Is There an Ultimate Goal for Morality?

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Reply Wed 5 Aug, 2009 03:23 am
It seems nearly all acts of morality are often driven by the consequences that force us to behave ethically. To win the approval of society, avoiding God's punishments and gaining rewards or other further motivations often results in our own benefit. One cannot perform a genuine act of benevolence without meeting the eye of egoism.

This sort of variation reflects on Plato's character, Glaucon, from his scripture Republic who questions the need for morality through the acts of a just and unjust man with the invincibility of a magic ring and allowing complete anarchy to occur with nothing held accountable. Consequentially, both men will have reached the same point because all actions involved in this scenario would be both just and unjust. For actions of injustice are commonly held as more profitable than actions of justice and the opinions of others including God's are of the highest value.

But if morality is more of an intuition, then one is likely to act justly regardless of belief system or interest in beneficiaries among society with the complete absence of self. However, the variations moral perception are not perceived by all. Those who see it usually acquire it through indoctrination and never understands their own personal goals of morality. Those who tend to avert or miscomprehend their own perception and never distinguish right from wrong and may undermine the value of their existence while being satisfied at the same time.

Rather than cynically denote the negativism of the acts of "goodwill," I would like to hope that it is possible to pledge allegiance to yourself without the desire of higher enrichments. The pursuit of what you can become should be far more greater than what you can possess.

Forgive me if this has been previously discussed.
 
Jackofalltrades phil
 
Reply Thu 6 Aug, 2009 11:22 pm
@Serena phil,
Hi
To reply to the subject-question you posed, my intuitive guess is that there has to be a goal to morality. To be safe, i would rather call it a default goal. I will take this position for now. Because I am not sure what that goal may be? And, whether there must be a goal at all, i wish to get an answer by learning about this philosophical quest or path which i intend to take along with you.

However, for the time being let me make some comments to some of your observations:

Serena;81389 wrote:
One cannot perform a genuine act of benevolence without meeting the eye of egoism.


Is this not a mere academic statement. And some amount of paradox also seeps into the legitimacy of the statement. A genuine act which benefits someone or the self is still a genuine act (A genuine act of benevolence
means an act which does not harm anyone but only benefits or has some degree of gainful implications)

Serena;81389 wrote:
For actions of injustice are commonly held as more profitable than actions of justice and the opinions of others including God's are of the highest value.


That may be correct if you imply that 'actions of injustice' is the shortcuts people employ for personal gain, aggrandisement and personal satisfaction i.e's(egos satisfaction). However to make it clear, I am not
sure if 'actions of injustice' have a commonality to it as against the term 'rarity'. Even if you say 'widely held' it may not be factually correct without any data.

Serena;81389 wrote:
But if morality is more of an intuition, then one is likely to act justly regardless of belief system or interest in beneficiaries among society with the complete absence of self. However, the variations moral perception are not perceived by all.


Therefore, i think morality is not exactly intuitive. As I now see it, morality has a structured form to its presence and has qualitative differences both in time scale, geography, demography and mythology if i may dare. Its an explanation to the variation you mentioned.

Serena;81389 wrote:
Those who see it usually acquire it through indoctrination and never understands their own personal goals of morality. Those who tend to avert or miscomprehend their own perception and never distinguish right from wrong and may undermine the value of their existence while being satisfied at the same time.


Yes indoctrination and along with other sources for imbibing morality, we can rule out intuitiveness.

Further in the sentence, you predicate with an emphasis to a very interesting proposition of owning personal goals of morality. I have a diffrent take on this. And this may also partly deal with the main question you asked. Whether morality profits in personal goals or is morality the means for the society to acheive its own goals.

One may argue that both are concomitant or runs parallel to each other. One may also invoke that the whole is equal sum of (the total) parts. However, i think and would like to consider that Morality is a devise conjured by men to preserve status quo of the immediate society around as against the natural onslaught of change taking place one generation after another.
 
ltdaleadergt
 
Reply Fri 7 Aug, 2009 02:11 am
@Serena phil,
Answer me this, how did the very first humans distinguished between good and bad?
 
