A Discussion About “Advanced Morality”

The following conversation took place at my Discord server.
https://discord.gg/3rhghRX

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Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
Is abortion absolutely immoral or moral?

BastardChris > Juan Galt Legal Bad Ass
It might depend on the situation. But in any situation, whether it’s moral, immoral, or amoral it’s absolutely the same for everyone.

Abdul > BastardChris
There can be reasonable moral exceptions to things that are normally deemed immoral (like defending yourself and your family against a murderer, even if that means killing them).

With abortion, it does depend on the situation. Like for example, a woman that got raped in my eyes has every right to abort, but it must be done as soon as possible (ideally within the first weeks).

A feminist that willingly chooses to get pregnant and then 8 months down the road decides to “change her mind” and abort the baby (which at this point in the pregnancy would absolutely be murder), is being grossly immoral.

BastardChris > Abdul
Morality has no exceptions. Besides that, we’re saying the same thing. If a certain action in a certain situation is immoral for you, that same action in the same situation is also immoral for me (and everyone).

Abdul > BastardChris
Yes I agree that this is the case for 99.9% of cases. Though during my debate with blackwell, we did explore edge cases where there may even be exceptions (or differences) even when the circumstances are seemingly the same. But those are very niche cases, and it’s not something worth worrying about on a day to day basis (especially when we have people who struggle to even understand the basics of the non-aggression principle).

Blackwell dubbed the term “advanced morality” for those kinds of cases, and it usually is more about making a good thing better, rather than necessarily avoiding harm (though both can apply).

BastardChris > Abdul
Absolute doesn’t leave room for even a tenth of an exception. Even in that 0.1% of cases, the morality is absolutely the same for anyone in those cases. Perhaps we’re talking from different angles. There are exceptions I will make to “morality”. I will violate the NAP on two occasions. But I don’t consider these an exception to morality but rather situations where I’m willing to do the wrong thing and accept the consequences.

Abdul > BastardChris
It’s difficult for me to describe this “advanced morality” in succinct terms. There’s a reason why it’s dubbed “advanced” lol…

All I can really do is point you to one of my previous discussions about this subject, and if you have the time and interest to read through and add something to the conversation, I would be happy to contribute my thoughts (if you still have any contentions that is).

I just remembered a possible succinct way to describe this advanced morality:

Usually when most people talk of “morality” they are referring to what individuals “ought not to do”.

Advanced morality is about what individuals “ought to do”.

BastardChris > Abdul
That provides a great perspective to discuss the topic with context. But to clarify and bring it back to our original conversation, does your concept of advanced morality include any circumstances where some “ought to” violate morality—and is it your position that such circumstances are somehow moral/exceptions?

Abdul > BastardChris
Lol advanced morality goes way beyond that point. It’s no longer a discussion about whether something is moral or immoral (in the objective sense), it’s more of a discussion between what is moral and what is more moral (what action is good and which action would be even better than that).

One of the examples discussed previously was with someone who just sat there staring at a wall all day. This person isn’t harming anyone, or doing anything wrong. But the question is, is this really the best action one could take in one’s life? Surely there must be something “better”, something more productive that this person could be doing with their lives that correlate with a higher expression of their beingness/soul. Perhaps this person could be developing some kind of art instead of just plainly staring at the wall all day, perhaps that would be a better more moral use of his time, energy, life etc.

The challenge is, no other person can truly determine what this better action can be for anyone else, we can only determine what might be a more moral action for ourselves (and this is another big discussion in of itself).

We live in a society where most people’s moral understanding is so low, that they literally struggle to define what is a right and what is not. Advanced morality takes a higher precedence once we’ve moved past the basics. Once we are finally free to live our lives (coercion free), what are we supposed to do? What should we be doing with our time and with our life? This is what advanced morality tackles (which is also actually the topic of “spirituality”).

Tbh, personally I wouldn’t really make a differentiation between basic morality and advanced morality (because it all just falls under the category of “morality”). But we decided it’s a good idea to create a distinction in our minds, because it’s so easy for people who have little to no moral understanding to conflate things and justify certain immoral actions (and on top of that, they’ll think that they’re in the right while everyone else is in the wrong). This kind of morally perverted mindset simply has no business discussing advanced morality, when they struggle to even grasp the basics (just like you wouldn’t start discussing higher level math to someone who barely knows how to count).

BastardChris > Abdul
I don’t think we can go “way beyond that beyond” until we have a resolution. It’s likely I’m misunderstanding, but logically and philosophically it seems you are prioritizing objectivity over morality.. which makes any action moral if only one has an objective. Either way, without addressing the original “0.1% exception to morality” that you posited, I see your pleas as a common (yet perhaps indeliberate) attempt to rationalize an exception to morality for your own objectives.

