Here are some more observations about the universal collective consciousness I postulated as a fundamental reality presupposed in moral thinking – indeed in any thinking. This fundamental collective thinking is the location for objective moral laws.
For years I have been troubled by a jibe of Jeremy Bentham to the effect that a natural law moral theorist believe in the existence of heavenly law books wherein they can look up the moral laws. I hope to show that it is nothing mysterious because we all presuppose it, or better participate in it, in our daily lives. It is thinking which is active in all thinking. That is why languages can be translated. It is the thinking used by indigenous people of the Amazon to quickly learn how to use a motor scooter and cell phone.
It is the thinking with which we think that there are many different public opinions around the world.
Turn on the morning TV news to share in what is being thought around the world. It occurs in your thinking when you understand what has been gathered by this thinking used by reporters and also used by all of the technical people who make electronic media possible.
This pervasive underlying thinking is as much a part of our lives as planet earth. Indeed it is more familiar than planet earth. We use this common thinking to develop, or learn, a theory that we live on a sphere rotating on its axis as it revolves around the sun. We use this common thinking to worry that human action is upsetting this planet’s climate.
Am I laboring the obvious? Perhaps. But if I plan to argue that there is a moral order in which there is a place for what I have been calling “moral harm” I need to emphasize that there is a place for this moral order.
I should also note some of what I am not assuming.
I am not assuming that there is some common mind or agent who thinks these common thoughts. I am not sure that we need to assume that there is a “thinker” for there to be thinking. Hume noted that it is difficult to find in our own case any “thinker” for our thoughts.
I am not assuming that it needs living human beings to exist. But neither am I assuming that it could exist without living human beings. Like all that is mental, common human thinking is non-spatial. So, it was never anywhere for someone to start it. It is difficult to think how someone could think anything without intelligence. It is hard to think of intelligence empty of any thoughts. So, I do not think that we should talk of intelligence having a beginning.
I conclude, with some tricky” sentences, by pointing out that despite not being able to say intelligence began, we should not talk of intelligence beginning every thing.
From “We cannot now think of a past time with no human thinking without now using human thinking” we cannot conclude “There is no past time with no human thinking.”
But we can assert the following.
There will never be a time at which we can think without human thinking that there was a time without human thinking.