20080410

NeoModernism: question & answer

Question posed by Shoegirls
Btw, this contradicts itself and doesn't make sense:
"Neomodernism is a philosophical position based on modernism but addressing the critique of modernism by postmodernism, namely that universalism and critical thinking are the two essential elements of human rights and that human rights create a superiority of some cultures over others. Hence equality and relativism are "mutually contradictory". Thus NeoModernism has a moral code."

Are you stating that universalism creates equality, or denies it? I can only assume you subscrbe to the universal ethic, as you subscribe to postmodernism. However, your statement above seems to confuse the issue with the added nature of equality. So, which is it, and, how does universalism or relativism subjugate equality?


Modernism is re-analysis and rejection of all that is to build anew and better.
Postmodernism believes that the result of modernism, what is new and better, is erroneous because new and better can only exist in reference to what was, and a total rejection of what was means it cannot be used a reference. Once you reject the reference point, all becomes universal and relative. Without reference point, or if each is its own reference point, all are then equal.
But if all is relative, then where is morality?

I believe that culture is like the clothes we wear. It suggests who and what we are but cannot define us. What defines us is our biology as human being, living, emotive, and contemplative. That universality of morality has to be based in our biology. Thus culture cannot be a reference point for our morality (which seeks to define how we should interact with each other).

12 comments:

Liesl said...

"all becomes universal and relative." Pick one! they're mutually exclusive. Btw, I meant to post that comment under this ID; I forgot that I was logged in to the shoe blog account.

Huan said...

but that is the intrinsic contradiction when you have no reference point, that something can be universal to all, but relative to each and every individual.

Liesl said...

How can you have no reference point? That's not possible for a human being.

Huan said...

correct. this is not possible for human beings.

but this doesn't stop some does it.

Liesl said...

Of course it does! if it isn't possible, it isn't possible. Whether or not people claim they have no reference point is irrelevant since it is an impossibility.

Ghost Dansing said...

i would recommend one view the issue of morality phenomenologically. the dichotomy between morality in human existence and its relative nature is a false dichotomy.

one should observe instead that the relativity of morality emerges as an inextricable aspect or component of our being-moral.

our immersion in our culture (socialization begins in the womb) creates a pre-reflective illusion of moral absolutes.

however, reflection and exposure to alternative cultures and points of view undermine the illusion, and ultimately lead to a conclusion that being-moral always contains elements of perspective, habit, social reference and a sense of obedience to sociocultural framework and laws, but falls short of necessity suggesting the notion of "absolute morality sans relative framework" is more a matter of imagination and a-presentation, rather than that which is present in the nature of moral experience.

Huan said...

certainly both the human perspective and the human experience come with inherent bias. and this may seem to suggest that absolutes are not obtainable. nevertheless, it is the shared perspective and experience, grounded in the very nature of human existence, that suggests that absolutes in morality exists. while our search toward it approaches asymptomatically, the closer to the absolute we approach (though recognizing we will never actually reach it), the better we are off.

to abandon the search of deny the existence of absolutes would be foolhardy, especially when the search is to guide moral behavior.

Liesl said...

Ghost Dansing:

Whether or not morality is a human characteristic or a universal one has little to do with perception. The necessity humans face is in the understanding of our place in morality, being and biology. We can "be moral" without intent or perspective. In other words, if you accept that morality exists then you also have to accept that being moral can be as much an accident as it is intentional. It takes the responsibility for the creation of morality away from humans, but it also admits that the thing itself exists. If it exists then it exists. We don't relatively exist as humans, do we? Doesn't existence at least imply universality?

Huan:

Agreed. For once.

Ghost Dansing said...

Morality emerges from the ground of existence..... existence is our context.

What you are suggesting is imagination of a thing-in-itself-outside the bounds of human existence.

I'm not saying that morality isn't "real"..... I'm saying that it always has relativity.

Are you simply saying that we unconsciously make choices that can be understood in the context of "right or wrong", and that is the proof for absolute morality sans relative reference?

I don't think that gets us out of the existential box.

Huan said...

how can it be out of bounds if we can all talk about it, and are all aware of its existence.

yes, you can argue that it is a perception based but in truth, we can use that argument and apply it to each other, that none of us can truly affirms the other's existence beyond our perception of each other. and this line of argument, taken to "logical" conclusion, becomes illogical.
just as the argument of the self is the only reference point for morality and denying an external reference point for morality leads us to amorality. and amorality is worse than immorality. worse because i say so (using me as my own reference point) but also worse because it denies what most of us feel about it.

the commonality of the shared experience and perception of morality as applied to us as a specie defines the best framework and structure to which we can continue to share our experience and continue to interaction with each other, all based on perception, senses, and awareness.

Orlando said...

«I believe that culture is like the clothes we wear. It suggests who and what we are but cannot define us. What defines us is our biology as human being, living, emotive, and contemplative. That universality of morality has to be based in our biology. Thus culture cannot be a reference point for our morality (which seeks to define how we should interact with each other). »

Imagine morality as being music -- in a broad sense; ethics should be musicology. So, ethics is something rational, not instinctive; there is a value scale in ethics, otherwise it would be a nihilism.

Now. When you say that “universality of morality has to be based in our biology” you meant literally that reason is a product of our biology (brain); otherwise, you should be considering ethics and morality as instinctive, which is absurd.

When you say that reason is a product of our biology (brain), you are a “epiphenomenalist” (do not worry; isn't an insult at all :=) ). Thomas Huxley was a epiphenomenalist, and so was Darwin.

Furthermore, Hayek followed some skepticism from David Hume and some Darwin ideas regarding culture -- the idea that culture is solely and merely a bunch of traditions, and so it is morality. Therefore, we can conclude that -- conscientiously or not -- you are a neo-Darwinist and a Hayek follower (neoliberal).

If morality come from rational ethics, morality itself has a rational origin. Is there a link between morality and culture? Yes, but not a cause-effect link. Germany had a high standard culture and produced the holocaust. Morality and culture live separate lives, side by side, and should be confronted all the time to guaranty the society balance.

According to Quantum theory, epiphenomenalism is already void -- it belongs to the past; it’s history, old fashioned.

It is said by quantum physicists -- John Wheeler (from Princeton), Everett, Richard Feynman (Nobel Prize), Bernard D'Espagnat, et al -- that the quantum waves are not a product of matter (as we define and see it), and conscience is part of the quantum waves and therefore not a flat product of the brain. According to these clever guys, everything in the universe is alive, and the difference between the several types of lives is the degree of complexity of conscience. So, conscience (quantum waves) will exist even when the biological Man ceases to be, and existed priorly to the biological Man.

If ethics and morality are derived from conscience in high degree of complexity (a stone or a plant do not have morality, though they are both alive in a quantum perspective), they cannot be a simple result of biology. Biology is a sort of mediator, it plays a small part in the role.

Thank you for your patience reading this.

Huan said...

Orlando,

Thank you for your thoughtful comments.


I do think that a significant part of human behavior is driven by our biology. And by biology i do not mean just the physical but also the heuristic network of our neurologics. This provide for the framework but not necessarily the content for behavior, thought, and thus ultimately morality and ethic.