Abdul > BastardChris
The 0.1% would be the “grey areas” where it’s difficult to know for sure whether an action is moral or immoral (but it is definitely one or the other).

Using percentage points probably wasn’t the best way for me to describe it, but there you go.

bbblackwell > Abdul & BastardChris
We would all intuitively agree, no doubt, that were an unsuspecting person about to be hit by a bus, it would be moral to tackle them out of the way, the NAP notwithstanding. Why is this so?

One way of explaining this scenario is to say that it may be reasonably presumed this person would want to continue living, and so we are acting as their agent, with due acknowledgement of their self-ownership (a valid form of implied consent, as much as we may abhor the perversions this idea has undergone).

Going further, I would say that it’s more than a presumption of valid agency, since the person’s desires or consent is entirely irrelevant. It is the inherent nature of the human person to possess a Will toward survival and thriving, even if the person be in a suicidal ego-state.

With this in mind, consider the starving man who happens upon a farm and eats an apple without permission. This is moral, despite the NAP transgression, because it is the innate Will of the farmer that this man have the apple, whether he knows it or not. Morality is not only to be considered on the individual level, but on all levels of the aggregate as well. All levels have universal processes in play and must be considered.

And so we have a mundane morality transgression that is simultaneously an advanced morality imperative. The model of “rights”, the NAP, etc. is to morality what the Newtonian paradigm is to physics: It serves remarkably well under nearly all circumstances, but it is not all-inclusive, and it may be contradicted at deeper levels of understanding.

Advanced morality, as you would expect, can be likened to quantum physics, where hard-and-fast rules find it difficult to gain a foothold, and seemingly contradictory conclusions can exist simultaneously.

BastardChris > bbblackwell
I think the hit by a bus accident is a poor example. I’ll raise you on that. There are two circumstances in which I will violate the NAP.

1) I would not think twice about stopping someone from deliberately committing suicide. I respect self-ownership and an individual’s right to end their life. But I will, willfully impose upon them to prevent them from the act, because the crime I committed can be easily redressed.

2) Additionally, I incarcerate my own children because of the lack of community and the fear of “legalized” child kidnapping.

But I don’t go around claiming this is moral… pfff.

Abdul > BastardChris & bbblackwell
I think blackwell did a better job at describing the difference (which is probably closer to what you wanted to know Chris).

It’s possible for an action to be “objectively negative” and yet still be moral. Though tbh, imo this isn’t really the advanced part, but it does violate the NAP, so it shows us that basic moral understanding (like the NAP) isn’t good enough in all circumstances (a more advanced model is required to truly capture how morality actually works).

BastardChris
Here is the difference of where I think we are differing on here: You guys believe you can impose on innocent beings objectively and call it righteous and “moral” in some cases, and I argue that those cases are still criminal… and if you’re willing to impose objectively… the consequences you face are righteous—positive or negative.

So if I perceive myself to be “saving” a suicidal being when I interrupt their suicide, I accept that anyone gains the right to neutralize me and prevent further imposition. The challenge is accepting or rejecting excessive “neutralization”. Imposing on a criminal (me) beyond neutralization becomes criminal in itself.. and we’re back to square one.

Abdul > BastardChris
“You guys believe you can impose on innocent beings objectively and call it righteous and “moral” in some cases, and I argue that those cases are still criminal…”

This would be the subjective mindset (yours in this case) trying to figure out whether a situation is moral or not. The subjective mindset is not what determines whether something is moral or immoral (because that is the very definition of moral relativism).

What the advanced moral model offers is a larger gamut to work with when studying moral situations. So things are not just black and white, but we are finally working colour (it’s closer to the reality of things).

There are different layers (so to speak) to consider when viewing things through this advance moral model. I would say the three main ones are:

1. The absolute positive/negative objective mechanics (the “physics”) of what is going on in a situation. This accounts for both physical effects and non-physical (emotional, psychological etc.)

2. The alignment or misalignment with the core self of all beings involved (blackwell simply refers to this as the inherent nature). This is the metaphysical/intuitive aspect (but also closely ties with number 1). This is the stage that truly determines what is objectively moral and what is not (along with all the finer gradients in-between).

3. And the subjective mindset, which ideally should correctly align its perceptions with the “Truth” (1 & 2). This is the stage where people can get things “wrong” if their perceptions are faulty or incomplete.

