Frustration

The Hogman question.

158 posts in this topic

20 hours ago, CameronUluvara said:

How can you say that murder is bad if you haven't first established that life is good? Your position does require us to talk about the worth of a soul and a bunch of other metaphysical things. But the point of the parable is to look at like a king. To take the ultimate authority into your hands and make a decision that best for your country, not wash your hands of the matter and sit back. It's not a moral dilemma. It's a problem that demands a solution, and you're the one responsible.

This doesn't require discussion of "the worth of a soul", though that would also do it. For example, the frame you've advanced is one that seems primarily about the stability of the polity, which doesn't need any discussion of the metaphysical elements you describe. I do agree that the parable is about the position of the king.

 

20 hours ago, CameronUluvara said:

It's insulting in the sense that your words mirrored the "religious people mindlessly follow a cult leader" insult.

That's neither what I said, nor what I meant. As I mentioned in another post, if your religion clearly says [X] is good, there is very limited space to debate that premise. You can wonder "why" as much as you like, and I think that the effort is good for a person to engage in, but an understanding of "why [X]" is not necessary when [X] is prescribed.

 

20 hours ago, CameronUluvara said:

How can you say that philosophies aren't about focusing on the results of actions while talking about Consequentialism in the same breath? What philosophy that's applicable to this parable doesn't determine the morality of actions by their effect on others? Nihilism and Existentialism are irrelevant. Stoicism is an individually focused way of life. In Hedonism we see the roots of Utilitarianism, and in that are the roots of Consequentialism. And if you're fond of Relativism, then there's no reason for this debate at all! If you're make a claim like that, I'd sure like some evidence.

Because while that's what Consequentialism is, Consequentialism is not the only philosophical tradition. Deontology famously rejects consequences of actions as factors in establishing morality, for example. As to the rest, I think that the point of the parable is more to help reveal, and explain, why the respondent feels that the philosophies they choose to apply are relevant, not to (in itself) establish one or another. The specific philosophic traditions you mention here are not ones that I espouse, particularly Relativism (which I broadly reject).

 

20 hours ago, CameronUluvara said:

What I'm saying is that religion is more organized than philosophy. With a single label, you can communicate your views on your most important beliefs, while the name of a philosophy still open to individual interpretation. Like the Util controversy I mentioned before. I know most people think it's opposite, but just because there's more religions doesn't mean they aren't organized and thoughtful and logical, especially in their disagreement. 

Fair enough, though I'm not certain I agree. The direction still seems iffy to me (believing a non-traditional specific interpretation of a passage in a sacred document is often a heresy first), and if you open the door for novel interpretations it seems to me that you are proposing a new organization of the belief system, which is not unlike proposing a new organization of principles for a moral system. But this is a nonissue for the matters the thread was created to discuss.

 

20 hours ago, CameronUluvara said:

Returned, I turn the question back to you, because I've answered it. What guides you? Do you believe that there is an ultimate authority or objective morality and what is it? If your assertion is that my solution is immoral because it punishes an innocent, tell me what you judge morality by besides your own feelings. You say morality applies to this parable. You say morality exists outside of religion. You say nothing is more important to a moral framework than the question of why. So what (besides your own feelings, as you've acknowledged that if nothing but feelings were expressed, there would be no room for meaningful debate) is the why that makes you believe you believe your path is moral?

Appeals to a specific, ultimate moral authority are irrelevant to my reasoning. As I've touched on upthread, whether or not one exists doesn't necessarily impart to us any knowledge of its existence or its properties, and so even without a specific authority in mind (or even asserting that one exists) we have to proceed identically. We reason as best we can, and may be right, wrong, or entirely misguided. This does not 

As I've laid out before, the parable describes a situation in which the key elements are arbitrary state power, murder (however you want to establish its significance), total lack of information about responsibility for that murder, and a lack of context to soften any of the related issues. I argue that, regardless of the specific moral system you want to apply, to punish the innocent hogman is to knowingly apply the same punishment befitting a murderer to a person that does not individually "deserve" it (certainly not as the murderers do), in a situation in which the innocent cannot defend themselves in any way, and this would be done specifically because you don't have any reason to think that they (or any other specific person) is guilty. If the killing of the dead hogman was bad, which the parable assumes, it by extension is the case that the killing of the innocent is also bad. And without context (which the parable specifically omits), we have no particular basis for taking an unforced action which is bad.

