Where do we draw the line on what is ethical,, moral or the reverse thereof?

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Khethil
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 06:29 am
@Alan McDougall,
The key, I'd think, would end up being to define what morals should apply to all humans at the most basic, most fundamental level. To allow for cultural variations, this 'universal set' would have to be very, very small and I think the 'health aspect' is a grand place to start.

One more note: I don't think that because a sub-culture might disagree with a proposed 'universal moral' is grounds for tossing it out - not by itself. IMHO if we keep it on the most basic need for our species, leave it at that, there might be some substantive worth to the exercise.

Thanks
 
Eudaimon
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 10:05 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;63511 wrote:
I am aware that there have been similar threads,

My question revolves around what is ethical and moral and what are the boundaries to them?

To a wife of an aboriginal , it is both moral and ethical to eat the brain of her dead husband to keep his essence within herself

To me killing a bird gives me a guilty conscience and I feel it as subjectively immoral (I have never killed a bird)

What I am aiming at here is not some ethical philosophy, but to find by debate if there is an innate ingrained universal morality, which no human will step over.

Is there a bar that no one will step over, or is it constantly being raised or lowered due to circumstances of the day?

These differencing in morals and perceptions of morals might account for most of the troubled history down the annals of human history and suffering

Moral is what contibutes to one's own happiness, immoral is the opposite. Above this two, I don't know any criterion. Thus, killing is not bad in itself, but only since leads to unhappiness, unpleasant feelings, so to say.
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 11:47 am
@Eudaimon,
Eudaimon;66004 wrote:
Moral is what contibutes to one's own happiness, immoral is the opposite. Above this two, I don't know any criterion. Thus, killing is not bad in itself, but only since leads to unhappiness, unpleasant feelings, so to say.


What about calculated murder for selfish gain, whatever defined gain

The abuse of a little child by an adult I think equates to real immorality

Peace And Light
 
xris
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 12:26 pm
@Khethil,
Khethil;65966 wrote:
The key, I'd think, would end up being to define what morals should apply to all humans at the most basic, most fundamental level. To allow for cultural variations, this 'universal set' would have to be very, very small and I think the 'health aspect' is a grand place to start.

One more note: I don't think that because a sub-culture might disagree with a proposed 'universal moral' is grounds for tossing it out - not by itself. IMHO if we keep it on the most basic need for our species, leave it at that, there might be some substantive worth to the exercise.

Thanks
Its never that easy, the health of the individual or the tribe? One man sacrificed for the benefit of the tribe by pagan man ,is that morally correct? Its based on a well believed concept by those who enforce it , dont we have a say in morals ,cant we judge?are we aliens observing, aloof, not commenting?
 
Eudaimon
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 01:03 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;66019 wrote:
What about calculated murder for selfish gain, whatever defined gain

The abuse of a little child by an adult I think equates to real immorality

Morality, to have any significance, to be universal, must be the thing that may be adopted despite any coditions under which we are raised. What is that thing that makes us condemn those actions like child abuse? It seems to me that for cave men it wasn't so 'immoral'. As well as killing, rape etc...
In the case with selfishness we should define whether or not these things contribute to happiness. When one kills another, it is certainly, as well as everything we do, being done in order to attain a certain result, money, respect, authority. Is this real happiness? Or rather misunderstanding thereof?
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 01:18 pm
@Eudaimon,
Eudaimon;66048 wrote:
Morality, to have any significance, to be universal, must be the thing that may be adopted despite any coditions under which we are raised. What is that thing that makes us condemn those actions like child abuse? It seems to me that for cave men it wasn't so 'immoral'. As well as killing, rape etc...
In the case with selfishness we should define whether or not these things contribute to happiness. When one kills another, it is certainly, as well as everything we do, being done in order to attain a certain result, money, respect, authority. Is this real happiness? Or rather misunderstanding thereof?


But we are not cavemen, (OK maybe some of us are), I think child abuse is universally immoral,what about slavery as well?

