Re: Use of Tarot de Marseille as a divinatory tool ???

#61
EnriqueEnriquez wrote:
- Death is your destination, no matter who you are.

- There is no fall without redemption.

- No matter what you have done/achieved, fortune can always change.

- Be fair both public and private.

- Face adversity with courage.

- Moderation can help you keep pain at bay.

You get the idea.

Yes. B-) And it seems you're getting the 'idea' of the trumps too.

As for sweeping generalizations about the nature of morality -

Morality is a survival strategy, no more, no less... Just like any other set of animal behaviors, moral behaviors evolved as strategies for the purpose of -
  • most effectively propagating that species, as this will increase the mating (survival) potential for a creatures own offspring (more mating opportunities). In this way, the chance of a creatures genes being passed on are increased.
  • encouraging social behaviors that increase the survival chances of a given type, and specifically a creatures own offspring, increasing the chances of their survival, and likelihood of continuing the line.
Without understanding the purpose of certain behaviors, there simply is no way to correctly evaluate them, or as an old cowhand who worked on my father's ranch use to say,

"Anything else is just talkin' turd."
When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

Re: Use of Tarot de Marseille as a divinatory tool ???

#62
R.A. Hendley wrote:As for sweeping generalizations about the nature of morality -

Morality is a survival strategy, no more, no less... [...]

"Anything else is just talkin' turd."
We'll just have to totally disagree on that one, RAH. That moral considerations may also have some added bonus is distinct to the question about the nature of morality. When I ask if a specific act is moral, I am not interested in whether the answer the species may generally give accentuates its survival, but the ethical (or moral) dimensions of the act undertaken by a specific individual in a given situation.
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Re: Use of Tarot de Marseille as a divinatory tool ???

#63
Keep in mind I'm generalizing, but if you have some interest in understanding morality as a function and construct in human societies, why these behaviors arise and are sometimes passionately defended, and objectively understanding unusual moral constructs in other cultures, then having some knowledge of the motivations of a given species (here human), or sub-species (say Japanese behaviors compared to Bedouin behaviors) from an evolutionary psychological standpoint seems to be a more rational approach than the subjective slippery-slide of modern ethics, with its very real danger of "missing the forest for the trees".

Clearly, from a "judicial" standpoint, the narrower focus that you advocate is the only one possible, hence the 'slippery-slide' can not be tossed out completely. Aquinas, in contrast to Plato, believed Justice arises from Prudence. So like our two headed allegorical friend, ultimately we must look at the matter from 'both sides". (Here's my rendition of a man imitating the allegory of Prudence >>> :-o . )
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Re: Use of Tarot de Marseille as a divinatory tool ???

#65
Irrespective of the slippery slope you may have enjoyed last night, RAH, there is a difference between the psychological, ethnographic, and philosophical consideration and investigation of morals.

The psychological and ethnographic may give us some insights into how people have certain dispositions and how we may socially justify those views, without even beginning to touch the fundamentals of the ethical dimension of human action.

I the act or reading, or course, all these - ie, the psychological, ethnological AND ethical dimensions come into play.
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Re: Use of Tarot de Marseille as a divinatory tool ???

#66
I certainly agree that there is a difference between the views of Evolutionary Biology and Evolutionary Psychology (not to be confused with common Psychology or Ethnography) on morality, and that of the formal Ethics of philosophy, the former fields' view being, simply stated,

The evolution of ethical systems is a response to the drive of the human species to survive. Additionally, a whole array of related "rule systems" such as statutory laws, professional codes, customs, and even the rules of etiquette evolve to further human adaptation.

An example from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,

"From a Darwinian viewpoint, the existence of altruism in nature is at first sight puzzling, as Darwin himself realized. Natural selection leads us to expect animals to behave in ways that increase their own chances of survival and reproduction, not those of others. But by behaving altruistically an animal reduces its own fitness, so should be at a selective disadvantage vis-à-vis one which behaves selfishly. To see this, imagine that some members of a group of Vervet monkeys give alarm calls when they see predators, but others do not. Other things being equal, the latter will have an advantage. By selfishly refusing to give an alarm call, a monkey can reduce the chance that it will itself be attacked, while at the same time benefiting from the alarm calls of others. So we should expect natural selection to favour those monkeys that do not give alarm calls over those that do. But this raises an immediate puzzle. How did the alarm-calling behaviour evolve in the first place, and why has it not been eliminated by natural selection? How can the existence of altruism be reconciled with basic Darwinian principles?