BastardChris > Abdul
“(yours in this case)”

I was sharing my assumption of your mindset. Read my quote that you quoted and please don’t put words in my mouth.

You’re taking a shit on morality… I argue morality as absolute yet you define my position as “subjective” and “the very definition of moral relativism”. There is a distinct line between right and wrong. What that line is, is absolute. What you or I may believe that line is may be relative… it might be a challenge to discern.. but absolute morality is not constrained nor overruled by objectivity.

Abdul > BastardChris
Your perception or my perception (or anyone else’s) can be in alignment with Truth or not. If it is, then we have correctly determined the moral nature of the situation. If it’s not, then we may be wrong.

It’s even possible for someone to have faulty perceptions and yet still intuitively (through their actions) do the “right” thing.

“You’re taking a shit on morality… I argue morality as absolute yet you define my position as “subjective” and “the very definition of moral relativism”.”

No you’ve taken my statements too far.

BastardChris > Abdul
It’s likely I’m still trying to reconcile our original conversation… where you were proclaiming a 0.1% exception to morality. I’m still under the impression that you are arguing that under very specific but rare circumstances that it can be right to do the wrong thing—if it fulfills (or at least attempts to fulfill) an(y) objective(s).

There is a huge danger in what you and bbblackwell are proposing. Things aren’t always black and white… but morality is absolute… and discussing morality with terms “advanced” or “0.1% exceptions” is exactly what the bludgies do when they (and their victims) rationalize tyranny.

Abdul > BastardChris
“It’s likely I’m still trying to reconcile our original conversation… where you were proclaiming a 0.1% exception to morality. I’m still under the impression that you are arguing that under very specific but rare circumstances that it can be right to do the wrong thing—if it fulfills (or at least attempts to fulfill) an(y) objective(s).”

No, under no circumstances would it be “right” to do the “wrong” thing. However, as I have tried to explain, the subjective mindset can “think” this to be the case (and this would be faulty thinking which would need correcting).

I take back my “exception to morality” statement, because that wasn’t the most accurate way to convey what I was attempting to convey (which would be better described as the “grey areas” of morality).

BastardChris > Abdul
Thanks for the clarification and not going “way beyond that” (for now). It seems affirmed that we are attempting to communicate from different perspectives. (It seems) you are trying to describe the subjective perspective while I’m trying to defend the absolute perspective. If that is correct, I can only agree that an individual’s subjective interpretation/understanding of morality is fallible… a group of individuals’ subjectivity is no less fallible… yet regardless of our indiviual understanding… a right action is “universally right” for all beings in the identical situation… and a wrong action is “univerally wrong” for all beings in the identical situation.

Abdul > BastardChris
Yes, and this absolute perspective is described in number 1 & 2. (in the post above, albiet with different terminology).

Number 3 (the subject perspective) is greatly fallible, and is in fact where all the contentions lie.

“There is a huge danger in what you and bbblackwell are proposing. Things aren’t always black and white… but morality is absolute… and discussing morality with terms “advanced” or “0.1% exceptions” is exactly what the bludgies do when they (and their victims) rationalize tyranny.”

This is precisely why we make the distinction “advanced”. Once we realize that the basic models are inadequate for a particular nuanced situation, we move on to more advanced models to try and better understand what may be going on.

Newtonian mechanics is not actually how our reality works (especially on a micro level), but it’s a “good enough” model to deal with macro problems. Quantum mechanics is closer to how our reality actually works, but it can be too complicated (or too accurate/detailed) to apply on macro problems (which can potentially create obfuscation for those who are not careful). However, we can still utilise both models as needed (as many physicists do).

Similar to quantum physics, “advanced morality” is attempting to get as close as possible to how morality actually works. But for the vast majority of situations, one need not overwhelm themselves with all the granular details when basic models/principles will suffice (e.g. is there harm being done?).

bbblackwell > Abdul & BastardChris
Imagine a scenario whereby a person accused of a crime provides a solid alibi and an objector says, ”Haven’t you people ever heard of the double-slit experiment? Just because he was provably in one place doesn’t mean he wasn’t simultaneously at the scene of the crime!”

This is a misapplication of the advanced principles of physics. The slippery slope argument is nullified by the fact that a true, valid application can never yield the feared consequence. Advanced morality cannot be cited to justify immoral acts.

If you believe it is immoral to incarcerate your child or prevent a suicide, and yet you believe it is preferable somehow, then it seems you’re asserting the concept of the “necessary evil”. It also suggests that the letter of the law (the NAP) trumps the spirit of the law (service to the inherent nature of the being).