Arguments to the contrary have, in this thread, assumed other elements beyond the parable to justify them-- that is, they answer a different question than the parable proposes. I think that that is in large part what it's meant to do, to reveal what things matter to the respondent and what they would do as a result. But if the case turns on the extra details, then it's those extra details that we'd have to discuss.

I'll contrast with your preferred solution. The case as you present it on page 4:

  • Presumes that the killers will absolutely kill again (and murder, no less). This strikes me as a pretty strong presumption which is not evidenced by the parable. Based on the information the parable provides, it is as reasonable to assume that they had some reason to kill the dead hogman (such as, he was going to murder them) as that they are simply serial killers, or similarly inclined to kill indefinitely.
  • Uses the above presumption to entirely and comprehensively justify the landlord's response no matter what it is: the landlord's intent to prevent future murders "judges him moral", regardless of the action he takes. Notably, the justification read into the scenario which absolves the landlord is specifically denied to the killers: they are definitely evil, and their assumed intent judges them as bad as they could be, and the landlord is definitely good. The innocent hogman is treated as morally inert-- they are wholly an object of the decisions of three guilty hogmen and the landlord.
  • The comparison of punishments, with an aim to minimize the damage done to the innocent hogman, implicitly acknowledges that an injustice is being done to the innocent hogman. Doing the least severe thing (subject to other constraints, like ensuring that the three other hogmen are unable to act again) doesn't erase the injustice or make inflicting an undeserved punishment of the innocent better (or good), even if it's the best we can do.

So my argument is essentially that based on the information we definitely have about the situation we get to choose between definitely harming a person that has done nothing wrong, in order to punish people that have, or not. Given those two choices, I advocate not knowingly inflicting harm appropriate to a murderer on someone who definitely is not. Justification for doing otherwise is not something that I see coming from the parable unless we add in other details which, while not necessarily outlandish, are added arbitrarily.

 

9 hours ago, bmcclure7 said:

This is erealivent it doesn't matter we know nothing about we could no nothing about him at all and it wouldn't matter.  Its mere existence means that definitive moral answers or plausible,  its absence means that there can be moral answers so let every man do what is right in his own eyes.

On the contrary, it seems highly relevant from the position you've advanced. The argument you are making is not any different from any other moral system that might be proposed: declaring that there is no moral authority is every bit as strong a claim as that there is one, as is the claim that only with such an authority can any sort of morality exist. If you believe that there is no moral authority and that there cannot then be morality, then you can't you can't adjudicate between competing claims or make a statement like "let every man do what is right in his own eyes", because there is no right or wrong in that scenario.

 

9 hours ago, bmcclure7 said:

I am not sure if you strawmaning me or you didn't read my post. I never said that a supreme authority answer all moral questions only that the absence of a supreme authority created a moral problem that as of now cannot be solved.

Things do not require an authority, as an entity, in order to exist. Maybe we're in different places on the word "authority". I've been interpreting it as you describing an entity, but perhaps not. It doesn't really matter to the thread, but the point that I'm making is that the problem you describe is not unique to either circumstance, of there being not such an authority or not. There are also arguments for things like weaker relativism, such as "we all live here and agree on this moral idea", and then people who choose to live there as well agree to that moral standard; it need not be cosmically absolute. But honestly, I'm not interested in discussing this further with you in this thread. If this is a big sticking point for you, feel free to assume that I believe that these discussions exist in a frame in which morality can exist.

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5 hours ago, Pathfinder said:

I understand what you were saying. And my point is you are claiming that Joe schmo saying what is moral is meaningless because Joe schmo said it. But since we cannot verify that there is a supreme authority, then saying a supreme authority has to assert absolute morality has as much credence as Joe schmo. You are the one stating it. You are no different than Joe schmo. Now if you want to believe that suddenly means morality has no meaning, you are certainly entitled to but that is your prerogative, not my own. They are not mutually exclusive. 

 

Edit: so just in case, the reason they are not mutually exclusive is you define that there must be an authority to give validity, or a "reason" to follow the morals. And based on that premise that it must follow that without an authority, then morals do not matter.

The first statement is an assumption. You believe that an authority is required. But if an authority is not required, then the absence of the authority then does not inform on whether or not morals matter.

