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Thread: "The surprising moral force of disgust"

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    Default "The surprising moral force of disgust"


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    Pathetic. I already have the answers to their questions.

    All this is, is the re-engineering of an assault on sensibility. The idea is to put progress in a quagmire by making it debatable, slow things down. Granted the practitioners of this stuff actually believe it because... they're psychotic.

    But we all know what this is: weak Ti, and with a particularly conservative and arrogant bent. Silly associations of "unpleasant" things like dirt and grime with bad behavior. Granted I use the phrase "dirt" in that context myself, but it's only figurative. I'm not stupid enough to believe that people are evil because they are dirty.

    As a kid I remember making the association one time I saw a miner covered in coal dust. But that was because he looked strange and scary, like a monster you'd see on TV.

    It is a grave issue that these people can get funding for this stuff at all. Real problems are going unsolved because of the waste put towards dead ends (or else, quagmires) like these.

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    The whole cleanness/purity/sanctity vs. uncleanness/impurity/defiledness moral spectrum of many cultures is based on disgust. I encourage you to read this article: http://faculty.virginia.edu/haidtlab...ice.pub041.pdf
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    This comes off, to me, as another one of those attempts to take a "how" explanation and turn it into "who" "what" "when" "where" "why" "how many" "of what kind" "in what way" "of what quality" "which colors" "in whose house" "in what causative category" "with what ontological status..." Ugh. As if explaining how something works physically or evolutionarily supplants the conceptualized version of it. [/Te-polr + science hate]
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverchris9 View Post
    This comes off, to me, as another one of those attempts to take a "how" explanation and turn it into "who" "what" "when" "where" "why" "how many" "of what kind" "in what way" "of what quality" "which colors" "in whose house" "in what causative category" "with what ontological status..." Ugh. As if explaining how something works physically or evolutionarily supplants the conceptualized version of it. [/Te-polr + science hate]
    Lol.

    I don't think that's Te-polr. I think I get what you're saying. I think you're saying that they are taking a subjective experience and trying to explain it with subjective interpretation which just creates a chain of infinite questions that just redefine the understanding rather than clarifying it; assuming I didn't misinterpret you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krig the Viking View Post
    The whole cleanness/purity/sanctity vs. uncleanness/impurity/defiledness moral spectrum of many cultures is based on disgust. I encourage you to read this article: http://faculty.virginia.edu/haidtlab...ice.pub041.pdf
    I remember wondering as a kid why people use words like clean/pure/dirty/etc. in moral context. I knew the meaning but it seemed strange and I never used it. I mean, there might be a connotation on a lower level (same feelings/sensation of revulsion), but linguistically it doesn't make sense to me except as a peculiar analogy.

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    I feel terrible disgust towards life. Would this morally justify my suicide?
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcaudilllg View Post
    I'm not stupid enough to believe that people are evil because they are dirty.
    I don't think they are saying that they are discovering the association between physical purity and moral/spiritual purity.

    It's a generic observation that has it's utility.... it's why some people may feel odd compulsions to clean themselves or shower after they witness horrible things. I remember watching this interview of this person talking about this person in the concentration camps that worked there.... they said everytime after he finished with his shift he would obsessively shower and had trouble not doing it. Was it guilt from the horrific treatment of jews and the inhumanity, or was it that we looked at jewish people as being dirty. Or perhaps even more interesting, was it both, and this is why people had trouble protesting against the extermination of the jews.... because there was strong propoganda that made people associate everything dirty and impure with the world to jewish people and murder was justified as some cleansing ritual. It makes sense, after a while seeing so much inhumanity would disgust people, however due to the power of the symbol of jewish people being unclean and impure instead of associating this disgust with their actions it would instead be associated with jewish people. At least this observation has it's utility whether this is true or not to untangling some of the paradoxal moral nature of some people.
    Last edited by male; 08-24-2010 at 12:26 PM.

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    I would consider this morality-based-on-disgust behavior learned rather than inherent - it definitely happens, but it's more an extremely handy way to train someone to avoid something than something implicated in all morality. Of course, morality has to tie into something else in order to influence our behavior; so far I've noticed rationality-based morality and disgust-based morality, but I'm sure that there's others (love-based morality? but I'm not entirely sure what I mean by that).

    (Come to think of it, basing morality on rationality isn't going back to a root cause; it's just putting one layer on top of another.)



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    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliand View Post
    I would consider this morality-based-on-disgust behavior learned rather than inherent - it definitely happens, but it's more an extremely handy way to train someone to avoid something than something implicated in all morality. Of course, morality has to tie into something else in order to influence our behavior; so far I've noticed rationality-based morality and disgust-based morality, but I'm sure that there's others (love-based morality? but I'm not entirely sure what I mean by that).

    (Come to think of it, basing morality on rationality isn't going back to a root cause; it's just putting one layer on top of another.)
    Hmmm I don't think of it like, I think its a phenonemon that has it roots in the connection between the physical and symbolic. If something physically disgusts you, sometimes this crosses a boundary and it symbolically disgusts you... and vice versa. It's like synasethsia. The boundary between symbol and physical reality. Like saying a car looks sexy..... how can you have sexual feelings for a car.... you can't.... but it's curves can remind you of the form of a woman, which brings about sexual feelings. Synasethsia.... washing your hands to clean off moral disgust..... forming morality based around physical disgust. I think it holds some weight.....

    However I'm not at all saying that the very core essence of morality is in what is disgusting or not. I think the core essence of morality is a tail that ultimately cannot be pinned on the donkey through scientific inquiry... scientific inquiry can only really elaborate on how it manifests itself in people's psychology.