In this case, I would ask what you believe the basis for morality to be? Is the NAP some kind of Law written into reality itself? What ultimately makes an action good or bad?

BastardChris > bbblackwell
“If you believe it is immoral to incarcerate your child or prevent a suicide, and yet you believe it is preferable somehow, then it seems you’re asserting the concept of the “necessary evil”.”

The two examples here is going to make this confusing. Starting with incarcerating a child.. it’s not a matter of preference really.. it’s a matter of oppressing a child based on both founded and unfounded “fear”. Fear, founded or not, does not justify the oppression nor incarceration. I guess you could downplay it as “risk management”, but oppression and incarceration are not justified regardless… a stewardship doesn’t make incarceration or oppression righteous.

Regarding impeding on someone attempting suicide, this is wholly NOT a matter of preference… this is obvious because the preference lies within the person attempting suicide… their preference is clear. I wouldn’t be impeding on their suicide attempt to confirm their preference… if I successful impede and their preference changes.. great! But it’s a matter of measuring the possible damage I could cause…and I’ve measured it to be a trivial crime (on my part to impede) that can be easily redressed—and I’m also willing to accept any negative consequences that might result for myself.

My basis for morality is founded on the “Golden Rule”… but with a bit more specificity. Instead of only “do unto others”… I’d also add and emphasize “don’t do unto others as you wouldn’t have them do unto you”. While this might not encompass “morality” as a whole, because of wide-spread moral immaturity, I have to prioritize avoiding “wrong action” before undertaking “right action”.

There are situations where inaction might be immoral. This would be worded “do for others as you’d have them do for you”… and I’m not certain I’d classify this in the same realm…

If you want to attempt to boil that down to “objectivism” and that I wanted to be treated a certain way so I should treat other people that way… then all we have to do is remove or change that objective to find we’re left with nothing resembling morality based on universal right and wrong.. or we have to redefine “objective” or add an exclusionary adjective that leaves us having to explain why only some objectives qualify.

This thought exercise makes it clear that my vocabulary does not include sufficient words to communicate as accurately as I’d like. I like the idea of having a word/phrase exclusively for describing and discussing “right action” completely aside from “wrong action” or inaction and “advanced morality” isn’t specific enough. Just thinking off the top of my head:

morality: encompasses “right”, “wrong”, and “neutral”
moral: encompasses “right” action and in-action
amoral: encompasses “neutral” action and in-action
immoral: encompasses “wrong” action and in-action
(proposed) promoral: encompasses “right” action

Abdul > BastardChris
“This thought exercise makes it clear that my vocabulary does not include sufficient words to communicate as accurately as I’d like. I like the idea of having a word/phrase exclusively for describing and discussing “right action” completely aside from “wrong action” or inaction and “advanced morality” isn’t specific enough.”

“Morality” can encompass immorality, but I’m pretty sure “moral/s” only refer to that which is “good”. “Goodness” is the other word that comes to mind, and perhaps “Love” is another (and maybe “Truth”?)

I don’t think there are any other singular words that make things any clearer. There’s also virtue and etiquette etc. But these are not really specific enough either.

A word that encompasses even more than the word “morality” would be “Karma” (and by extension “Dharma”).

“Advanced morality” is just a label we’re applying to tricky moral situations. It’s not meant to make things any clearer, if anything it’s a warning label to tread even more carefully.

Btw, I don’t think there is such a thing as a “neutral” action. Our actions (or inactions) either fall on the moral side or immoral side (to whatever degree). True neutrality is actually a divine attribute, but that’s another discussion.

Abdul > bbblackwell
“good or bad?”

I didn’t really get a chance to share this with you, and since we’re discussing the efficacy of words, let me do so here.

I found that when we use the terms “good” & “bad”, these are 100% subjective value judgements. In your case, I understand you’re using them synonymously with the terms “moral” & “immoral”, but notice how we can so easily claim something “moral” to be “bad”, and something “immoral” to be “good”.

In other discussions I had, there was confusion with these terms, so this is just something I wanted to point out.

bbblackwell > Abdul
Yes, “good” and “bad” may cause some confusion (given their varied usage), but I employ them to imply that morality is rooted in effects, either beneficial or detrimental, and not an unyielding standard of hard-and-fast rules (which, I would imagine, is the reason these words took on this usage in the first place).

Abdul > bbblackwell
Ah, but someone looking to do damage can view detrimental effects to be “good”, while beneficial effects to be “bad”.

While objectively speaking, detrimental effects for the most part are immoral (and vice versa).

