose outcomes or other qualities are not inherent to itself, but rather dynamic, depending on each person's values. If that happens to Ethics, Ethics becomes opinion. If you let a burglar decide what's right and what's wrong, that's not ethics, it's his opinion. The law is an attempt to code the basic rights and wrongs, so that we have an ethical framework which is absolute to its subjects—so even though it was made by men, it's not (supposed to be) subjective. Am I making myself clear? I think I might be spreading more confusion rather than clarifying anything tounge2

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MatrixManNe0
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PostPosted: Fri 24 Nov, 2006  Reply with quote

How could you possibly argue that the random killing of a human being is justified? And I don't mean something in terms of religious sacrifices or the like, though even that would not be a "random murder".

It's not that you can't, I believe it's that you don't know how to. I am certain that everyone here would believe that the random unjustified murder of a human being is unethical. It's just the reasoning that's difficult to come up with.


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Shaper
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PostPosted: Sat 25 Nov, 2006  Reply with quote

MatrixManNeo wrote:
It's not that you can't, I believe it's that you don't know how to. I am certain that everyone here would believe that the random unjustified murder of a human being is unethical. It's just the reasoning that's difficult to come up with.


Exactly. Some people might say it's wrong because it hurts someone, or it hurts their family. Others would say it's wrong because they will go to hell, or that it's not their right to randomly kill someone, but the bottom line is that I'm sure we'd all consider it wrong, but why it's wrong would be where we all have different reasons. Keep in mind though, that there have been cultures where killing is acceptable; their code of ethics would be very different from ours.

Bruno wrote:

That means Ethics aren't absolute, which is very different. Subjective is the quality of something whose outcomes or other qualities are not inherent to itself, but rather dynamic, depending on each person's values. If that happens to Ethics, Ethics becomes opinion. If you let a burglar decide what's right and what's wrong, that's not ethics, it's his opinion. The law is an attempt to code the basic rights and wrongs, so that we have an ethical framework which is absolute to its subjects—so even though it was made by men, it's not (supposed to be) subjective. Am I making myself clear? I think I might be spreading more confusion rather than clarifying anything


Think about how laws are written though; people write them up in order to establish guidelines for society to run smoothly. People had to think about what is right and wrong in terms of the culture the laws are written for - it' still opinion, but a very widely agreed upon and important opinion...in my opinion
I mean essentially, ethics are based to a large extent on our ability to reason. If we couldn't do this, there'd be no study of ethics at all, much less any kind of concept of ethics.....but we do have ethics luckily, and most ethical dilemmas are open to a great deal of interpretation, which is why I say they are subjective.


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darakat
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Nov, 2006  Reply with quote

It may be that we are not looking at Ethics in the right way, which is what all the confusion may be about. In a way both us Subjectivists (me and Josh) are right buy saying all ethics that is how people decide what is right and wrong is subjective which doesn't mean they have to be absolute. That I think is were the confusion comes in as Bruno and the other Objectivists are saying Ethics (big E) has to be Absolute as there is no grey areas in how a general society has to eventually decide on what is right and wrong. <i>(btw I hope I am getting this right here its a bit of a stab in the dark)</i>.

However the topic was not defined (by me) as to which ethics we were to discuss, big E or little e. Are we to discuss what society as a whole thinks of ethics in dreams or what we personally think ethics of dreams? Or both?

Because I believe that dreams are not just random stuff and somehow were necessary for our evolution (or creation if you must) I think there must be at least some sort of personal ethical code that everyone decided upon for there dreams and therefor a social mean for what is Ethical (big E) in a dream.

Even if there is not, there is however a ethics to do with what one tells other people about there dreams. For example telling someone you had sex with them in a dream isn't really that ethical unless you are actually romantically attached (or about to be). So although there isn't a ethics of your actions in a dream, there is a ethics of dream-telling, and I think that would also be something that we should discuss. Especially as there is a ethics applied here at ld4all that conforms to societies norms, we are only allowed to post certain dreams.



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Bruno
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Nov, 2006  Reply with quote

Darakat wrote:
It may be that we are not looking at Ethics in the right way, which is what all the confusion may be about. In a way both us Subjectivists (me and Josh) are right buy saying all ethics that is how people decide what is right and wrong is subjective which doesn't mean they have to be absolute. That I think is were the confusion comes in as Bruno and the other Objectivists are saying Ethics (big E) has to be Absolute as there is no grey areas in how a general society has to eventually decide on what is right and wrong. (btw I hope I am getting this right here its a bit of a stab in the dark).

As far as I'm concerned, you got it right. yes Just to clarify something, I'm not saying Ethics works, is right or should be used, I'm just saying that, as long as it tries to be logical, it has to be the least subjective possible, or you'll have flawed justice systems like most societies today have, in which rich people can buy themselves a favorable sentence.

