Friday, May 25, 2007

Might makes Right

(Fair warning -I am a bog amatuer trying to tackle an intellectual point, intellectual type semantic criticism will not be welcomed.)

A Pragmatists Argument for the Objectivity of Morals.

I absolutely believe in the statement "might make right", in fact if you put a gun to my head and ask me to say that a set of objective morals are most important in determining a course of action I will not hesitate to agree. Aside from the obvious practical benefits in complying, it is also a consistent stance for a pragmatist to take.

A society forms of its members so that they can derive mutual benefit from co-operation. The mutual benefit maybe anything, but each society benefits from the acquisition of power. Power is the dynamic for the interaction of societies. Power can manifest in the ability to conquer competitors or nature.

Thus the morals of a society should be geared to the production of maximum power for that society. If they are not then the society will become subservient to a more powerful society. As the objective is known and the morals of society are there to fufill that objective - it can be seen that morals are objective. Objective power orientated morals of a society create the might to make and enforce the rule of a moral society.

It is in this way that capitalism has become so successful, it has wealth as the best invented (yet) tool of measuring power. And a capitalist society gears itself to the creation of greater wealth.

Equally useful is the function of democracy. The ultimate (or most perfect) methods of obtaining societal power are unkown beyond the scope of human expertise and the position of the society is changeable. Thus it is important that morals and laws and rulers are able to be changed. If any of these are considered beyond reproach, then when a new position is reached it is more difficult to effect change and thus the old morals which are of decreasing value are maintained to the detriment of society. Democracy allows continual change to be the norm, which is good because it is the norm.

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