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Intuitive Moral Intuition And Emotions


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Researcher Johnatan Haidt has spent most of his career studying moral emotions across different cultures. In recent years he has done extensive research into moral intuitions and how liberal and conservatives differ in the empahsis they place on the different moral intuitions. First, let me say that emotion plays an important part in our daily lives. As Jung noted, they play a key role in forming our system of values (what something is worth). In fact, it now seems that emotion, contrary to expections, is intimately tied to human rationality (at least everyday practical rationality). This is a core concept anticipated by Whitehead. Intuition is also a key component. It is one of the four primary psychological functions defined by Jung and plays a key role in Kant's theory of rationality (which served as the foundation for Jung's theory). Haidt believes that moral intuitions and moral emotion are intimately related. Jung had the same idea but, for some reason, never pursued the notion.

 

In general, emotion and intuition are non-rational in that they are "spontaneous creations of the mind", as Kant would say. As to intuition, many would downplay its significance because intuition is, in a sense, pre-rational. How important is intuition? Albert Einstein offered himself as an example. He found rational thought processes quite difficult and most of his insights came from intuition. One of my favorite quotes comes from the "Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy". Under "intuition" it simply states that "One can have an intuitive awareness of God". It offers no proof of the the claim simply because, by defintion, a proof would be contrary to intuition.

 

Now to Haidt and moral intuitions. His research indicates that self-described liberals and conservations differ in the following fashion:

 

Liberals tend to exhibit distinct moral intuitions in the categories of Harm - Care and Fairness - Reciprocity. This seems fairly uncontroversial. Here there is also a tendency presume the importance of individual autonomy, perhaps before other considerations (my interpretation). In many ways, this is conceptually related to Jung's theory of Introversion.

 

Conservatives are a bit more complex. Here, the categories of Ingroup - Loyalty and Authority - Respect come into play (but do not exclude the prior two categories. Here, there is a tendency to presume community over autonomy (again, my interpretation). In many ways this is conceptually related to Jung's theory of Extraversion.

 

Haidt, like Jung, is very clear that both perspective can be adpative or maladptive, constructive or destructive.

 

And what about the spiritual domain?

 

Here, I need to be very careful. Haidt's research indicates that conservatives tend to emphsize another dimension, Purity - Sanctity. Purity is understood as being closer to God and its converse Pollution, as being removed from God. The devil is cast out and the unpure go to hell, the pure go to heaven, etc. In a moral sense, each have the potential to be used in a positive of negative manner. This is what Jung came to call spirit and anti-spirit.

 

Again, I have to make the point that these are matters of emphasis, not mutually exclusive categories. Things get a bit more complicated when we look at the emotions associated with intuitions.

 

For the purposes here, I will add something of a "teaser" to the discussion. There are two sets of moral emotions that also come into play:

 

The triad of Contempt - Anger - Disgust on the one hand, and Sympathy - Compassion on the other. Haidt suggests that humans find it difficult to switch between the two (as I understand him).

 

This is intended to be a starter sketch. Jump in as you find appropriate!

 

If you want to see how you compare and participate in the research, visit http://www.yourmorals.org/

 

minsocal

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Thank you for your contribution.

 

My limited response relates to my interest in epistemology and I probably know just enough about Jung to be dangerous. I think that “how we know” is related to the “pre rational” and the “pre rational” is before any “split” is seen between the subjective and the objective. So in that sense I resonate with stating that “emotion is tied to rationality”. I would suggest in the “pre rational” there is no such dualism. Intuition based upon experience becomes the vehicle to the “pre rational”.

 

Descartes got us all messed up when he based epistemology on an object of thought (rationality). He split the subject (the one who thinks) from the object (what is thought about). If there is disagreement the fault is given to the subject because obviously the “world out there” is objective.

 

My understanding is that Jung suggests that the world of the unconscious is in a dynamic relationship with the ego all in that “pre rational” dimension. A “childlike mind” based upon the inflation of the ego will never bring the unconscious to consciousness. The ego becomes separated I think partly because of that false subjective/objective dualism so the ego is blinded. It is only when the ego is weakened by “ego defeats” that the unconscious becomes more conscious. I think the fundamentalist is basically stuck in that “childlike mind” problem. So this is where I see the “liberal/conservative” issue, not so much with morals (but you have raised some interesting thoughts).

 

I think that knowing is fundamentally related to the “ah ha” experience. You told the story about Einstein. Basic science I think starts with the “ah ha” that gives a hypothesis to be tested by the scientific method. But “rationality” does not lead to the hypothesis without going through that “ah ha” experience. The liberal would know what Einstein is talking about. The fundamentalist would have no clue. The "pre rational" is fundamental.