You are right selfishness is a real root cause of immorality
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 01:36 pm
@xris,
xris;66031 wrote:
Its never that easy, the health of the individual or the tribe? One man sacrificed for the benefit of the tribe by pagan man ,is that morally correct? Its based on a well believed concept by those who enforce it , dont we have a say in morals ,cant we judge?are we aliens observing, aloof, not commenting?

We all judge, and we all have a say... We can ignore the morals of our community and then we are an outlaw... Or we can live more morally than our community, and then we are a philosopher, or a holy man...It is not better or safer to deviate from the morals of ones group one way or another... But we do have a say, and so do they... Everyone has to sacrifice to belong in any relationship, and that is always a part of self... It might be your fore skin, or your bad attitude, but if you do not leave some thing behind, then you do not want to belong there enough to be counted on...

---------- Post added at 03:46 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:36 PM ----------

Alan McDougall;66052 wrote:
But we are not cavemen, (OK maybe some of us are), I think child abuse is universally immoral,what about slavery as well?

You are right selfishness is a real root cause of immorality

What does thought have to do with morality??? If the community you wanted to belong to was a community of child abusers, then child abuse would be the most moral morality... I remember seeing some archeologist on the tube talking about excavating near stonehenge, and he commented on the vast number of human bones fragments, most of which were of children, and he said it must have been a very hard time for children... I suppose so, where one was subject to being gagged and bagged and carried off to be a human sacrifice... Consider that nursury rhime: Ride a co-ck horse, which is a discription of a human sacrifice at a traditional site, a road crossing, Banbury cross, where the girl would be wedded to a god and killed, acompanied by the sound of bells to keep evil spirits away... She will have music where ever she goes... She just won't go very far in life...

---------- Post added at 03:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:36 PM ----------

Eudaimon;66048 wrote:
Morality, to have any significance, to be universal, must be the thing that may be adopted despite any coditions under which we are raised. What is that thing that makes us condemn those actions like child abuse? It seems to me that for cave men it wasn't so 'immoral'. As well as killing, rape etc...
In the case with selfishness we should define whether or not these things contribute to happiness. When one kills another, it is certainly, as well as everything we do, being done in order to attain a certain result, money, respect, authority. Is this real happiness? Or rather misunderstanding thereof?

You know, though it is a discounted idea, some people presume that we as a society must punish our own evil people or suffer together the wrath of God...You heard this after 911, that we were being punished... The thing is that among primitives the idea of group responsibility concerning other groups, that their individual stood for the group, and that, if you could not catch a guilty party, then any would serve that purpose; this was transfered to christianity, so they really believed that they would be judged together in the here after, and they took confession together, and in public so others could point out ones shortcomings if they happened to forget...If you look at one of our most common type of comedy, the police show, it is a comedy because it is the reverse of a tragedy, which sees the crime from the perspective of that one driven out of the community... The comedy of crime sees crime from the community perspective, suggesting that we are healed from the illness of evil when we drive out our guilty...Unfortunately, law is such a failure at bringing about reconciliation that we hardly celebrate the exclusion of the guilty.... There is no catharsis; nor is there healing... Behind all, we know there is no justice, so there will be no peace, not with God, and not with each other...
Some people, and I trust that some is many, still accept tangible justification, that God rewards or punishes on this earth, and does not wait for death to judge people good or evil... So what is the taking of life to a moral person...It may be the most moral of acts... But the conduct of ones life to a moral person who accepts some kind of God is lived in the light of that belief...Morality is an investment in community...That does not mean people do not want a reward... Virtue is the sacrifice and the reward... Vice is a reward without sacrifice...
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 02:43 pm
@Alan McDougall,
In our world child molesting in any form is immoral, even outright evil. It is universally condemned by all moral people
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 03:06 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;66073 wrote:
In our world child molesting in any form is immoral, even outright evil. It is universally condemned by all moral people

Molesting them sexually is considered immoral; but if child abuse were illegal they would have to close all the schools and half the churches...A North American Indian told a pioneer once that they beat their horses, but not their children... We do not beat them, but abuse the crap out of them as the price of getting them to do anything productive...I figured with my kids, that they were pretty decent starting out, and always wondered why I had to ask them to become esswholes as the price of success in life... Some times the price of success is just too dear...
 
