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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: Rational vs Conscience
Thread: Rational vs Conscience This thread is 2 pages long: 1 2 · NEXT»
Ghost
Ghost


Legendary Hero
Therefore I am
posted November 24, 2021 05:14 PM

Rational vs Conscience

I want to listen to your debates. Because we use a rational, religious people use conscience. I think rational. Why? An example I plan to steal your wife, what your conscience says? Impossible. You think your rational. Quite! Other if you google the Internet looking for Rational vs Conscience, you find the answer is Free Will by David Hodgson, Moral law, etc But what you think? I think the thread is interesting.

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Kayna
Kayna


Supreme Hero
posted November 24, 2021 05:21 PM

I think we don't even have free will. Us thinking we have free will is like when humans used to think they were the center of the universe and all the stars and galaxies rotated around us. They say we used to think so because of human arrogance. Maybe we are still arrogant, when we think us to be free willed.

We have mechanisms in the back of our heads that takes decisions for us, so much so that I believe free will is an illusion. An illusion that seems real when people are given a danger free life. But the more danger there is in our environment, the more similar people becomes.

Compare it to a self learning AI on five different computers, all playing super mario brothers. The first computer has mario running to the right, the second, running to the left, the third one, jumping in place, etc. They all look so different and yet they're the exact same program. All these differently acting Marios gives the illusion of a difference, nothing more.

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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted November 24, 2021 05:47 PM

That is a false dichotomy. Social values and cognitive skills evolve interactively, not against each other. They can conflict in the short term, but in the long term, they shape each other. Religion only builds upon that, it doesnt create conscience, that’s the reason why different religions have different values shaped by different historical, geographical, cultural conditions. That's why even any one religion is practiced with so many different interpretations and "consciences" through out ages. Try burning a heretic with a clear conscience in 2021.
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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted November 24, 2021 06:44 PM

I mostly agree with artu, but not completely. Conscience is a social construct, yes - it's all the "moral" lessons you learned in your childhood, compressed to an inner voice.
But you can of course act against your conscience (doing what you know is wrong for your inner voice), which is all the more difficult the more emphatically the moral lessons were learned.
However, you can also rationalize everything.

When I think of the abortion clinic bombers, I think, even now everything is possible to justify before the conscience. You just need the "right" angle to look at it.

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Salamandre
Salamandre


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Wog refugee
posted November 24, 2021 06:48 PM

Ghost said:
I want to listen to your debates.


Rationality failed here.

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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted November 24, 2021 07:07 PM
Edited by artu at 19:09, 24 Nov 2021.

Lol at Sal.


@JJ

Rationalization is not acting rational (reasonable) though, it’s an ego defense mechanism that makes up excuses for your flaws. But that’s beside the point.

The abortion clinic bomber is also acting according to his moral code, which is also a line of thinking. “Abortion is murder because…” It’s still abstract thinking. Think of it in evolutionary terms, the more a social mammal develop cognitive abilities, the more foundations of morality develops. Dogs have a sense of loyalty, most primates have theory of mind and they apply the golden rule, “dont do to others what you dont want done to yourself.” Of course, their emphathy is strictly limited to group members where as we can have more abstract stories about what constitutes “us.” The working class, the whole humanity, fellow believers, fetuses, given the chance, even other species, animal rights and so on…

The point is, it is the cognitive scope that determines the values of the conscience. We may strongly disagree with his norms and code but this is also true for the clinic bomber.
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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted November 24, 2021 08:18 PM

I'm not sure I understand you correctly. My opinion is that "conscience" is something UNconscious which is developed based on the moral lectures you get as a child (this may be simple life experience, if you have a rough upbringing (like, "survival is all"), and it may be what your (dominant) parents "teach" you, "teaching" meant as a kind of imprinting.

Do you agree with that?

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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted November 24, 2021 08:55 PM

On an individual level, the norms are mostly inherited yes, so is the ability to empathize on a biological level, but what I'm talking about is, say some norm that your parents teach you such as "you should not steal" and the guilt you feel when you do.

Now, some people think like this:

Rationality (pragmatism) = I need this 100 dollars and I wont get caught, so why not take it?
Conscience = No my child, thou shall not steal.

It's like the famous cartoon cliche, on one ear you have the devil whispering and on the other one, an angel.

But if you look closer, on a collective level, the very norm that stealing is wrong is the result of a cognitive process. People DEVELOPED this norm evaluating their social experience and came up with it. The process we attach norms to values is a cognitive one on a social level, not an emotional one.

The conflict between instinctive urges and social behavior is a real dichotomy but the one between conscience and rationality, not so much. Both are cognitive rather than emotional on a larger scale. Does this clear my point?
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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted November 24, 2021 09:33 PM

Not sure. Not sure whether I agree either.

Because we have the law as well, and the law is old. The law is obviously a rational/pragmatic thing, but conscience works on another level.