 

Religious knowing likewise is fundamentally based upon the “awe” experience. The experience of “awe” is in that “prior” state where there is no dualism between emotion and rationality. The liberal would recognize “awe” as the basis of religious knowledge. The fundamentalist needs rational doctrine (see the Descartes problem). As you noted the "intuitive awareness of God" offers no "proof" in that fundamentalist way of knowing. But for the progressive the "pre rational" is fundamental to faith.

 

Jung can go towards theology or go towards psychology. I am more interested in theology and I guess I see the moral catagories as more related to psychology than theology. I am wondering if relating morality to the "pre rational" level, which to me is without dualism, is appropriate since morality is about good/bad and may be tied to the world of dualism. Perhaps I am not understanding this correctly.

 

It is interesting however to see how "liberal/conservative" may play out in the ways you have described. I often wonder sometimes whether some psychologists push Jung farther than he would want to be pushed when catagories are used too much. What do you think?

 

This is difficult stuff to talk about on a message board. I thank you for doing it.

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Thank you for your contribution.

 

My limited response relates to my interest in epistemology and I probably know just enough about Jung to be dangerous. I think that “how we know” is related to the “pre rational” and the “pre rational” is before any “split” is seen between the subjective and the objective. So in that sense I resonate with stating that “emotion is tied to rationality”. I would suggest in the “pre rational” there is no such dualism. Intuition based upon experience becomes the vehicle to the “pre rational”.

 

Descartes got us all messed up when he based epistemology on an object of thought (rationality). He split the subject (the one who thinks) from the object (what is thought about). If there is disagreement the fault is given to the subject because obviously the “world out there” is objective.

 

My understanding is that Jung suggests that the world of the unconscious is in a dynamic relationship with the ego all in that “pre rational” dimension. A “childlike mind” based upon the inflation of the ego will never bring the unconscious to consciousness. The ego becomes separated I think partly because of that false subjective/objective dualism so the ego is blinded. It is only when the ego is weakened by “ego defeats” that the unconscious becomes more conscious. I think the fundamentalist is basically stuck in that “childlike mind” problem. So this is where I see the “liberal/conservative” issue, not so much with morals (but you have raised some interesting thoughts).

 

I think that knowing is fundamentally related to the “ah ha” experience. You told the story about Einstein. Basic science I think starts with the “ah ha” that gives a hypothesis to be tested by the scientific method. But “rationality” does not lead to the hypothesis without going through that “ah ha” experience. The liberal would know what Einstein is talking about. The fundamentalist would have no clue. The "pre rational" is fundamental.

 

Religious knowing likewise is fundamentally based upon the “awe” experience. The experience of “awe” is in that “prior” state where there is no dualism between emotion and rationality. The liberal would recognize “awe” as the basis of religious knowledge. The fundamentalist needs rational doctrine (see the Descartes problem). As you noted the "intuitive awareness of God" offers no "proof" in that fundamentalist way of knowing. But for the progressive the "pre rational" is fundamental to faith.

 

Jung can go towards theology or go towards psychology. I am more interested in theology and I guess I see the moral catagories as more related to psychology than theology. I am wondering if relating morality to the "pre rational" level, which to me is without dualism, is appropriate since morality is about good/bad and may be tied to the world of dualism. Perhaps I am not understanding this correctly.

 

It is interesting however to see how "liberal/conservative" may play out in the ways you have described. I often wonder sometimes whether some psychologists push Jung farther than he would want to be pushed when catagories are used too much. What do you think?

 

This is difficult stuff to talk about on a message board. I thank you for doing it.

 

David:

You are most welcome. At the end of my original post, I threw in the "teaser" concerning moral emotions. Haidt draws freely from the Bible to illustrate his points, as did Jung. I left out the full list of moral emotions to see if anyone might fill it in. The "awe experience" is also on the list of moral emotions Haidt studies. It belongs to a family of emotions he calls "Other Praising". This group includes: Awe, Gratitude and Elevation. The last one, elevation, is found in Whithead when he refers to the hymn "Nearer My God To Thee."

 

If you are familiar with the work of John Searle (analytic philosophy), both Jung and Searle agree that Descarte got it wrong. Now the twist. In some of the literature I have read recently, including Jung and Searle, what Descarte did served a purpose in its time. As science and theology began to collide, Descartes carved off the mind (psyche or soul) for theology to pursue, and the body (material substance) for science. I have seen this perhaps half a dozen times, and it seems to make some sense. I make no claim as to whether this is a fact.