Eudaimon
 
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 09:24 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;66052 wrote:
But we are not cavemen, (OK maybe some of us are), I think child abuse is universally immoral,what about slavery as well?

I tend to discriminate 'moral' from 'disgusting'. Moral, as I conceive that, must be something universal, independent from our conditions, our upbringing. Thus, as cavemen, or some modern savages had such things as moral, whereas we don't, it is not universal morality, and thou canst never prove them that without showing how it makes them, those wicked, feel bad, makes them stupid, angry.
But I agree that child abuse is disgusting, killing is disgusting, rape is disgusting, meat-eating is disgusting. The point is, however, that neither I, nor any man can ever prove that to others. Just because our disgust is based on conditioning. Morality must be deeper than one's own "like's" or "like not's".
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 03:21 pm
@Eudaimon,
Can I draw my line



Moral (Altruism in all its forms)
"know what is good and bad, right and wrong and "do good and right things without hurting by others"
___________________________________________

Immoral (Abuse of others for selfish gain)


Definition = Altruism = Concern for for the welfare of others Selflessness

Definition = Abuse = Treat the innocent and helpless with violence and cruelty Selfishness

It is true that a group often defines what is ethical or not, but to me morality must come from within , endogenous, intrinsic and innate if you like.

I seek some sort of morality that is not set up by religion, government or philosophy, that was my purpose for starting this thread and you guys have really stepped up to the plate with great debating
 
salima
 
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 06:38 pm
@Eudaimon,
Eudaimon;66192 wrote:
I tend to discriminate 'moral' from 'disgusting'. Moral, as I conceive that, must be something universal, independent from our conditions, our upbringing. Thus, as cavemen, or some modern savages had such things as moral, whereas we don't, it is not universal morality, and thou canst never prove them that without showing how it makes them, those wicked, feel bad, makes them stupid, angry.
But I agree that child abuse is disgusting, killing is disgusting, rape is disgusting, meat-eating is disgusting. The point is, however, that neither I, nor any man can ever prove that to others. Just because our disgust is based on conditioning. Morality must be deeper than one's own "like's" or "like not's".


then i am thinking the best thing we can come up with is a sort of prime directive-something we could use as a sort of 'morality check' to determine in any given situation or at any time whether or not a thing is moral.

for instance, one of the things i use as a tool when i am having a dilemma about whether or not to do a particular thing is to ask myself (getting to the truth is the hard part of course) am i wanting to do this out of love or out of fear? and if i discover fear, i believe it to be ego-based. if i find love, i suspect my action would be soul-based.

this is only a simple tool. i would hope a rule could be stated. what if we try and use the 'golden rule'? would that ensure we are acting based on the best or highest moral standards?

i was going on the idea that everyone has to make his own moral decision as he goes along based on circumstances, including societal mores, etc at the same time remaining true to his own core beliefs-but i never could get the whole concept verbalized properly so that even i could understand it.

shame doesnt really help-i am ashamed of things i have done that other people would not consider immoral. not because of my up-bringing but because in my heart i feel they are immoral-anyway, today i do. and i suppose there are things i have done that other people would think i should be ashamed of and yet i am not. i feel shame or pride as a human being for some things even though i have not participated in them per se.

eudaimon, do you also feel that what causes shame can be described in universal terms? is it connected to what is moral or immoral? i am not clear on your post whether or not you believe it is possible to identify a universal moral concept...jeez, if it was possible you would think humanity would have come up with it by now...one that goes beyond all cultures, times, languages, politics, etc etc...
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 09:21 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;66246 wrote:
Can I draw my line



Moral (Altruism in all its forms)
"know what is good and bad, right and wrong and "do good and right things without hurting by others"
___________________________________________

Immoral (Abuse of others for selfish gain)


Definition = Altruism = Concern for for the welfare of others Selflessness

Definition = Abuse = Treat the innocent and helpless with violence and cruelty Selfishness

It is true that a group often defines what is ethical or not, but to me morality must come from within , endogenous, intrinsic and innate if you like.

