I thought it might be kind of nice to have a thread where we can just add all the great stuff that we find which may not merit its own thread.
This thread can be used to add:
· Relevant quotes
· Websites or other useful links
· Definitions of important words, concepts, theories
· Papers, articles, and reports in PDF format
(Found it Adriana.)
Attached: The Emotional Dog and Its Rational Tail: A Social Intuitionist Approach to Moral Judgment
I would like to share this linlk, it's about atheist quotes.
A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
Freedom and choice
A critical claim in existentialist thought is that individuals are always free to make choices and guide their lives towards their own chosen goal or "project". The claim holds that individuals cannot escape this freedom, even in overwhelming circumstances. For instance, even an empire's colonized victims possess choices: to submit to rule, to negotiate, to act in complicity, to resist nonviolently, or to counter-attack.
Although external circumstances may limit individuals (this limitation from the outside is called facticity), they cannot force a person to follow one of the remaining courses over another. In this sense the individual still has some freedom of choice. For this reason, individuals choose in anguish: they know that they must make a choice, and that it will have consequences. For Sartre, to claim that one amongst many conscious possibilities takes undeniable precedence (for instance, "I cannot risk my life, because I must support my family") is to assume the role of an object in the world, not a free agent, but merely at the mercy of circumstance (a being-in-itself that is only its own facticity, i.e., it "is" inside itself, and acts there as a limitation.)
Sartre cites a café waiter, whose movements and conversation are a little too "waiter-esque". His voice oozes with an eagerness to please; he carries food rigidly and ostentatiously. His exaggerated behaviour illustrates that he is play acting as a waiter, as an object in the world: an automaton whose essence is to be a waiter. But that he is obviously acting belies that he is aware that he is not (merely) a waiter, but is rather consciously deceiving himself.
Another of Sartre’s examples involves a young woman on a first date. She ignores the obvious sexual implications of her date's compliments to her physical appearance, but accepts them instead as words directed at her as a human consciousness. As he takes her hand, she lets it rest indifferently in his, refusing either to return the gesture or to rebuke it. Thus she delays the moment when she must choose either to acknowledge and reject his advances, or submit to them. She conveniently considers her hand only a thing in the world, and his compliments as unrelated to her body, playing on her dual human reality as a physical being, and as a consciousness separate and free from this physicality.
Sartre tells us that by acting in bad faith, the waiter and the woman are denying their own freedom, but actively using this freedom itself. They manifestly know they are free but do not acknowledge it. Bad faith is paradoxical in this regard: when acting in bad faith, a person is both aware and, in a sense, unaware that they are free.
Freedom and morality
One convinces himself, in some sense, that he is bound to act by external circumstance, in order to escape the anguish of freedom. Sartre says that man is condemned to be free: whether he adopts an 'objective' moral system to do this choosing for him, or follows only his pragmatic concerns, he cannot help but be aware that they are not - fundamentally - part of him. Moreover, as possible intentional objects of one's consciousness, one is fundamentally not part of oneself, but rather exactly what one, as consciousness, defines oneself in opposition to; along with everything else one could be conscious of.
Fundamentally, Sartre believes mankind cannot escape responsibility by adopting an external moral system, as the adoption such is in itself a choice that we endorse, implicitly or explicitly, and for which we must take full responsibility. Sartre argues that, one cannot escape responsibility, as each attempt to part one's self from freedom of choice, is in itself a demonstration of choice.
As a human, one cannot claim his actions are determined by external forces; this is the core statement of existentialism. One is 'doomed' to this eternal freedom; human beings exist before the definition of human identity exists. One cannot define oneself as a thing in the world, as one has the freedom to be otherwise. One is not “a philosopher”, as at some point one must/will cease the activities that define the self as "a philosopher". Any role that one might adopt does not define one as there is an eventual end to one's adoption of the role; i.e. other roles will be assigned to us, "a chef", "a mother". The self is not constant, it cannot be a thing in the world. Though one cannot assign a positive value to definitions that may apply to oneself, one remains able to say what one is not. For example, an adult human male may not be a man, but he is certainly not a woman. Therefore, one is defined by what one is not.
This inner anguish over moral uncertainty is a central underlying theme in existentialism, as the anguish demonstrates a personal feeling of responsibility over the choices one makes throughout life. Without an emphasis on personal choice, one may make use of an external moral system as a tool to moralize otherwise immoral acts, leading to negation of the self. According to existentialism, dedicated professionals of their respective moral codes - priests interpreting sacred scriptures, lawyers interpreting the Constitution, doctors interpreting the Hippocratic oath - should, instead of divesting the self of responsibility in the discharge of one's duties, be aware of one's own significance in the process. This recognition involves the questioning of the morality of all choices, taking responsibility for the consequences of one's own choice and therefore; a constant reappraisal of one's own and others' ever-changing humanity. One must not exercise bad faith by denying the self's freedom of choice and accountability. Taking on the burden of personal accountability in all situations is an intimidating proposition - by pointing out the freedom of the individual, Sartre seeks to demonstrate that the social roles and moral systems we adopt protect us from being morally accountable for our actions.
The Moral Instinct- great long article in the NYT by Steven Pinker
The communication of emotions and the possibility of empathy in animals, by Stephanie Preston and Frans de Waal (book chapter) Preston_deWaal2002chapter.pdf
The Normative Insignificance of Neuroscience
Scholarly article by Harvard philosopher Selim Berker (hat tip to Julia Galef) who argues that we can never derive normative implications from neural facts about how we reach moral decisions. Opposite point of view to Peter Singer and Joshua Greene. Not sure I agree completely but it's good to challenge ourselves with opposing views in any field. berker_norm-insignif-neuro_Final.pdf
Moral psychology: The depths of disgust
Is there wisdom to be found in repugnance? Or is disgust 'the nastiest of all emotions', offering nothing but support to prejudice? Dan Jones looks at the repellant side of human nature. 447768a.pdf
How and Where Does Moral Judgment Work
Recent evidence suggests that moral judgment is more a matter of emotion and affective intuition than deliberate reasoning. Psychology and cognitive neuroscience studies point to the importance of affect, although reasoning can play a restricted but significant role in moral judgment. A preliminary account of the functional neuroanatomy of moral judgment is presented, according to which many brain areas make important contributions to moral judgment although none is devoted specifically to it. Howandwheredoesmoraljudgmentwork.pdf
Haven't read, just passing along.
Moral Intuition: Its Neural Substrates and Normative Significance