So you have a law that says stealing is PUNISHED; and you have the NORM, that stealing is wrong. They can be different. Prostitution may be in accordance with the law but being one/paying one may be something your conscience has a problem with.

So you have a pragmatic level. Law -> break it -> punishment.
And you have the conscience level.

How do you explain that?

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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted November 24, 2021 09:45 PM
Edited by artu at 21:46, 24 Nov 2021.

Them being strictly seperate is quite a new thing, secularism and all that. Think of a tribe, no written law, all relations work face to face...
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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted November 24, 2021 09:56 PM

Not sure you think that in the right direction. Yes, tribe, sure. But Codex of Hammurabi is nearly 4000 years old. But the conscience thing persisted after that, in spite of it. It's not a modern thing. It's not that easy.

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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted November 25, 2021 08:00 AM

The law and the moral code arent much different during the times of Hammurabi. They are built upon the same social conventions. The point is morality is a cognitive phenomenon. Laws are more formal yes, especially in larger societies, Dunbar's Number and all that.... But morality being less formal doesnt change the fact that it is a cognitive abstraction.
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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted November 25, 2021 08:26 AM

We don't know how the moral codes looked.

Moral codes are different, affecting other things - say, lying. Lying isn't part of the laws, except in situations when you HAVE TO tell the truth (because it matters). There is no law forbidding you to lie in regular situations - there isn't even a law that forbids you to lie to the cops, no commandment, no nothing - still: part of the moral codex.

It doesn't help to call it a "cognitive abstraction", because it doesn't work on that level. It's like saying, it's all atoms. The actual mechanism for the individual works on a different level - on a more primal level, you might say. It might even be a survival tratit, someting that developed out of instincts.
That's why I'm not convinced it actually IS a cognitive abstraction - I don't see the cognitive part, you will have to bring some more support here.

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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted November 25, 2021 09:02 AM

We do, deducting it from the laws.

As I already mentioned, on an everday basis, in short term, it can be spontaneous, so is answering  to 2 + 2. (And if you have a more complicated moral dilemma, it's like answering to 21 x 117.)

Simply compare social mammals, their "moral behavior" develops in sync with their cognitive abilities. There was a Robert Sapolsky video, "The Uniqueness of Humans." If you find that, it is quite a good summary about the evolution of moral codes. I have something else on my table and cant be link hunting now. Humans have the ability of symbols, storytelling. Homo Narrans. So our morality can develop into more abstract forms.
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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted November 25, 2021 09:51 AM

Ah, but "conscience" is something else than a "moral code". Conscience is the mechanic a set of morals is making itself felt, and it's THAT what we are talking about, not the development of a moral code. The "moral code" is basically a fundamental set of behavior rules to deal with the individual vs. group dichotomy, basically the
precursor of the law. While this is the result of cognitive processes, "conscience" is a very different beast. Isn't it?

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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted November 25, 2021 10:21 AM

In what way? As I said, most primates have some level of conscience and its potential and sophistication is in sync with their cognitive abilities. Conscience is the guilt you feel but what makes you feel guilty is determined by what you contemplate as guilt.

Let me ask you this, you know how dogs sometimes do something bad like poo on the carpet etc. and even before you go "bad dog" they have this puppy look in their eyes, they completely change body language, giving you their paws, asking for forgiveness. Would you call that conscience?
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Are you pretty? This is my occasion. - Ghost

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Baronus
Baronus


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted November 25, 2021 10:48 AM

Only rational is christian latin civilisation. As you see in history. Only progress civilisation.

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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted November 25, 2021 10:52 AM

I don't know. What I know is that conscience is something you have no control over - you can ignore it, but you can't make it go away (if you have it).
In other words, to me it doesn't look like it would work on the conscious level. On the emotional level. You FEEL it, but you can ignore it, act against it and so on, and it isn't "rational".
I don't know about dogs, since I never had one - cats, on the other hand, seem to be completely guilt-free, although they are educated by their moms.

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artu
artu


Promising
Undefeatable Hero
My BS sensor is tingling again
posted November 25, 2021 11:02 AM

I had both and yes, cats are total sociopaths.

Well, once you internalize the morals, of course, it doesnt have an on/off switch. But what triggers the conscience is still learnt. It's like, in one culture it’s customary to eat spiders, but you cant rationally decide it’s okay to eat them when you visit because by then you already internalized to get repulsed by that.
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Are you pretty? This is my occasion. - Ghost

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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted November 25, 2021 11:40 AM

Doesn't that just move the problem to emotions in general? I mean, sure, most of WHAT IS felt as [whatever, repulsive, lovely and so on] is learned as is WHAT IS actually triggering your conscience, but feelings/conscience AS SUCH - the mechanism - seems to be on another level, doesn't it?

And I'm not entirely sure that the learning of emotions, morals, the whole subconscious stuff isn't operating on another level than the conscious learning - of skills, say. Is that scientifically explored?

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