 

Now, more detail:

 

"Intuition based upon experience becomes the vehicle to the 'pre rational'" This belongs to the Kantian roots of Jung's theory. Jung diverged somewhat from Kant on this point. The issue is highly nuanced, but Kant did not have to deal with Darwin and Jung could not ignore what he considered valid science. Jung then asked the question "who's experience"? Could it be possible that the human brain (and consciousness) evolved over a vast amount of time and, its very function was shaped by evolutionary pressures, including the experiences of our remote ancestors? Jung, Searle, and a growing body of research say "yes". This is the basis of Jung's concept of the collective unconscious. It is also the basis of Jung's view of creation myths. For Jung, the creations myths refer to the dawning of consciousness out of what was originally a long non-conscious process of evolution. Whitehead is in agreement on this point.

 

I will add more as my schedule pemits. Your understanding of Jung "aint't too bad" ! The basic assumption Jung made was that the collective unconscious is "pre dualistic". He also assumed that the demands of society forced humans into fields of specialized consciousness. This, he suspected, had both positive and negative consequences.

 

minsocal

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Well I want to have it all. I want to agree that our individual consciousness participates in the collective unconsciousness which is evolutionary based upon participation. However, I also want to be Platonic enough to say that any “evolution” is done in relationship to that which never changes. Also the nature of the process itself (the nature of the evolution) stays within certain boundaries and I think those boundaries are related to that which does not change in the collective unconscious. The ego always has and always will inflate itself until it collapses under it’s own weight (or one dies a fundamentalist). I think that Awe, Gratitude and Elevation (I would add Compassion and Healing/being made whole) always have been and still are inherent in the “pre rational”. Yet there is no doubt that individuation and cultural evolution change the dynamic of how this plays out. It never has and never will look the same as it looks right now.

 

So my epistemology is both dynamic and static. I think Jung supports some of this but I’m not sure how much. Jung certainly supports and I agree with the importance of symbols. Symbols hold together what can not be held together by logic or the rational process. So my epistemology is fundamentally related to symbols. A fundamentalist can not live with this and demands rational, logical, non symbolic answers to questions that are equally rational, logical and non symbolic.

 

Well I will get off my soap box now and let you go ahead and continue a most interesting topic.

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Well I want to have it all. I want to agree that our individual consciousness participates in the collective unconsciousness which is evolutionary based upon participation. However, I also want to be Platonic enough to say that any “evolution” is done in relationship to that which never changes. Also the nature of the process itself (the nature of the evolution) stays within certain boundaries and I think those boundaries are related to that which does not change in the collective unconscious. The ego always has and always will inflate itself until it collapses under it’s own weight (or one dies a fundamentalist). I think that Awe, Gratitude and Elevation (I would add Compassion and Healing/being made whole) always have been and still are inherent in the “pre rational”. Yet there is no doubt that individuation and cultural evolution change the dynamic of how this plays out. It never has and never will look the same as it looks right now.

 

So my epistemology is both dynamic and static. I think Jung supports some of this but I’m not sure how much. Jung certainly supports and I agree with the importance of symbols. Symbols hold together what can not be held together by logic or the rational process. So my epistemology is fundamentally related to symbols. A fundamentalist can not live with this and demands rational, logical, non symbolic answers to questions that are equally rational, logical and non symbolic.

 

Well I will get off my soap box now and let you go ahead and continue a most interesting topic.

 

 

Very interesting, I'm going to jump in and add that the proper interpretation of the symbols will break you out of the boundaries to full understanding and life eternal.

 

Why does my life need to be fulfilled?

 

Why is there such a great need?

 

This is not sin this is pro-life...

 

Why is it right?

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Very interesting, I'm going to jump in and add that the proper interpretation of the symbols will break you out of the boundaries to full understanding and life eternal.

 

Why does my life need to be fulfilled?

 

Why is there such a great need?

 

This is not sin this is pro-life...

 

Why is it right?

Gary,

I do not see how your questions relate to this topic.

Your statement about a "proper interpretation of the symbols" indicates that you do not understand Jung at all (and I only understand a little). So I would suggest that you study Jung for a while and then come back.

If you would like to start a new topic please do so.

Thanks.

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Well I want to have it all. I want to agree that our individual consciousness participates in the collective unconsciousness which is evolutionary based upon participation. However, I also want to be Platonic enough to say that any “evolution” is done in relationship to that which never changes. Also the nature of the process itself (the nature of the evolution) stays within certain boundaries and I think those boundaries are related to that which does not change in the collective unconscious. The ego always has and always will inflate itself until it collapses under it’s own weight (or one dies a fundamentalist). I think that Awe, Gratitude and Elevation (I would add Compassion and Healing/being made whole) always have been and still are inherent in the “pre rational”. Yet there is no doubt that individuation and cultural evolution change the dynamic of how this plays out. It never has and never will look the same as it looks right now.

 

So my epistemology is both dynamic and static. I think Jung supports some of this but I’m not sure how much. Jung certainly supports and I agree with the importance of symbols. Symbols hold together what can not be held together by logic or the rational process. So my epistemology is fundamentally related to symbols. A fundamentalist can not live with this and demands rational, logical, non symbolic answers to questions that are equally rational, logical and non symbolic.