I seek some sort of morality that is not set up by religion, government or philosophy, that was my purpose for starting this thread and you guys have really stepped up to the plate with great debating

I usually frame it negatively... Do no harm...You only are obligated to help your own people, and if you conceive of yourself as human then that is where your obligation ends...But normally that obligation ends a lot closer to home...Innate, again, comes trom natal, that is navel, our soul mother...
 
Eudaimon
 
Reply Wed 3 Jun, 2009 12:58 am
@salima,
Alan McDougall;66246 wrote:
Moral (Altruism in all its forms)
"know what is good and bad, right and wrong and "do good and right things without hurting by others"

Well, let me correct thee slightly. Good should be understood not as moral category, as an imperative because this always implies a law-giver whose influence on ethics we try to avoid; good simply means the thing which makes me feel good, nothing more. And this is what I understand by morality.
salima;66273 wrote:
for instance, one of the things i use as a tool ...
this is only a simple tool. i would hope a rule could be stated. what if we try and use the 'golden rule'? would that ensure we are acting based on the best or highest moral standards?
i was going on the idea that everyone has to make his own moral decision as he goes along based on circumstances, including societal mores, etc at the same time remaining true to his own core beliefs-but i never could get the whole concept verbalized properly so that even i could understand it.

shame doesnt really help-i am ashamed of things i have done that other people would not consider immoral. not because of my up-bringing but because in my heart i feel they are immoral-anyway, today i do. and i suppose there are things i have done that other people would think i should be ashamed of and yet i am not. i feel shame or pride as a human being for some things even though i have not participated in them per se.

eudaimon, do you also feel that what causes shame can be described in universal terms? is it connected to what is moral or immoral? i am not clear on your post whether or not you believe it is possible to identify a universal moral concept...jeez, if it was possible you would think humanity would have come up with it by now...one that goes beyond all cultures, times, languages, politics, etc etc...

Shame is based on conditioning and this is bad feeling, I should even say immoral, and we ought to try to root it out. If we could exlude our up-bringing, what would remain from shame? or pride?
Love has its value only since it is pleasant, fear or greed are unpleasant, therefore immoral. "Golden rule" does not work, why, indeed, one should for others. Because it is pleasant, without this undertanding it is useless and violent.
It seems to me that it is now the moment that we should eventually find the thing which is common for every human being, Christian, Muslim, Hindoo, American, Arab, richman, poor, criminal etc. this thing is desire for happiness, because even serial killer ultimately kills for the sake of happiness.
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Wed 3 Jun, 2009 01:34 am
@Alan McDougall,
There are many types of love friendly love, passionate love, enduring love, built in love for our kids and then there is the love where we continue to love our spouse or beloved ones "in spite of the things we dislike in them, the love of forgiving and forgetting, a love that costs you something and then there is active love, where we do not feel love but act on it by an act or acts of compassion

I wonder if Mother Teresa really loved the people she helped or was doing it as a duty to a higher being or cause? "Do unto others as you would have then do unto you" The do word makes me think of an act not based on love but based on selfishness.

Peace
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 3 Jun, 2009 05:22 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;66316 wrote:
There are many types of love friendly love, passionate love, enduring love, built in love for our kids and then there is the love where we continue to love our spouse or beloved ones "in spite of the things we dislike in them, the love of forgiving and forgetting, a love that costs you something and then there is active love, where we do not feel love but act on it by an act or acts of compassion

I wonder if Mother Teresa really loved the people she helped or was doing it as a duty to a higher being or cause? "Do unto others as you would have then do unto you" The do word makes me think of an act not based on love but based on selfishness.