The statement that morals can arise without an authority is just as valid and there is loads of research that have shown signs of such.

 

"The first statement is an assumption. You believe that an authority is required. But if an authority is not required, then the absence of the authority then does not inform on whether or not morals matter"

 In the absence of authority what right have you Or me to assert any kind of moral truth. You can have personal moral preferences for this sure.  And in a sense those matter as they matter to you personally as an individual. But they'd be meaningless for anyone else. Put it simply what right have you to say something is right wrong?   Give me one example of a system of moralities it does not depend on authority. 

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1 hour ago, Returned said:

This doesn't require discussion of "the worth of a soul", though that would also do it. For example, the frame you've advanced is one that seems primarily about the stability of the polity, which doesn't need any discussion of the metaphysical elements you describe. I do agree that the parable is about the position of the king.

 

That's neither what I said, nor what I meant. As I mentioned in another post, if your religion clearly says [X] is good, there is very limited space to debate that premise. You can wonder "why" as much as you like, and I think that the effort is good for a person to engage in, but an understanding of "why [X]" is not necessary when [X] is prescribed.

 

Because while that's what Consequentialism is, Consequentialism is not the only philosophical tradition. Deontology famously rejects consequences of actions as factors in establishing morality, for example. As to the rest, I think that the point of the parable is more to help reveal, and explain, why the respondent feels that the philosophies they choose to apply are relevant, not to (in itself) establish one or another. The specific philosophic traditions you mention here are not ones that I espouse, particularly Relativism (which I broadly reject).

 

Fair enough, though I'm not certain I agree. The direction still seems iffy to me (believing a non-traditional specific interpretation of a passage in a sacred document is often a heresy first), and if you open the door for novel interpretations it seems to me that you are proposing a new organization of the belief system, which is not unlike proposing a new organization of principles for a moral system. But this is a nonissue for the matters the thread was created to discuss.

 

Appeals to a specific, ultimate moral authority are irrelevant to my reasoning. As I've touched on upthread, whether or not one exists doesn't necessarily impart to us any knowledge of its existence or its properties, and so even without a specific authority in mind (or even asserting that one exists) we have to proceed identically. We reason as best we can, and may be right, wrong, or entirely misguided. This does not 

As I've laid out before, the parable describes a situation in which the key elements are arbitrary state power, murder (however you want to establish its significance), total lack of information about responsibility for that murder, and a lack of context to soften any of the related issues. I argue that, regardless of the specific moral system you want to apply, to punish the innocent hogman is to knowingly apply the same punishment befitting a murderer to a person that does not individually "deserve" it (certainly not as the murderers do), in a situation in which the innocent cannot defend themselves in any way, and this would be done specifically because you don't have any reason to think that they (or any other specific person) is guilty. If the killing of the dead hogman was bad, which the parable assumes, it by extension is the case that the killing of the innocent is also bad. And without context (which the parable specifically omits), we have no particular basis for taking an unforced action which is bad.

Arguments to the contrary have, in this thread, assumed other elements beyond the parable to justify them-- that is, they answer a different question than the parable proposes. I think that that is in large part what it's meant to do, to reveal what things matter to the respondent and what they would do as a result. But if the case turns on the extra details, then it's those extra details that we'd have to discuss.

I'll contrast with your preferred solution. The case as you present it on page 4:

  • Presumes that the killers will absolutely kill again (and murder, no less). This strikes me as a pretty strong presumption which is not evidenced by the parable. Based on the information the parable provides, it is as reasonable to assume that they had some reason to kill the dead hogman (such as, he was going to murder them) as that they are simply serial killers, or similarly inclined to kill indefinitely.
  • Uses the above presumption to entirely and comprehensively justify the landlord's response no matter what it is: the landlord's intent to prevent future murders "judges him moral", regardless of the action he takes. Notably, the justification read into the scenario which absolves the landlord is specifically denied to the killers: they are definitely evil, and their assumed intent judges them as bad as they could be, and the landlord is definitely good. The innocent hogman is treated as morally inert-- they are wholly an object of the decisions of three guilty hogmen and the landlord.
  • The comparison of punishments, with an aim to minimize the damage done to the innocent hogman, implicitly acknowledges that an injustice is being done to the innocent hogman. Doing the least severe thing (subject to other constraints, like ensuring that the three other hogmen are unable to act again) doesn't erase the injustice or make inflicting an undeserved punishment of the innocent better (or good), even if it's the best we can do.