 

Well I will get off my soap box now and let you go ahead and continue a most interesting topic.

 

You can have it all. Jung began his theory of archetypes with Plato. I suspect Jung thought Plato went too far with the concept and he did say that Kant removed too much from Plato. In other words, Kant's "categories" are insufficient. But this is not really a problem. Kant had a limited (but noble) goal i.e., reconcile empiricism with rationalism. Jung believed that these two categories do not exhaust reality.

 

In other posts, I mentioned the concept of convergence. This means that many different disciplines have a piece of the puzzle, and convergence means bringing these pieces together. Jung collaborated with the physicist Wolfgang Pauli, very much Einsteins' peer and fellow intuitionist. Physicists today talk about what is called the anthropic principle. Roughly speaking, this means that at the moment of the Big Bang the laws of the universe were set. In another universe, they could be different. If you are familiar with Whitehead, this is similar to what he called the primorial nature of God. It is also an aspect of Jung's "primoridial image" (archetype).

 

Now the fun starts. John Searle introduces the notion of emergent properties. Consciousness is an emergent property of nature and Jung would probably agree. Emergentism comes in several forms. One form matches your requirements. Strong diachronic emergentism holds that there is indeed a static foundation from which consciousness emerges. There is also a dynamic component entailing new features that could not be predicted from the static foundation. In psychology, this is known as the Gestalt doctrine. Kant and Jung accepted a form of this doctrine. Kant held that the mind operates in both a "bottom-up" and "top-down" manner. The dynamic component is similar to what Whitehead called the consequent nature of God.

 

John Searle and Jung share much in common. Both are ardent anti-dualists. What Jung called the collective unconscious, Searle calls the Background. Searle's thesis of the Background combines two separate concepts from Jung. The deep Background includes capacities and aptitudes shared by us all. The second component of the Background Searle calls Local Cultural Practices. Both components are unconscious. The deep Background is static and innate. Local cultural practices are acquired. Only the acquired content is directly accessible to conscious. Jung and Searle agree on this point. The collective unconscious can only find its way to consciousness through symbols.

 

Jung would ask you to consider two more variables concerning your views of liberal and conservatives. In Jung's theory, the difference is not just between liberal and conservative, but also between abstract and concrete thinking. I will try to flesh this out in a future post.

 

minsocal

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I am with you so far. Keep it coming. I assume you will get back to where you started with this thread but the background understanding is most important.

 

Intuition subserves many different domains. Some of these domains are "truth seeking", but the domain of moral intuition is not (Haidt, 2007). Although people are selfish, the are also morally motivated. Moral intuitions and moral emotions help serve the function of building diverse moral communities. Many moral intuitions are universal, but most are culturally conditioned. Jung used the term "collective" in exactly this fashion. A large part of Jung's theory of archetypes crosses over into the moral domain. In fact, when he states that archetypes have a "numinous" quality, he is refering to the moral (spiritual) dimension of archetytpes. When he discusses this aspect of archetypes he mentions "awe", "gratitude", etc. This led some of his critics to claim that his theory was too "mystical" and not scientific. Jung, obviously felt differently. Thus, for Jung, archetypes have both a "truth seeking" component and motivational or spiritual component. Haidt's research tends to support Jung.

 

Kant largely saw morality as a rational process. This is also correct. Haidt recognizes this, but his research is confined to moral intuitions and moral emotions because the subject has been largely underserved in psychology until recently. Whether the stimulus for his research came from Jung I do not know.

 

For the purposes here, it is my opinion that the teachings of Jesus are, in large part, based on moral intuitions. This I believe is the basis for the discussion in another thread concerning whether one can follow the teachings of Jesus and be a Christian. It would be an interesting project to correlate the teachings of Jesus to the categories of moral intuitions I listed in my opening post. It is somewhat controversial, but I have read opinions that Jesus was not overly concerned with theology or even the establishment of a church.

 

There is another characteristic of moral moral intuitions and moral emotions that I feel obligated to note. I draw here from my own understanding of what Jesus taught. Moral intuitions and moral emotions are not about people, they are about specific actions of people in social settings. In techinial terms, this is called the formal object of the intuition or emotion. As I see it, Jesus taught that it was morally wrong to condemn a person even though their actions were considered morally wrong in either the universal sense or as part of their local cultural practices.

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minsocal - you made a couple of references to Whitehaed. Could you provide the complete reference. Not that I doubt what you are saying but I would like to read further. I'm playing catch-up here.

 

I use "Process and Reality", Whitehead (1929) as my primary reference. It is a most difficult read. It took me nearly a year and two readings to absorb what he wrote and compare it to other theories. As you may have guessed, I have an interest in how various theories overlap.