Serena phil
 
Reply Fri 7 Aug, 2009 02:45 am
@Serena phil,
They probably questioned it first, then came to an agreement.
 
ltdaleadergt
 
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 10:07 am
@Serena phil,
Serena;81722 wrote:
They probably questioned it first, then came to an agreement.

survival instinct does not distinguish good from bad. When it comes to staying alive no one would care what God or other things/faith have to say.
God and the concept of evil is another attempt to try to satisfy the ever thursty wondering minds ours. However it has taken a new form, a form we now call religion! Morality has nothing to do with religion. Ofcourse religion did modify it enormously but to begin with morality did not came from religion. Morality is only a byproduct of human evolution, as human slowly were able to distinguish more than just pain and happniess, they slowly were able associate certain ways of behaviour into those two groups and so on...
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 10:41 am
@ltdaleadergt,
<daleader>;81905 wrote:
survival instinct does not distinguish good from bad. When it comes to staying alive no one would care what God or other things/faith have to say.
God and the concept of evil is another attempt to try to satisfy the ever thursty wondering minds ours. However it has taken a new form, a form we now call religion! Morality has nothing to do with religion. Ofcourse religion did modify it enormously but to begin with morality did not came from religion. Morality is only a byproduct of human evolution, as human slowly were able to distinguish more than just pain and happniess, they slowly were able associate certain ways of behaviour into those two groups and so on...


I believe God cannot be said to have human attributes like morality God is neither moral or immoral god simple is that which is that which

"IS"
 
richrf
 
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 10:47 am
@Alan McDougall,
Hi all,

Loosely speaking I would say morality is one of those things that humans' consciousnesses (the overall being) do with each other to try to bring order.

Bringing order from chaos and then observing it, seems to be everywhere.

For example, a child has a bunch of blocks and he/she tries to build something with it.

A person has a bunch of words or events and tries to construct a narrative out of it.

Morality, seems to be, one of those activities that allows us to bring some order to what might be a chaotic existence.

Rich
 
Serena phil
 
Reply Sat 8 Aug, 2009 11:26 pm
@ltdaleadergt,
<daleader>;81905 wrote:
survival instinct does not distinguish good from bad. When it comes to staying alive no one would care what God or other things/faith have to say.
God and the concept of evil is another attempt to try to satisfy the ever thursty wondering minds ours. However it has taken a new form, a form we now call religion! Morality has nothing to do with religion. Ofcourse religion did modify it enormously but to begin with morality did not came from religion. Morality is only a byproduct of human evolution, as human slowly were able to distinguish more than just pain and happniess, they slowly were able associate certain ways of behaviour into those two groups and so on...



To understand what is best for the endurance of the species is to understand the basis of ethical values. For instance, one is not likely to mate with a killer, rapist, terrorist ect. for fear of imparting genealogical traits to other generations. Moral indications have occurred with animals as well for the survival of their species in a nurturing manner. Right, none of this began with a deity, the figure of God made a later appearance only for the sake of keeping society more orderly.
 
Grimlock
 
Reply Sun 9 Aug, 2009 05:32 am
@Serena phil,
Of course morality has a goal. Is there a universal goal to the game or do we all create our own goals to feed into the equation? Now there is the question.

---------- Post added 08-09-2009 at 01:42 PM ----------

Serena;82023 wrote:
To understand what is best for the endurance of the species is to understand the basis of ethical values. For instance, one is not likely to mate with a killer, rapist, terrorist ect. for fear of imparting genealogical traits to other generations.


Here, I would say that you are deeply mistaken. Women mate gladly with killers, and your terrorist is my patriot. Rape...well, rape is, itself, a reproductive act. If you are suggesting that women do not mate (willingly or otherwise) with violent men, you are looking at human reproduction from a very narrow (and I daresay privileged) point of view.

What "ethics" means to us today and what it has meant over the course of human history are perhaps two very different things.
 
Serena phil
 
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2009 02:13 am
@Serena phil,
Yes, there are always exceptions of people breaking the code, nobody is perfect. Hence why these same patterns repeat in today's society. Yes this is an act of reproduction, but on general terms, many will most likely attempt to avoid these situations to reduce the number of potential "killer" characteristics within their offspring. Everyone has their own moral perceptions, but to an extent, most will come to an agreement about what is more beneficial for humanity. Besides maybe some cultural differences, I don't think the essential aspect of ethical values has changed. The majority would still want the best for everyone for the sake of prosperity.
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2009 03:06 am
@Serena phil,
There is no such thing as a universal morality or ethic, Hitler and his cronies thought the highest morality was to murder the Jewish people

Morality is completely subjective!