So my argument is essentially that based on the information we definitely have about the situation we get to choose between definitely harming a person that has done nothing wrong, in order to punish people that have, or not. Given those two choices, I advocate not knowingly inflicting harm appropriate to a murderer on someone who definitely is not. Justification for doing otherwise is not something that I see coming from the parable unless we add in other details which, while not necessarily outlandish, are added arbitrarily.

 

On the contrary, it seems highly relevant from the position you've advanced. The argument you are making is not any different from any other moral system that might be proposed: declaring that there is no moral authority is every bit as strong a claim as that there is one, as is the claim that only with such an authority can any sort of morality exist. If you believe that there is no moral authority and that there cannot then be morality, then you can't you can't adjudicate between competing claims or make a statement like "let every man do what is right in his own eyes", because there is no right or wrong in that scenario.

 

Things do not require an authority, as an entity, in order to exist. Maybe we're in different places on the word "authority". I've been interpreting it as you describing an entity, but perhaps not. It doesn't really matter to the thread, but the point that I'm making is that the problem you describe is not unique to either circumstance, of there being not such an authority or not. There are also arguments for things like weaker relativism, such as "we all live here and agree on this moral idea", and then people who choose to live there as well agree to that moral standard; it need not be cosmically absolute. But honestly, I'm not interested in discussing this further with you in this thread. If this is a big sticking point for you, feel free to assume that I believe that these discussions exist in a frame in which morality can exist.

 Things can exist  Without authority, laws cannot. 

 

"we all live here and agree on this moral idea and then people who choose to live there as well agree to that moral standard;"

other words might makes right.  We  are mighty because of our greater numbers  Therefore we have a right to decide what is right and impose it on you.  And force you to live elsewhere if you do not agree to conform to our demands.  And by   Our own logic and moral system  If you were to raise an army invade us and slave us ave us and/or kill us,  then you'd have every right to set your own moral system Which would be just as legitimate as our own. 

 

Far from being absent A supreme authority  This merely puts power as the supreme authority.   Something is wrong Because someone can force you to stop doing it. And something is right cause someone can force you to do it. 

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6 minutes ago, bmcclure7 said:

"The first statement is an assumption. You believe that an authority is required. But if an authority is not required, then the absence of the authority then does not inform on whether or not morals matter"

 In the absence of authority what right have you Or me to assert any kind of moral truth. You can have personal moral preferences for this sure.  And in a sense those matter as they matter to you personally as an individual. But they'd be meaningless for anyone else. Put it simply what right have you to say something is right wrong?   Give me one example of a system of moralities it does not depend on authority. 

Because you are presenting morality in a lens of a negative, or limiter that is to be enforced, thereby there must be means to validate the "punishment" to enforce the morality. Basically if there lacks a means of just enforcement, then without the "eye of sauron" on everyone, then everyone will do what they will without meaning. Ring of Gyges essentially. No one can comment or limit anyone because no one can absolutely prove why they get to right? Thing is, I take the perspective of the emerging field of cognitive science, and the further understanding and development of sapience with societal interaction and population growth. Morality as an evolutionary attribute grown and developed over time along side human social intelligence. 

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13 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

Because you are presenting morality in a lens of a negative, or limiter that is to be enforced, thereby there must be means to validate the "punishment" to enforce the morality. Basically if there lacks a means of just enforcement, then without the "eye of sauron" on everyone, then everyone will do what they will without meaning. Ring of Gyges essentially. No one can comment or limit anyone because no one can absolutely prove why they get to right? Thing is, I take the perspective of the emerging field of cognitive science, and the further understanding and development of sapience with societal interaction and population growth. Morality as an evolutionary attribute grown and developed over time along side human social intelligence. 

 

, "I take the perspective of the emerging field of cognitive science, and the further understanding and development of sapience with societal interaction and population growth. Morality as an evolutionary attribute grown and developed over time along side human social intelligence. "

 

So you do have a supreme authority .  I could ask why you think I should be morally bound by the laws of evolutionary development any more then the laws of gravity. But the that's really an argument about the legitimacy of a particular authority not that there is one. 

 Since we apparently both agree perhaps we should move this  Discussion on to something else.  