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I use "Process and Reality", Whitehead (1929) as my primary reference. It is a most difficult read. It took me nearly a year and two readings to absorb what he wrote and compare it to other theories. As you may have guessed, I have an interest in how various theories overlap.

 

Excuse my clumsiness. I posted this too soon. The full reference is:

 

Process and Reality: Corrected Edition (Griffen, D. & Sherburne, Eds., 1929/1978). The Free Press

 

minsocal

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My constellation of philosophical mentors can be seen as going from Plato to Tillich via Jung (really the whole attempt to personalize the ontology of Tillich). I think that Tillich fits into your discussion of the collective unconscious being both dynamic and static although he may be more Platonic than Jung in that the dynamic is more related to the separation from Being and Being is more static. Tillich says that “Love (the dynamic) is the drive towards the unity of the separated (the static)”. Tillich would not give ontological status to Love because it is “impossible to unite that which is essentially separated”. I think the statement itself is unfortunate since it implies that there is a boundary between Love and Being that requires something from us. Tillich would just say that “non separation” is “given to us”-- it is not earned by correct thought or action.

 

The question in my mind is whether Jung’s collective unconscious is the same as Tillich’s ontological Being. Both seem to want to claim the world of non duality while containing the “shadow” or “non Being”. I am thinking that Tillich would not give ontological status to the part of the collective unconscious that is related to cultural evolution while giving ontological status to the “unchanging Being”. This goes to the heart of the Whitehead argument that God should include both.

 

It is important for me (and I thank you for this insight) that talking about the “pre rational” is not the same as talking about Tillich’s Being. Love without Tillich’s ontological status is still “pre rational”. In that since the desire to include Love as a part of God may be on the right track even though Tillich may have a philosophical argument with it.

 

From a practical point of view to me this does not make much difference. Tillich would say that we can not live in a state of Being and that we live in that world of separation. That separation can be seen well using Jung’s terms including symbols and archetypes. This is all related to the “pre rational” including Whitehead’s “process”. Also, if we are talking about the importance of Jesus it may not make any difference. I think that all these great thinkers would agree with you that “moral intuitions” are fundamental to what it means to be human. And I would agree that Jesus may have been the last person to be interested in Plato, Tillich, Jung or Whitehead.

 

You seem to say that there is no separation between the “intuition” and the “action”. I would disagree since the “intuition” is itself related to unity and “action” always separates. The “formal object” of intuition (action) seems to me to be inherently associated with the world of dualism. Intuition for me is that drive to the “pre rational”; action is in the world of the rational. There probably is in the world of action confirmation of that intuition so that in the specific act intuition towards the “pre rational” is confirmed by rational action (does that make sense to you?). If this is true then “following Jesus” can be seen as being just this way of bringing intuition and action together.

 

Bottom line is that you make an important link between “following Jesus” and the “pre rational”. This is the world of epistemology that I am interested in and I appreciate your contribution to my thinking. I hope I have added to this discussion rather than distracted. Please continue.

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You seem to say that there is no separation between the “intuition” and the “action”.

I went back and saw that this is not what you were saying.

Sorry.

 

Interesting. Morally it is wrong to condemn someone for not being moral? I probably misread you because I did not understand you. Please elaborate.

Edited by David
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David,

 

We are very close to agreement. I am gaining insights from your responses.

 

Love and hate are two of the most challenging of emotions. As Searle (1998) notes, love and hate do not have an entire propositional content (apologies to Kant). What condition must be satisfied? Truth conditions are not applicable as in a belief, nor is it like a desire that must be fulfilled or unfulfilled. And, as Whitehead (1929/1978) states, "love is a bit amoral." We could impose truth conditions on love and hate, but this would be wrong. We could also transpose them into propositional statements about desires that are to be fulfilled or unfulfilled, but this would also be wrong. This is a problem I have not yet solved in my own mind.

 

I will add more comments soon.

 

minsocal

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I went back and saw that this is not what you were saying.

Sorry.

 

Interesting. Morally it is wrong to condemn someone for not being moral? I probably misread you because I did not understand you. Please elaborate.

 

I framed this in my understanding of what Jesus taught and the very demanding research approach used by Haidt. If I disobey an unjust law (see Dr. Martin Luther King), you can see how moral intuitions often collide. If your spouse needed expensive medication to survive and you could not afford it, would you steal it? This will make most people cringe, but if your pet dog were killed in an accident would you eat it?

 

Ethical theory has long stated that people are not "objects" to be accepted or rejected. If my partner does something that ended up harming me, but really had my best interests in mind, should I condemn (him/her)?