However, the Ten Commandments are not a bad guide to life
 
TheSingingSword
 
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2009 08:41 am
@Serena phil,
Serena;82023 wrote:
To understand what is best for the endurance of the species is to understand the basis of ethical values. For instance, one is not likely to mate with a killer, rapist, terrorist ect. for fear of imparting genealogical traits to other generations. Moral indications have occurred with animals as well for the survival of their species in a nurturing manner. Right, none of this began with a deity, the figure of God made a later appearance only for the sake of keeping society more orderly.



I'm sorry, Serena, but I have to refute this thoroughly. Women have been shown over and over again to be more attracted to precisely those with what you call immoral natures. It has been posited, for instance, that women cannot distinguish initially between confidence and insanity. This is most likely an evolutionary byproduct of far more violent and anarchistic times. The most fierce and bloodthirsty mate is more likely to defend your offspring successfully.

Morality is simply a code of conduct agreed upon in a certain time and place to keep people from killing each other.
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Mon 10 Aug, 2009 09:44 am
@TheSingingSword,
TheSingingSword;82297 wrote:
I'm sorry, Serena, but I have to refute this thoroughly. Women have been shown over and over again to be more attracted to precisely those with what you call immoral natures. It has been posited, for instance, that women cannot distinguish initially between confidence and insanity. This is most likely an evolutionary byproduct of far more violent and anarchistic times. The most fierce and bloodthirsty mate is more likely to defend your offspring successfully.

Morality is simply a code of conduct agreed upon in a certain time and place to keep people from killing each other.


You have a point but it is only a minute few who will marry a depraved killer, but it happens like you state some of the worst serial rapists and murderers get woman to marry them from outside the prison etc
 
Jackofalltrades phil
 
Reply Sat 15 Aug, 2009 03:03 am
@Alan McDougall,
When we talk about Morality having any specific goals, than i am inclined to believe that Morality has a lot of advantages. Without being of any benefit to the structure and organism called the society, Morality may not have survived as a functional aspect of the human mind.

Moral Science was a subject taught to us in our school days. Our scriptures, folk tales, gospels, - almost all lessons we are told to read are having to do with moral laws or issues. No one can dispute the nature and effect of Morality on the individual and the society as a whole. If we have to study the full scope of Morality, one can easily understand the advantages. I think i can build up an argument leading to an tentative answer. Lets see, how?:-
1) Morality aims to allow a social conduct that is acceptable by the immediate society.
2) It helps in the tacit Social Contract individuals enter into when dealing with institutions built up by the society for e.g Governments, marriage etc.
3) It allows social order, in other words social harmony among fellow beings and between authorities.
4) Conduct, Contract, Order and Harmony is due to the appeal to Morality.
5) Morality perhaps is the foundation on which Civilisations took roots and eventually prospered.
6) One Goal of Civilisation is Peace and Prosperity.
7) Therefore, One of the Main Goals of Morality is gaining the advantage of Peace and Prosperity.
 
salima
 
Reply Sat 15 Aug, 2009 04:46 am
@Jackofalltrades phil,
Jackofalltrades;83403 wrote:
When we talk about Morality having any specific goals, than i am inclined to believe that Morality has a lot of advantages. Without being of any benefit to the structure and organism called the society, Morality may not have survived as a functional aspect of the human mind.

Moral Science was a subject taught to us in our school days. Our scriptures, folk tales, gospels, - almost all lessons we are told to read are having to do with moral laws or issues. No one can dispute the nature and effect of Morality on the individual and the society as a whole. If we have to study the full scope of Morality, one can easily understand the advantages. I think i can build up an argument leading to an tentative answer. Lets see, how?:-
1) Morality aims to allow a social conduct that is acceptable by the immediate society.
2) It helps in the tacit Social Contract individuals enter into when dealing with institutions built up by the society for e.g Governments, marriage etc.
3) It allows social order, in other words social harmony among fellow beings and between authorities.
4) Conduct, Contract, Order and Harmony is due to the appeal to Morality.
5) Morality perhaps is the foundation on which Civilisations took roots and eventually prospered.
6) One Goal of Civilisation is Peace and Prosperity.
7) Therefore, One of the Main Goals of Morality is gaining the advantage of Peace and Prosperity.


i agree with your ideas except i think we need to create a better argument. i dont think this will float...can we talk?
 
Jackofalltrades phil
 
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 12:10 pm
@salima,
Agree that there are some lacunas in the propositions.
 
 

 
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