Edited by bmcclure7
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1 hour ago, Returned said:

This doesn't require discussion of "the worth of a soul", though that would also do it. For example, the frame you've advanced is one that seems primarily about the stability of the polity, which doesn't need any discussion of the metaphysical elements you describe. I do agree that the parable is about the position of the king.

 

That's neither what I said, nor what I meant. As I mentioned in another post, if your religion clearly says [X] is good, there is very limited space to debate that premise. You can wonder "why" as much as you like, and I think that the effort is good for a person to engage in, but an understanding of "why [X]" is not necessary when [X] is prescribed.

 

Because while that's what Consequentialism is, Consequentialism is not the only philosophical tradition. Deontology famously rejects consequences of actions as factors in establishing morality, for example. As to the rest, I think that the point of the parable is more to help reveal, and explain, why the respondent feels that the philosophies they choose to apply are relevant, not to (in itself) establish one or another. The specific philosophic traditions you mention here are not ones that I espouse, particularly Relativism (which I broadly reject).

 

Fair enough, though I'm not certain I agree. The direction still seems iffy to me (believing a non-traditional specific interpretation of a passage in a sacred document is often a heresy first), and if you open the door for novel interpretations it seems to me that you are proposing a new organization of the belief system, which is not unlike proposing a new organization of principles for a moral system. But this is a nonissue for the matters the thread was created to discuss.

 

Appeals to a specific, ultimate moral authority are irrelevant to my reasoning. As I've touched on upthread, whether or not one exists doesn't necessarily impart to us any knowledge of its existence or its properties, and so even without a specific authority in mind (or even asserting that one exists) we have to proceed identically. We reason as best we can, and may be right, wrong, or entirely misguided. This does not 

As I've laid out before, the parable describes a situation in which the key elements are arbitrary state power, murder (however you want to establish its significance), total lack of information about responsibility for that murder, and a lack of context to soften any of the related issues. I argue that, regardless of the specific moral system you want to apply, to punish the innocent hogman is to knowingly apply the same punishment befitting a murderer to a person that does not individually "deserve" it (certainly not as the murderers do), in a situation in which the innocent cannot defend themselves in any way, and this would be done specifically because you don't have any reason to think that they (or any other specific person) is guilty. If the killing of the dead hogman was bad, which the parable assumes, it by extension is the case that the killing of the innocent is also bad. And without context (which the parable specifically omits), we have no particular basis for taking an unforced action which is bad.

Arguments to the contrary have, in this thread, assumed other elements beyond the parable to justify them-- that is, they answer a different question than the parable proposes. I think that that is in large part what it's meant to do, to reveal what things matter to the respondent and what they would do as a result. But if the case turns on the extra details, then it's those extra details that we'd have to discuss.

I'll contrast with your preferred solution. The case as you present it on page 4:

  • Presumes that the killers will absolutely kill again (and murder, no less). This strikes me as a pretty strong presumption which is not evidenced by the parable. Based on the information the parable provides, it is as reasonable to assume that they had some reason to kill the dead hogman (such as, he was going to murder them) as that they are simply serial killers, or similarly inclined to kill indefinitely.
  • Uses the above presumption to entirely and comprehensively justify the landlord's response no matter what it is: the landlord's intent to prevent future murders "judges him moral", regardless of the action he takes. Notably, the justification read into the scenario which absolves the landlord is specifically denied to the killers: they are definitely evil, and their assumed intent judges them as bad as they could be, and the landlord is definitely good. The innocent hogman is treated as morally inert-- they are wholly an object of the decisions of three guilty hogmen and the landlord.
  • The comparison of punishments, with an aim to minimize the damage done to the innocent hogman, implicitly acknowledges that an injustice is being done to the innocent hogman. Doing the least severe thing (subject to other constraints, like ensuring that the three other hogmen are unable to act again) doesn't erase the injustice or make inflicting an undeserved punishment of the innocent better (or good), even if it's the best we can do.

So my argument is essentially that based on the information we definitely have about the situation we get to choose between definitely harming a person that has done nothing wrong, in order to punish people that have, or not. Given those two choices, I advocate not knowingly inflicting harm appropriate to a murderer on someone who definitely is not. Justification for doing otherwise is not something that I see coming from the parable unless we add in other details which, while not necessarily outlandish, are added arbitrarily.