The problem of altruism is intimately connected with questions about the level at which natural selection acts. If selection acts exclusively at the individual level, favouring some individual organisms over others, then it seems that altruism cannot evolve, for behaving altruistically is disadvantageous for the individual organism itself, by definition. However, it is possible that altruism may be advantageous at the group level. A group containing lots of altruists, each ready to subordinate their own selfish interests for the greater good of the group, may well have a survival advantage over a group composed mainly or exclusively of selfish organisms. A process of between-group selection may thus allow the altruistic behaviour to evolve. Within each group, altruists will be at a selective disadvantage relative to their selfish colleagues, but the fitness of the group as a whole will be enhanced by the presence of altruists. Groups composed only or mainly of selfish organisms go extinct, leaving behind groups containing altruists. In the example of the Vervet monkeys, a group containing a high proportion of alarm-calling monkeys will have a survival advantage over a group containing a lower proportion. So conceivably, the alarm-calling behaviour may evolve by between-group selection, even though within each group, selection favours monkeys that do not give alarm calls."


Considering our modern Western notions on individualism and 'personal fulfillment', this bit is particularly disturbing - "Groups composed only or mainly of selfish organisms go extinct." x_x

Frankly JMD, I have developed some serious doubts that the language of the philosophy of Ethics can meaningfully explain much about the dynamics of ethical theory. A word like "good" evolved from the doing of specific acts of good. This conflicts with the deductive reasoning found in meta-ethical reasoning where one moves from the general to the specific. There are specific reasons why a particular aunt's pecan pie is a good - texture, taste, etc. A good woodworker is noted for the precision of his work; how straight the legs of his chairs are, how fine the detail is, and how long the item will last. The sum total of all acts of good converge on a theoretical center defined as the generalized word Good. Metaethics does not make the distinction between "indefinable Good" and "definable good." As such, it lacks the requisite precision to solve ethical problems. A science like Evolutionary Biology does not have such a blaring weakness.

Regardless, I'm feeling somewhat unethical for taking this thread on divination around the theoretical block a time or two. My apologies folks. :ymblushing:
When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

Re: Use of Tarot de Marseille as a divinatory tool ???

#67
R.A. Hendley wrote:I certainly agree that there is a difference between the views of Evolutionary Biology and Evolutionary Psychology (not to be confused with common Psychology or Ethnography) on morality, and that of the formal Ethics of philosophy, the former fields' view being, simply stated, ... [quoted a little further in the post]

[...]

Frankly JMD, I have developed some serious doubts that the language of the philosophy of Ethics can meaningfully explain much about the dynamics of ethical theory. A word like "good" evolved from the doing of specific acts of good. This conflicts with the deductive reasoning found in meta-ethical reasoning where one moves from the general to the specific. There are specific reasons why a particular aunt's pecan pie is a good - texture, taste, etc. A good woodworker is noted for the precision of his work; how straight the legs of his chairs are, how fine the detail is, and how long the item will last. The sum total of all acts of good converge on a theoretical center defined as the generalized word Good. Metaethics does not make the distinction between "indefinable Good" and "definable good." As such, it lacks the requisite precision to solve ethical problems. A science like Evolutionary Biology does not have such a blaring weakness.

Regardless, I'm feeling somewhat unethical for taking this thread on divination around the theoretical block a time or two. My apologies folks. :ymblushing:
The 'theoretical block' encompasses the Tarot de Marseille as divinatory tool, so I personally think that (whether in this thread or another) these considerations are important.

I'm aware there is a difference between evolutionary biology, evolutionary ethnography and, for that matter, the whole fields adjacent those of evolutionary epistemology.

Your summary statement certainly forms the view of evolutionary ethics (and also reflects the reductionist approach of some biologists and psychologists):
R.A. Hendley wrote:The evolution of ethical systems is a response to the drive of the human species to survive. Additionally, a whole array of related "rule systems" such as statutory laws, professional codes, customs, and even the rules of etiquette evolve to further human adaptation.
I'll leave aside the deontological notions for, as far as I'm concerned, they simply talk of agreed upon etiquette, laws, and other rule systems that inevitably mistakes agreement and universalisation for ethics.

Whether there is an evolution of ethical insight that more or less parallels cognitive development is very likely. That does not mean, however, that cognitive insight is no more than adaptive evolution. Let's take a less obtuse example: if there is a cognitive development in the faculty of sight, it becomes possible to distinguish, for example, blue from green, or roses from tulips. Whether this has evolutionary advantages is also a worthwhile question, but distinct to whether or not roses are in fact distinct to tulips.

SImilarly, there may be evolutionary advantages to either altruism or egotism, but neither of these talks about ethical insights. We may, for example, distinguish two similar acts in terms of their ethical dimension in part based on the motives of the individual and the circumstances specific to the situation at hand. What evolutionary ethical theorists, or deontologists, or indeed many other -isms have to say of the matter reflects more whether the theory is able to accurately reflect the ethical dimension of the situation than it does about morality itself.
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Re: Use of Tarot de Marseille as a divinatory tool ???

#68
Well, if, again if, one accepts that moral behaviors have at their root the purpose as 'survival strategy', then, IMO in determining whether or not a given behavior is ethical, it needs to be considered in light of its actual purpose. But I suspect you will have a lucid retort, so we'll have to settle this the old fashioned way. Pistols or Swords? :))
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