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I agree that morality is contextual and dependent upon a more philosophical or theological reality. That means that it would be immoral at times to judge a “sinful act”. Contextual ethics could suggest that the moral thing to do is based upon the most loving thing (or another “larger” concept like justice) even if that goes against the prescriptive.

 

But I am not sure that this is what you are saying. I think where I get thrown off track is where you say “moral intuitions…are about specific actions”. I made the assumption that there was no separation between the intuition and the action and now I don’t think that was what you were saying. But I am not clear.

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Hi David and Minsocal

 

David I read your retort about Jung and doing my homework, and I say intuitively, like right, I should do more research and know more for between Jung, Kant and Plato I have limited understanding based upon my own experiences.

 

I didn't elaborate in this thread, not to be overbearing but only to throw in a quick comment and certainly I'm on topic even though I've said very little at all...

 

Now if I thought there was something way off base I would dig to get it out... You do like baseball don't you? That should make people smile when they read that especially in context to another post :)

 

Now I'm not going to dig deep here, but something is emerging that I would like to explore...

 

Minsocal wrote about the actions of Love causing harm or attempting to heal the ails of a loved one would you take what you need for them? What has GOD called us to do and know?

 

First it is to be true, who would with hold life from the world?

 

Let's frame that another way, if I were a rich man would I prevent a poor person from living? What has created the obstacle to the possession of the life giving substance be it food, fuel or life? Who is holding the key? What is wrong with our current economy?

 

The wisdom of Solomon, did we really find the babies true mother? We found the true lover of the baby but does the love for life equal the maternal gift to life? We all assume that the true mother wants the baby to live, but maybe there were other issues... Now don't think that I'm saying Solomon was wrong in allowing the baby to be raised by the empathetic woman who has the babe's best interest at heart and I would hope she was the real mother but that is not a proven fact is it?

 

Based on the evidence I believe the decision to be true or false... Evidence can be testimony taken in exact detail with inflection and tone known... You can hear what you read as intended such as cynicism or sarcasm a flat reading is hard to do when you know something is either funny or stabbing such as comments made behind the back. Offering details such as everyone laughed is a good clue to how others accepted the information spoken not that what was happening was actually funny.

 

We are emotional creatures and these emotions will move us together or repel us the point is how do we teach people to work together and can we after all we can lead a horse to water but we certainly can't make the horse drink.

 

If a person choses not to love their is no amount of coaxing that you or anyone can do to make that person love and if they chose to change in a negative way there is no way to make them positive about what they don't want.

 

In other words it is better to keep clear of that which is toxic, and known to be toxic...

 

I really didn't directly answer the question of would you steal medicine to continue or heal the life of a loved one? And I would add should you steal?

 

I say:

First we have to know GOD and then we have to put our life in the hands of GOD, and there you will find your answer. Do I need to spell the answer out? The answer is simple...

 

Have you ever had to experience the ceiling of glass that is between you and your dreams? The ceiling is so thick and high that you can't break it, the lid must be removed with and by love...

 

Sometimes a fleeting thing...

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I agree that morality is contextual and dependent upon a more philosophical or theological reality. That means that it would be immoral at times to judge a “sinful act”. Contextual ethics could suggest that the moral thing to do is based upon the most loving thing (or another “larger” concept like justice) even if that goes against the prescriptive.

 

But I am not sure that this is what you are saying. I think where I get thrown off track is where you say “moral intuitions…are about specific actions”. I made the assumption that there was no separation between the intuition and the action and now I don’t think that was what you were saying. But I am not clear.

 

Based on current research, what we commonly call "intuition" is not a generic function. A better way to view primary intuition as a set of domain specific principles inherent in the structure of what is called the "limbic system" of the brain. These are, in part, Kant's "categories". This part of the brain is also called "the old mamallian brain" because it evolved before the higher level structures that are responsible for most rational processes. The limbic system is also the area of the brain that generates emotions. Different emotions are generated by different structures of the limbic system. It is suggested that the same is true of intuitions. Different brain circuits serve different domains of knowledge. This is sometimes called our evolved intuitive ontology. These domains are similar to what Jung called archetypal ground themes. One can conclude from this that emotion and intuition evolved before the capacity for rational thought processes.

 

Stephen Pinker, a psychologist at MIT, has identified ten domains of intuition. For example, we all share an intuitive physics, an intuitive version of biology, engineering (tool making), psychology, a spatial sense for navigating, a number sense, a sense of probability, an intuitive economics, basic logic, and language. Haidt is suggesting that we have a collection of moral intuitions in different domains of human actions in the social sphere. Emotions are similar. Many emotions are innate reactions to specific situations. states of affairs, or formal objects.

