What is morality? Does it even exist?
This lies at the heart of the compatibilism debate – whether the future is determined already, and if that affects morality. Compatibilists believe morality exists in a determined world. Among them, some go further and argue we need a determined world to have morality. Incompatibilists believe morality doesn’t exist in a determined world; libertarians agree, but believe the world isn’t determined (but science isn’t on their side). The debate is multi-faceted and open-ended; I took an entire course on it. If you’re at Stanford, I strongly recommend PHIL 75W!
I do think morality in the eyes of a cosmic spectator doesn’t exist. Building on scientific consensus, if all events that ever have, are, and would happen were determined at the Big Bang, and these causal relations inference-able from physics (some laws we haven’t discovered yet), by what measuring stick then do some states/events of the world become “better” than others?
It is humanity that gives meaning to morality. Our deep evolutionary history combined with the workings of our society give us the intuition of what’s right/wrong.
In learning morality, we are really learning our relation to the world, hence acquiring self-understanding. Once you understand yourself enough is when you lose interest in studying it further, which is why I think:
At the end of morality is self-understanding.
Next up is the post “when everyone reaches self-understanding.”