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
I sense here a confusion between two concepts: cultural mores
; and morality
What practices certain tribal customs dictate - the mores - will not help us much to arrive at a good answer to your quest. What will?
A concern with character; with the role reason plays in Ethics; with the role sentiment and passion plays in our motivation to live our Ethics... those concerns will indeed help you find an answer. We need to study moral growth and development, as Piaget and Lawrence Kohlberg have.
We need to find a frame-of-reference, a pardigm, a model-of-models that will order and explain - and, when time is added as a variable, hopefully predict - the data of Ethics. It should spring from an axiom (a synthetic a priori
concept - one that is part empirical and part theoretical, and has within it the seeds of an entire discipline of thought); have formulas; and have variables so as to cover a wide range of data. What is the data of Ethics? They include cases of altruism, of conscience-being-one's-guide, of how individuals become more serene, more joyful, more at peace with themselves - in other words, studies in self-improvement (which includes self-knowledge.) The Oracle at Delphi told Socrates: KNOW YOURSELF.
Once we do that, we come to know our heritage and thus our interdependence with other organisms, other life forms, other people. We get acquainted with Social Ethics. We become aware that "What helps you helps me ...if it really helps you." We become aware that morality
consists in Being true to our own true self
and that, at the core, we are all connected
. My interest is your interest, and vice versa. We need to cooperate, to share, to - as Fido would say - love one another.
When we are doing that we are seeing each other as treasures of value, and thus worthy of a minimum (or more) of respect. As R. S. Hartman would state it, academically, we are to Intrinsically value each other. When we view others - as well as ourselves - from that perspective, we are in the field of Ethics. That is what defines the boundaries of this area of study. [By this definition, Ethics arises when we look at persons from the perspective of Intrinsic Value.] So everything we know about value, and espectially about that specific kind of value, becomes true of ethics. Value theory serves as the meta-language for ethics. And everything then falls into place. We have the boundaries and limits for which you were seeking.
And I hope this has been responsive to your concern, and serves to partially answer the question you pose in that original post.
p.s. To get more details about this new (yet very old) paradigm, and to see how the term "morality" relates to the other terms of Ethics, take a look at these two documents, the second being a popularization of the first. The "college course" is more difficult reading and is designed for philosophers. The second link is more written for the 'person in the street', the layman.
To find ETHICS- A Colleg Course, use this link: http://tinyurl.com/2mj5b3
You will find the paper entitled LIVING THE GOOD LIFE here::
Happy reading !