Peace

I give a lot of clothes to the Native Americans, NAHA is the charity...I do not pretend to love those people...I don't know those people, and judging from other poor people, I would probably not love them if I knew them because we can too often explain poverty by personal choices, and so, blame the victim... I do know they are human beings, and that they feel as I feel, and if they are naked and cold no amount of good cheer or love will warm them....I can force my country to live up to its obligation to those people just by living up to my own obligation...The hard part is to quit, when my money runs out, and I see a good yard sale, or a Christmas retail sale, it is hard to limit it while I still have some money somewhere..Simply enough, I understand that we accept injustice, or stand against it...Injustice is faceless and nameless, and it seeks out the weak, the poor, and soft targets everywhere...The more injustice is allowed to feed the more it grows...
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Wed 3 Jun, 2009 06:07 am
@Fido,
Fido;66329 wrote:
I give a lot of clothes to the Native Americans, NAHA is the charity...I do not pretend to love those people...I don't know those people, and judging from other poor people, I would probably not love them if I knew them because we can too often explain poverty by personal choices, and so, blame the victim... I do know they are human beings, and that they feel as I feel, and if they are naked and cold no amount of good cheer or love will warm them....I can force my country to live up to its obligation to those people just by living up to my own obligation...The hard part is to quit, when my money runs out, and I see a good yard sale, or a Christmas retail sale, it is hard to limit it while I still have some money somewhere..Simply enough, I understand that we accept injustice, or stand against it...Injustice is faceless and nameless, and it seeks out the weak, the poor, and soft targets everywhere...The more injustice is allowed to feed the more it grows...


Fido you do not have to feel love you "DO LOVE" and by this act come under the divine law of giving and receiving

What you did/do is real love, not swishy oozy lovey dovey nonsense, good for you Smile

There are those people who would say at barbeque's, oh!! how we have abused these poor people, weep and do absolutely nothing to help in a positive way

Peace to you Fido
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 3 Jun, 2009 06:38 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;63511 wrote:
I am aware that there have been similar threads,

My question revolves around what is ethical and moral and what are the boundaries to them?

To a wife of an aboriginal , it is both moral and ethical to eat the brain of her dead husband to keep his essence within herself

To me killing a bird gives me a guilty conscience and I feel it as subjectively immoral (I have never killed a bird)

What I am aiming at here is not some ethical philosophy, but to find by debate if there is an innate ingrained universal morality, which no human will step over.

Is there a bar that no one will step over, or is it constantly being raised or lowered due to circumstances of the day?

These differencing in morals and perceptions of morals might account for most of the troubled history down the annals of human history and suffering


Many differences between moral beliefs depend on differences between non-moral beliefs. Consider your example about the wife who eats the brain of her husband to "keep his essence inside herself". She would not do that unless she had that belief. But that is not a belief about morality. It is a kind of metaphysical-religious belief. The difference between the wife's morality, and your morality seems to depend entirely on a non-moral belief about the world. Suppose I killed my wife by giving her poison because I thought (mistakenly) that the poison would cure her. Would you say that I believe it is all right to poison one's wife? Of course not. The same goes for the cannibilistic wife. The difference is not a moral difference but is a factual/metaphysical difference. What if she believed in modern science? You see what I mean?
 
Eudaimon
 
Reply Wed 3 Jun, 2009 10:17 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;66337 wrote:
Fido you do not have to feel love you "DO LOVE" and by this act come under the divine law of giving and receiving

What you did/do is real love, not swishy oozy lovey dovey nonsense, good for you Smile

Is it not possible to give others money, charity without love?
 
xris
 
Reply Wed 3 Jun, 2009 01:36 pm
@Eudaimon,
Eudaimon;66371 wrote:
Is it not possible to give others money, charity without love?
I think your right, i dont feel love when i pop a pound in a charity box..smug feel good feeling maybe..I can be stirred by feeling guilty at seeing the most needy, requiring my help.It eases my conscience so i can go and buy a nice steak for dinner.
 
 

 
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