 

The concept of formal objects of emotions is best illustrated as follows. When I was very young, I developed a fear of dogs. Later I realized that my fear was not being triggered by dogs, but by large snarling animals with sharp teeth. Thus "large", "sharp teeth" and "snarling" are the formal object of the fear. Note also that "snarling" is an action. Moral intuitions work in a similar fashion. Thus in the domain of reciprocity, an affect laden response occurs when the action of another is perceived as reciprocal (accompnied by the appropriate positive emotion) or when an action is perceived as not reciprocal (accompanied by the appropriate negative emotion).

 

According to Jung, a primary characteristic of archetypes is that they apply to "typical situations in life", and at the core of an archetype there is a specific emotion. This forms the connection to Haidt and moral intuitions. As I noted previously, this is part of Jung's theory that he left for others to complete, i.e., the exact relationship between intuitions and archetypes. Haidt defines moral intuitions as "affect laden" and Jung believed, but could not prove, that intuitions trigger archetypes. The normal state would be where intuition "extracts" principles from archetypes. This, as I understand it, is also Kant's view.

 

This is really a simple model. Much more is going here. First, the brain is not fully developed at birth. Much of it is "wired" later with hugh bursts of neuron growth at key stages of development. Thus language development is accompanied by a burst of neuron growth, etc. In addition, the "dynamic wiring" is most extensive in the cerbral cortex (the seat of moral reasoning) and quite limited in the "old mamallian brain", the seat of emotions and moral intuitions.

 

In addition, other general concepts such as "learning" and "memory" are also sets of heterogeneous processes, some of which involve consciousness and some which do not. For example, memory is really a set of processes involving specific types of content. There are perhaps as many as seven types of learning, and so on.

 

The difference between moral intuitions and moral reasoning is most important. Moral intuitions are more constrained than moral reasoning. Reasoning develops moral intuitions into abstract principles or concepts with the basic form inherent in the intuition. In other words, moral intuitions "preselect" what gets to higher level reasoning, and moral intuitions provide the basic form from which reasoning begins. This is in agreement with Jung and Kant. So far, I have only attempted to address moral intuitions and how they work. I have not found a well thought out moral theory that integrates current research into moral intuitions with moral reasoning. I think Jung was close to doing just that, but I still have to work out some of the details. Remember, this is developing as we discuss this subject.

 

 

 

Whew! More later ... minsocal.

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"In fact, it now seems that emotion, contrary to expections, is intimately tied to human rationality (at least everyday practical rationality).

In general, emotion and intuition are non-rational in that they are 'spontaneous creations of the mind', as Kant would say. ... Albert Einstein offered himself as an example. He found rational thought processes quite difficult and most of his insights came from intuition. One of my favorite quotes comes from the "Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy". Under 'intuition' it simply states that 'One can have an intuitive awareness of God'. "

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I do like baseball! :)

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You demonstrated a need for rationality in emotion. Your later charge of emotions and intuition being non-rational may indicate some confusion. There is no indication from the language in your references to indicate that arguement's validity. Kants quote of "spontaneous creations of the mind" does not deny the rational. The "Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy", which I agree with, did not say, nor did it intend to mean or imply intuition is the only way to God, as you seem to imply, nor did it say intuition is non-rational. It is quite the contrary.

While it may not require conscious rational thought to acquire, it does not mean the content was non-rational. Einstein's math would not work if his intuitions were non-rational.

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"Religious knowing likewise is fundamentally based upon the “awe” experience." I agree! In fact, Proverbs 1:7 preceeded the modern philosophers, by a few years, with; "The fear (awe, reverence) of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." This is actually the 'fundamentalist' view, and it became doctrine. And Biblical Christianity has no problem with its epistemology.

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If the philosphers do rely on the irrational (non-rational) and I actually believe they do, there are significant problems within their reasoning.

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"Although people are selfish, the are also morally motivated." I agree. This is man's moral dilemma the 'modern' philosophers cannot help with situational ethics.

 

Neither can they help with reasons for our metaphysical necessity.

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"In fact, it now seems that emotion, contrary to expections, is intimately tied to human rationality (at least everyday practical rationality).

In general, emotion and intuition are non-rational in that they are 'spontaneous creations of the mind', as Kant would say. ... Albert Einstein offered himself as an example. He found rational thought processes quite difficult and most of his insights came from intuition. One of my favorite quotes comes from the "Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy". Under 'intuition' it simply states that 'One can have an intuitive awareness of God'. "

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I do like baseball! :)

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You demonstrated a need for rationality in emotion. Your later charge of emotions and intuition being non-rational may indicate some confusion. There is no indication from the language in your references to indicate that arguement's validity. Kants quote of "spontaneous creations of the mind" does not deny the rational. The "Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy", which I agree with, did not say, nor did it intend to mean or imply intuition is the only way to God, as you seem to imply, nor did it say intuition is non-rational. It is quite the contrary.