 

On the contrary, it seems highly relevant from the position you've advanced. The argument you are making is not any different from any other moral system that might be proposed: declaring that there is no moral authority is every bit as strong a claim as that there is one, as is the claim that only with such an authority can any sort of morality exist. If you believe that there is no moral authority and that there cannot then be morality, then you can't you can't adjudicate between competing claims or make a statement like "let every man do what is right in his own eyes", because there is no right or wrong in that scenario.

 

Things do not require an authority, as an entity, in order to exist. Maybe we're in different places on the word "authority". I've been interpreting it as you describing an entity, but perhaps not. It doesn't really matter to the thread, but the point that I'm making is that the problem you describe is not unique to either circumstance, of there being not such an authority or not. There are also arguments for things like weaker relativism, such as "we all live here and agree on this moral idea", and then people who choose to live there as well agree to that moral standard; it need not be cosmically absolute. But honestly, I'm not interested in discussing this further with you in this thread. If this is a big sticking point for you, feel free to assume that I believe that these discussions exist in a frame in which morality can exist.

 

"On the contrary, it seems highly relevant from the position you've advanced. The argument you are making is not any different from any other moral system that might be proposed: declaring that there is no moral authority is every bit as strong a claim as that there is one, as is the claim that only with such an authority can any sort of morality exist. If you believe that there is no moral authority and that there cannot then be morality, then you can't you can't adjudicate between competing claims or make a statement like "let every man do what is right in his own eyes", because there is no right or wrong in that scenario.

1. For the 2nd time I'm not making a moral argument I'm not saying that I know what is moral. 

2.  If you can think of a way for Morality to exist For anyone other than you personally without a supreme authority give me a example.  

 

"then you can't you can't adjudicate between competing claims or make a statement like "let every man do what is right in his own eyes", because there is no right or wrong in that scenario."

 

 even the absence of a supreme authority You still have authority over your own body and actions. Hence my statement without a supreme authority let every man do what is right in his own eyes. I fail see how this is a competing claim. 

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29 minutes ago, bmcclure7 said:

 

, "I take the perspective of the emerging field of cognitive science, and the further understanding and development of sapience with societal interaction and population growth. Morality as an evolutionary attribute grown and developed over time along side human social intelligence. "

 

So you do have a supreme authority .  I could ask why you think I should be morally bound by the laws of evolutionary development any more then the laws of gravity. But the that's really an argument about the legitimacy of a particular authority not that there is one. 

 Since we apparently both agree perhaps we should move this  Discussion on to something else.  

Again, you are applying "authority" with punishment. That morality is a limiting concept meant to be enforced. I guess the fact that you view it in the light is rather telling in regards to what you envision a supreme authority is. Evolutionary morality and human social intelligence shows why morals develop along side human behavior. What was moral 100 years ago is not moral today. Does that mean there is a supreme authority that changed its mind? To me, no it does not. It means the individuals involved and the society evolved, and the morals changed and evolved alongside the individuals and society.

 

Edit: research in the cognitive and societal interactions of crows, orcas, octopuses, dolphins, and plants are changing the way we understand what it is to be sapient and moral. All without a supreme authority.

Edited by Pathfinder
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11 minutes ago, Pathfinder said:

Again, you are applying "authority" with punishment. That morality is a limiting concept meant to be enforced. I guess the fact that you view it in the light is rather telling in regards to what you envision a supreme authority is. Evolutionary morality and human social intelligence shows why morals develop along side human behavior. What was moral 100 years ago is not moral today. Does that mean there is a supreme authority that changed its mind? To me, no it does not. It means the individuals involved and the society evolved, and the morals changed and evolved alongside the individuals and society.

 

Edit: research in the cognitive and societal interactions of crows, orcas, octopuses, dolphins, and plants are changing the way we understand what it is to be sapient and moral. All without a supreme authority.

"Again, you are applying "authority" with punishment"

 Are you really incapable of reading my posts?  Did you not read what I said earlier about might makes right.    When have I said anything about punishment.

Authority Has nothing to do with punishment.  You could easily have an authority of no ability to punish.  If All the cops in the US quit,  The president would still have authority even if it would be ineffective. 

 We've just established that you consider human evolutionary development to be supreme authority, Yet evolutionary development can't punish anyone.

 

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