As an addendum to my post above (with the numbers), I would say:

1. Involves positive & negative (absolute effects).
2. Involves morality & immorality (objectively).
3. Involves good & bad (subjectively).

bbblackwell > BastardChris
Do you make a distinction between the subjective ego-will (I prefer brunettes) and the innate higher Will (I seek loving connections with others)?

The fact that someone displays a preference for suicide (to escape discomfort) does not mean you’re not confirming their deeper preference (to thrive). We often misinterpret our own desires and best interests, and make innumerable other mistakes of perception and inference. Also, the ego-mind is subject to conditioning, while the innate nature of the being is not.

Our interpretation and application of “Do unto others” will be affected by the above concern. Do you have a choice about what’s “preferable” in this context? Is it OK for me to ruthlessly beat a masochist, so long as they don’t object, or is there something fundamentally wrong with intentionally degrading the structural integrity of someone’s body in this way, such that it doesn’t matter what they want or don’t want?

I like “promoral”, but really all we’re talking about is whether an action is aligned with higher Will, cosmic intent, nature’s prescriptions, whatever you want to call it. Aligned actions are moral, all others are immoral, with varying degrees of divergence. There’s really not much room for a bunch of terms in that scenario; in any given moment you’re either walking the narrow path or you’re not.

bbblackwell > Abdul
Well sure, a person can be wrong about what’s good and what’s bad, but then they’re the ones misusing the terms, what are you bothering me for? Hahahhahaa

I’m joking around, you know what I’m saying. But sure, we have to be aware of various perceptions and interpretations, and it would be unwise to use “good” and “bad” without a strong foundation of pre-established context.

Abdul > bbblackwell
I hope I’m not bothering you at all.

“a person can be wrong about what’s good and what’s bad, but then they’re the ones misusing the terms”

Perhaps we can’t really be wrong about what’s good and bad *if those terms are reserved for subjective usage (where anything can be good/bad).

From my experience, these terms are often used to refer to ego-based preferences e.g. I think broccoli is “good”, because I believe it’s good for my health, whereas someone else may think broccoli is “bad”, because they don’t like the taste. However, if we bring morality into the equation, it transcends (or is supposed to transcend) the subjective ego-based preferences. Ideally, our subjective “good” should align with objective morality (and vice versa).

When people are confused (or morally perverted), it’s when their definition of “good” is misaligned with immorality (and vice versa).

It’s just another distinction (for the sake of greater clarity) that I’m making. Do you think this isn’t useful?

bbblackwell > Abdul
All language is symbolic, so there’s plenty of ways to create useful models. As long as we’re clear about what we mean, everything’s fine.

Unfortunately, few people have the care to be as thorough as us, and others here, so it’s prudent to consider their willful inadequacy. “Good” and “bad” (like “love”) are used so broadly, the pitfalls are many. I’m all for spending time establishing clarity, whatever form that takes.

BastardChris > bbblackwell
I might choose different symbols. While I still employ the symbol of “love” it is a meaningless symbol…. ambiguous… inspecific.

Regarding “good” and “bad”, if we can constrain those terms to a moral sense (for the sake of my attempt at communication), then “morality” is absolute, unchanging, and unwavering… regardless of our perception.

Not sure I would use the terms “higher will” to describe it.. but I will admit that egoism and materialism have inhibited my ability to discern and discover my “self”—my “higher will”. That’s not to say I’m on the trail… but there are still some obstacles I have yet to overcome.

bbblackwell > BastardChris
Terms like “higher Will” start to tiptoe into “God” territory, which can derail the conversation, but I’m still just talking about inherent nature.

All men seek the good (though this desire can take some convoluted paths). The main mechanism through which this expresses is the striving toward a better-feeling emotional state. It is to our psychology what physical hunger is to our body—an ever-present yearning which may be temporarily appeased, but never satisfied.

Killing your wife’s secret lover (revenge) feels better than being a heartbroken sucker (powerlessness), and that upward movement on the emotional scale is what’s sought through that action. A wiser person would obtain this through other means (internal emotional work), and would also strive further, realizing that forgiveness or “letting-go” feels better than revenge. Better yet, enlightened joy for her passionate experience of connection would feel best of all, as it is most aligned with Truth (both of our nature and that of the universe).

Alignment, alignment, alignment. That’s the whole game, whether it’s morality, engineering, art, sports… It’s all about employing our free will to sync with an extant, objective standard. Seems rather deterministic… where’s the freedom in that? It’s in choosing which aspects of Truth you’d like to align with in this moment.

It’s about being in a state of participation with—and appreciation of—some illustrious aspect of this reality. It’s the highest point on the emotional scale, otherwise known as Love.

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