Darakat wrote:
However the topic was not defined (by me) as to which ethics we were to discuss, big E or little e. Are we to discuss what society as a whole thinks of ethics in dreams or what we personally think ethics of dreams? Or both?

I take that anything posted in the Cloud isn't mainly focused at exposing a myriad of beliefs isolated, but rather trying to create something possibly new and consensual (that's the point of Philosophy, one could argue, and in a sense it really is). So I assume we're talking about big E Ethics because someone made a proposition, a question, and we're collectively brainstorming to see if it has possible answers, preferably one possible answer, or eventually decide it has no possible answers. In this case, many possible answers equals no answer (in my opinion) for the fact that we go back to ground zero: people assume their own moral choices is what matters in their dreams, someone asks "is there an absolute Ethical code for dreams, one we all would be able to agree upon and follow" and after discussing, we decide that no, there isn't.

Now, if there's something, anything, about dreams we can all agree upon, no matter how little and specific we find it to be, like "we all agree that kicking green teddy bears at a bedroom in dreams is wrong," then Ethics is possible in dreams (I personally still think it isn't).

Darakat wrote:
Because I believe that dreams are not just random stuff and somehow were necessary for our evolution (or creation if you must) I think there must be at least some sort of personal ethical code that everyone decided upon for there dreams and therefor a social mean for what is Ethical (big E) in a dream.

I think it's perfectly reasonable, but being a bit pragmatic here, I don't see any example of that, I can't really see anything everyone agrees upon, Ethics wise, about dreams.

Darakat wrote:
Even if there is not, there is however a ethics to do with what one tells other people about there dreams. For example telling someone you had sex with them in a dream isn't really that ethical unless you are actually romantically attached (or about to be). So although there isn't a ethics of your actions in a dream, there is a ethics of dream-telling, and I think that would also be something that we should discuss. Especially as there is a ethics applied here at ld4all that conforms to societies norms, we are only allowed to post certain dreams.

Great point. yes Yes, you're right, although Ethics inside dreams might not be possible, Ethics regarding dreams can be. And that gets us back to lucid dreams. Is it ethical to, say, have sex with someone in a lucid dream if you know they wouldn't like you to and would definitely not have sex with you in waking life?


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jughand
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Nov, 2006  Reply with quote

Ethics are deeply personal, there is no black and white when it comes to right or wrong because human beings and there environment is a far to dynamic structure to say this is right and this is wrong when there is infinite variables in each situation.

Ethics is an intuitive choice as to how to act. there are times when killing is ethical and when it is unethical. as for dream ethics, why would they be any different than your waking ethics.
because your DC's go away when you wake up? I've got news for you real people go away too, if you want to talk relative a dream could be no shorter than any persons life.
having sex with a girl you know wouldn't want anything to do with you? it would obviously be unethical, but im sure for most of you the pleasure would outweigh the ethics. haha


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MatrixManNe0
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PostPosted: Mon 27 Nov, 2006  Reply with quote

Noo, I don't think the problem is whether we're talking about "Ethics" or "ethics", I think the problem is that we are talking about "Ethics" and "morality". See, in my old debate class, it was a rule that the debators define all important terms so we would end up debating the topic at hand instead of the terms. wink5

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Bruno
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PostPosted: Mon 27 Nov, 2006  Reply with quote

Well, Ethics and Morality, no matter what Wikipedia says about it, are synonyms. So it's up for you to use them opposed to each other and give them distinct definitions. There's no consensus, so you can say that in this discussion, the absolute thing is one, and the subjective thing is other, and then we confront the concepts rather than argue over the word.

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darakat
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PostPosted: Mon 27 Nov, 2006  Reply with quote

MatrixManNe0 wrote:
Noo, I don't think the problem is whether we're talking about "Ethics" or "ethics", I think the problem is that we are talking about "Ethics" and "morality". See, in my old debate class, it was a rule that the debators define all important terms so we would end up debating the topic at hand instead of the terms. wink5


Not true, Morality is not defined as How a person comes across a ethical decision as the little e ethics is in our discussion. Morals is also a synonym so we could argue words forever and not get anywhere.



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Ru§h
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PostPosted: Mon 27 Nov, 2006  Reply with quote

The idea of relative morality usually comes about through discussing the grey areas of morality, eg. drugs, abortion etc. Since we are discussing actions that we would clearly never do in real life (eg murder, rape), I don't think that the relative/absolute morality discussion is relevant here, whether or not morality is relative or absolute.

I like Zein Ananda's ideas, that doing this stuff in dreams in psychologically harmful.. also I think if you notice that you're doing dodgy stuff in dreams it could indicate some internal conflicts, and maybe even help to pinpoint what these conflicts are.


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