While it may not require conscious rational thought to acquire, it does not mean the content was non-rational. Einstein's math would not work if his intuitions were non-rational.

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"Religious knowing likewise is fundamentally based upon the “awe” experience." I agree! In fact, Proverbs 1:7 preceeded the modern philosophers, by a few years, with; "The fear (awe, reverence) of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." This is actually the 'fundamentalist' view, and it became doctrine. And Biblical Christianity has no problem with its epistemology.

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If the philosphers do rely on the irrational (non-rational) and I actually believe they do, there are significant problems within their reasoning.

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"Although people are selfish, the are also morally motivated." I agree. This is man's moral dilemma the 'modern' philosophers cannot help with situational ethics.

 

Neither can they help with reasons for our metaphysical necessity.

 

This thread is, in large part about Jungian theory and confined to intuition. Jung defined Sensing and Intuition as irrational functions (see Collected Works 6). I demonstrated a need for emotion in support of rationality, which is consistent with Jungian theory. Jung's feeling function is defined by him as rational and derives it's foundation from emotions. The role of emotion in rationality has a considerable foundation in evidence based theories (see "Descartes Error", Damasio, A., 1994). The quote from the "Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy" only said "One can have an intuitive awareness of God". It is, as the title indicates, a dictionary. See other entries for other perspectives. Einstein's math was derived from his intuitions of how things work. And, many consider math to have an intuitive foundation. First he had the intuition and then he developed the math. Science has long acknowledged the value of intuition. You can search the internet to find articles on this. Philosophy is the same (see Kant, Bergson, Husserl, etc.).

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"Religious knowing likewise is fundamentally based upon the “awe” experience." I agree! In fact, Proverbs 1:7 preceeded the modern philosophers, by a few years, with; "The fear (awe, reverence) of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." This is actually the 'fundamentalist' view, and it became doctrine. And Biblical Christianity has no problem with its epistemology.

 

If it is "fundamentalist" then I am wondering why the very liberal/progressive church I attend incorporates the same emphasis? They frequently make the observation that "fear" really should be read as "awe" or "reverence". And, throw in a bit of gratitude for good measure. Not sure what assumptions you are making here about "fundamentalist". One of the points developing in this thread is that certain categories are too general. We really need to move down one level in the analysis and look at the components and understand that sometimes we commit the "True Scotsman" error when we paint people into categories.

 

Note here that "fear" is a negative emotion and that "awe" and "gratitude" are positive emotions. This is a point Haidt makes concerning moral emotions in general. In my church the emphasis is on the positive interpretation.

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Gary,

 

Your posts are not understandable to me and I see no reason why you thought posting in this topic would be appropriate. So you are the only person who has ever posted here that I am going to put on “ignore”. This means that I will not be able to read your posts so obviously you should not expect a response from me. It will make it easier for this old brain to follow the topics. I hope you can understand.

 

David

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I do not deny intuition. I do deny irrationality as being a viable function for anything other than chaos, despite the articulate arguements from Jung. I agree with a need for emotion in support of rationality, but not to be confused with it being foundational.

I agreed with the Cambridge definition. I wasn't certain, after others posts, whether you held to the belief it was only by intuition one could know God.

I am certain intuition can be what encourages mans curiosity to explore, experiment, and create. Nothing can be derived from the irrational, except the need for the rational.

I agree with your Einstein. The great mathmeticians know we live in an orderly world that is rational, reasonable and can be explained so everyone may understand. Armed with that knowledge, they dream.

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"Not sure what assumptions you are making here about 'fundamentalist'." David has been particularly critical of anyone he deems to be fundamentalist. I am hoping he may listen and learn before any prejudging.

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The Hebrew word for 'stomach' translated into English, is our 'heart'. Describing the Hebrew word for our English 'fear' as a negative emotion could very well have had a positive conotation in ancient Hebrew. Even then 'fear' can produce some very positive results. The words 'awe', 'fear', and 'reverence' meaning the same when translated are evidence one cannot divorce any of the defining words from each other.

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The Hebrew word for 'stomach' translated into English, is our 'heart'.

 

Kind of, but not exactly. The Hebrew and Greeks words for stomach mean stomach. And the Greek and Hebrew words for Heart mean heart. What doesn't "translate" is how we use them metaphorically. Today, we talk about using our "head and not our heart." Because we metaphorically refer to heart as the root of emotions. Our head is where we think logically. (In reality both our thinking and emotions take place in our brain). Anyhow, the seat of emotion in ancient times was your stomach/bowels. Those of us who have irritable bowel syndrome still experience that ;) Continuing... The heart was the seat of reason to ancients -- the head the source of life. So when you read in the bible that a man speaks to a woman's heart, he is not speaking her to her emotions, he is speaking to her logic.

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