>Off the Beaten Path>Pragmatism
The Logic of Long Distance
I am generally of the opinion that morality is nothing more than an adapted survival instinct.
Certainly we cannot live well with too much ambiguity in our lives.
You'll ruin your knees!
That's why I said adapted. Morality is a survival instinct that has evolved to encompass the group/society. And laws spring from a moral sense, at least on some basic level. Obviously, some laws are tough to say what moral background they have, and others are much easier to determine. Generally speaking, we all understand that murder is wrong. Why? Most species of animals never fight to the death amongst themselves. It's a survival thing. Killing each other doesn't help the species. Take that to the next level. Murder removes someone who at the least had an opportunity to contribute to the advancement, in some fashion, to society. It hurts the group. So, we call it moral to not kill things.
""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)
That's why I said adapted. Morality is a survival instinct that has evolved to encompass the group/society ... Murder removes someone who at the least had an opportunity to contribute to the advancement, in some fashion, to society. It hurts the group. So, we call it moral to not kill things.
To be a pragmatist is to say that experience is the beginning and end of all thinking. ... Given the above approach, I couldn't answer your question about ambiguity in some absolute sense. Certainly we cannot live well with too much ambiguity in our lives. When we make choices, we (sometimes) seek out information in order to gain clarity on the issue. Less ambiguity, in this sense, gives us greater control over our lives ... On the other hand, if we are faithful to experience, we must recognize that much of it is ambiguous. .
You guys aren't going to talk about shadows on the cave wall, are you? This would be an awesome discussion on a 20 miler!
What does a pragmatist do when the problem becomes not one of ambiguity but of differing perceptions? In other words, if experience is the "beginning and end of all thinking," if it is assumed that experience is more about perception than about objective reality, how do pragmatists collectively approach real-world issues? We may experience the same thing - but we may perceive that experience very differently, and thus reach different conclusions about the application of that experience to specific problem-solving.
It would seem that pragmatism would actually create ambiguity because of this - because of the need to specifically define "experience" before applying it to "thinking." It would seem that for the individual, pragmatism could involve limited ambiguity, but for the group, the filter of perception would render "experience" not much more valid than specifically ambiguous concepts (like love, in your example).
Actually, I found your explanation (as I usually do) quite interesting, and fairly easy to follow.
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