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    People's own personal quirks on what they hate in others is always very interesting to me. Like for example, my mother hates loud and overbearing men. She prefers timid men romantically, and wants men to be submissive and soft to her. It's not just about people though, but about things or animals. My grandma hates cats, can't stand them- me, I hate social situations and other people most of the time. I hate 'social fakery' although I don't like it when people are cruel to others, but I appreciate it better 'cause as least it's honest.'

    And trying to fix these quirks and fears that people have, even though they know they are irrational just never seem to go away. Something naturally deep down in the brain is causing all of them and it's too interwoven to get rid of them. You end up just, changing their behavior for awhile but they always 'snap back' to their natural patterns. So you have to realize that there's nothing wrong with other people's brains, they are just most of the time doing something that you strongly disapprove of, and you think 'there's something wrong with them' just because they're not doing something that YOU want them to do- but you don't have any control over another, only yourself. Even things like murder, sociopathy, and reading Nietzsche on park benches late at night and smoking (god I'll never stop making fun of Nick for that) are just a fault of the brain. I mean although that stuff bugs most people, it seems kind of silly letting them as my excuse not to feel good.

    So lately I accept people better as they are. The only thing I can do is to get clear about what I do subjectively like, which is hard and challenging enough. I just think other people need to back off of other people and let them do whatever they want, but even that is something that won't work that way. I have to accept that people are going to be controlling lol. I can't control their controlling, and if I want other people to treat me better I know that I'm going to have to be the first one that gives in. That they will continue to create things like 'schools' and 'jobs' and other silly, pointless things to try and control and pressure others.

    You can morally hate cars, just like you can "morally" hate cats, loud men, and social situations...by the way. Technically they're all just hyper irrational genetic things in the brain, Idk how to explain it specifically but they are ultra-subjective response mechanisms to some sort of stimuli that you just naturally clash with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves View Post
    People's own personal quirks on what they hate in others is always very interesting to me. Like for example, my mother hates loud and overbearing men. She prefers timid men romantically, and wants men to be submissive and soft to her. It's not just about people though, but about things or animals. My grandma hates cats, can't stand them- me, I hate social situations and other people most of the time. I hate 'social fakery' although I don't like it when people are cruel to others, but I appreciate it better 'cause as least it's honest.'

    And trying to fix these quirks and fears that people have, even though they know they are irrational just never seem to go away. Something naturally deep down in the brain is causing all of them and it's too interwoven to get rid of them. You end up just, changing their behavior for awhile but they always 'snap back' to their natural patterns. So you have to realize that there's nothing wrong with other people's brains, they are just most of the time doing something that you strongly disapprove of, and you think 'there's something wrong with them' just because they're not doing something that YOU want them to do- but you don't have any control over another, only yourself. Even things like murder, sociopathy, and reading Nietzsche on park benches late at night and smoking (god I'll never stop making fun of Nick for that) are just a fault of the brain. I mean although that stuff bugs most people, it seems kind of silly letting them as my excuse not to feel good.

    So lately I accept people better as they are. The only thing I can do is to get clear about what I do subjectively like, which is hard and challenging enough. I just think other people need to back off of other people and let them do whatever they want, but even that is something that won't work that way. I have to accept that people are going to be controlling lol. I can't control their controlling, and if I want other people to treat me better I know that I'm going to have to be the first one that gives in. That they will continue to create things like 'schools' and 'jobs' and other silly, pointless things to try and control and pressure others.

    You can morally hate cars, just like you can "morally" hate cats, loud men, and social situations...by the way. Technically they're all just hyper irrational genetic things in the brain, Idk how to explain it specifically but they are ultra-subjective response mechanisms to some sort of stimuli that you just naturally clash with.
    Sure, although I think sometimes you are right to point out other people's quirks and fears. I think the thing is either way you get a negative reaction, if your right it reveals people's weaknesses, if your wrong it angers people to be accused of something false. But without taking the risk people may never discover them. Naturally operating in such an area of people's psyches is volatile so usually it requires some diplomatic tact, which isn't the same thing as being fake, think of it like trying to talk someone out of killing themselves.... it requires tact, because if your not gentle enough they pull the trigger and its game over. Anyways, I think most people that are experienced in life (I don't have a specific age range or qualification) realize this aspect of life. However, most people choose to deal with this via isolation. Americans for example have to have gated communities and suburbs to feel safe. They have to lock their doors and live in a house. I think if you don't do this and your a very bold person and want to explore all life has to offer, eventually things will go great until you end up coming to a "real world" experience you wished you'd never had, but its all on the road to greater understanding, and I admire people who have this trait. You seem to have it in a psychological sort of way, not being afraid of exploring people's psychological insecurities and so forth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HaveLucidDreamz View Post
    However I'm not at all saying that the very core essence of morality is in what is disgusting or not. I think the core essence of morality is a tail that ultimately cannot be pinned on the donkey through scientific inquiry... scientific inquiry can only really elaborate on how it manifests itself in people's psychology.
    Hypothetically, tracing all of the individual neurons in the brain would reveal how morality works. That's far beyond modern technology, though.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Brilliand View Post
    Hypothetically, tracing all of the individual neurons in the brain would reveal how morality works. That's far beyond modern technology, though.
    And probably its related to chaos theory, almost certainly if your going to take that route, and chaos theory won't give you any ability to predict things given current human knowledge. Unless of course someone figures out how to predict the nature of chaotic systems.... which is a massive feat, like predicting and controlling the weather, and all of that effort will just allow you to make sense of the brain's circuitry, its will only solve the first step of that problem, a solution is still world's apart from this. So its very unlikely to occur based on modern technology, I agree.

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