On morality

September 4, 2018

Morality is clearly not universal. Living entities, which evolved in a different environment from ours would develop different set of sensual organs to collect information about the world (eyes, ears, noses, etc). Morality is constructed based upon these sensations and is directly linked to our equipment for sensing the surrounding world. Only using these tool the entities would categorize actions and sensations as pleasure and pain and build their own morality based on experiences mediated through senses.

This is similar to finite dimensional vector spaces. If we operate in a vector space of dimension N and we want to define a concept from a higher dimensional space, we usually project this higher dimensional object onto our D-dimensional basis. Many such projections can give some intuition of how the higher dimensional object looks like, but every act of measurement (projection) will in principle be different, as long as the higher dimensionless object is dynamic. In some instances projections of the same object can be orthogonal. With morality it is very analogical. We define our morality through our experiences of pleasure and pain, yet this concept is a weighted average of these measurements in our society. These measurements however do not contain the full information about the universal morality or universal concepts of pleasure or pain, bur rather are mere approximations in the form of projections onto our experiences. This is a risky business, because in some isolated cultures, morality can drift very far apart from what western morality believed to be. This only proves that the concept of perception of what is right and what is wrong is more complex than an average human can comprehend. This is because our perception of pain, pleasure, good and evil depends on where we live and what evolutionary tools are given to us. And these vary from species to species and from tribe to tribe and from human to human. Thus morality is not universal.

 

I'm only touching the surface with such posts. There is a lot more beneath it, much deeper thinking supporting my thesis. I'm just not a patient writer, holding on to mere conclusions. The true indulging part is derivation of theses by exploring many possible paths of reasoning. We could analyse seemingly trivial phenomena, such as: 'physical objects age', in a variety of ways, branching away and spawning many lines of argumentations, only later to recoil into this simple elegant statement, as a conclusion. It reminds me of path integral formulation of quantum mechanics.

 

 

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© 2019 by Emil Zak.

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