The problem with debating morality

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kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2010 10:49 pm
@Yogi DMT,
Yogi DMT;148084 wrote:
It's my opinion YES, i stated that. Now if you want to know why i came to that conclusion either ask or please stop being a smartass.


Right. Now, have you any reasons for your view, and what are they?
 
Yogi DMT
 
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2010 10:57 pm
@Jebediah,
There we go, not that hard. A normal philosophical discussion not an exhausting argument on technicalities and stupid crap. I'll definitely answer that for you when i get a chance but i'm getting off for now, it's late and i'm getting tired.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2010 11:11 pm
@Jebediah,
Morality is an excellent thing to debate, and may be the most relevant debate topic. The problem, of course, is that people like absolutes and hate to admit they're short sighted or in error, thus, debates about morality suggest that there is some sort of defect in moral debates. But morality becomes an excellent conversation catalyst when the discussion becomes a sort of point-counterpoint-conclusion cycle in which various view points are presented.

What this means is that there is so much gray area in all things morality that a good discussion about morals helps narrow down conclusions that are compromises. Of course, it would be ideal if all moral discussions were like this, but unfortunately, they are not.
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 4 Apr, 2010 05:29 am
@PappasNick,
PappasNick;147976 wrote:
Can you say more about what this common element in their character might be? I can imagine it might be, for instance, concern for others. But then I can imagine it might be, for instance, something common only to all those of a certain nation or regime. I'd appreciate it if you, or anyone, can expand on this.


The common element has usually been a shared nationality, a nation... We find it easy to be moral among those closest to us, and so we try to instill into people the sense of humanity as a familily, to make international morality manifest, and yet, while we do that many look at the body politic as the horn of plenty where those who give not can take their fill...And I do not think there is a cure for people who have no feeling for humanity or family or nation... Some people are pathological, born without mercy, pity, or empathy... Some become killers and some become bankers and some become generals...

One thing is certain to me, that people learn morality before they learn anything consciously... It is a normal and natural extension of the relationship between mother and child...Bonding, and emotional attachment are behind morality, and reason is against it, for what is reasonable is reasonble to some one, from a single perspective, as moral behavior can never see things...The we is an axium of all moral behavior, and reason asserts the individual and denies the group...

---------- Post added 04-04-2010 at 07:36 AM ----------

Yogi DMT;147992 wrote:
IMO keeping your morality would be to respect others' life, liberty, and as much as i hate to say it, property. These are the most fundamental values that when violated becomes a moral discrepancy. Therefore any violation of these rights would be a violation of our fundamental moral code, anything else, could theoretically be argued.

Property was once essential to life, and so, people were once justified in killing others in defense of their property...To do so now is not justified...Property can be replaced, and society can make the victim whole, but no one can return life to the dead, and so there must be some good reason, something other to justify the death of a thief... And, people are removed from vast amounts of property daily in this country by fair means and foul, and those who remove them have the protection of law, so such laws do not protect property, but theft of a higher kind....

---------- Post added 04-04-2010 at 07:37 AM ----------

Theaetetus;148094 wrote:
Morality is an excellent thing to debate, and may be the most relevant debate topic. The problem, of course, is that people like absolutes and hate to admit they're short sighted or in error, thus, debates about morality suggest that there is some sort of defect in moral debates. But morality becomes an excellent conversation catalyst when the discussion becomes a sort of point-counterpoint-conclusion cycle in which various view points are presented.

What this means is that there is so much gray area in all things morality that a good discussion about morals helps narrow down conclusions that are compromises. Of course, it would be ideal if all moral discussions were like this, but unfortunately, they are not.

People do not like absolutes, but they like the idea of absolutes, and so they take perfectly good moral sentaments and make laws of them; and it is a mistake...
 
Khethil
 
Reply Sun 4 Apr, 2010 05:39 am
@Jebediah,
Agree with nearly all that's been said here (see below exception). I especially like the OP point that speaks to the danger of drawing conclusions based on abstractions that are inextricably tied to the circumstances (means, end, etc.)

I don't believe morality is exclusively contingent on emotional attachments. If there is anyway in which I can behave 'morally' towards someone with whom I've no emotional attachment, the argument falls apart.

Thanks
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 4 Apr, 2010 07:00 am
@Jebediah,
There is no one on this planet, and in a sense, no person past or future that you do not have a relationship with, so there is no point at which morality becomes meaningless... If I state the obvious, that we find it easy to be moral with those nearest and dearest to us that does not mean that some of us cannot abstract that morality to the human family as well... It is only that the notion is foreign to ethics as originally conceived...
 
PappasNick
 
Reply Sun 4 Apr, 2010 08:20 am
@Fido,
Fido;148161 wrote:
Bonding, and emotional attachment are behind morality, and reason is against it, for what is reasonable is reasonble to some one, from a single perspective, as moral behavior can never see things...The we is an axium of all moral behavior, and reason asserts the individual and denies the group...


I think there is something to what you say. But aren't certain sorts of rational ethics moral? One that comes to mind offhand is Objectivism.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 4 Apr, 2010 09:03 am
@Khethil,
Khethil;148166 wrote:
Agree with nearly all that's been said here (see below exception). I especially like the OP point that speaks to the danger of drawing conclusions based on abstractions that are inextricably tied to the circumstances (means, end, etc.)

I don't believe morality is exclusively contingent on emotional attachments. If there is anyway in which I can behave 'morally' towards someone with whom I've no emotional attachment, the argument falls apart.

Thanks


David Hume wrote, "Reason is, and ought to be, a slave to the passions". And what he meant was that when we go about making moral choices we can certainly reason about them: we can reason about what choices there are; and we can reason about what we will have to do in order to make the choice we make; and we can, of course, reason about what the consequences will probably be if we make this choice, or that choice; but, in the end, we have to make the choice, and the choice is finally made on passionate (emotional) grounds. So at the moment of choice, the reason is slave to the passions. And, it ought to be that way, for we are human beings, and not robots.
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 4 Apr, 2010 10:39 am
@PappasNick,
PappasNick;148201 wrote:
I think there is something to what you say. But aren't certain sorts of rational ethics moral? One that comes to mind offhand is Objectivism.

If it is moral for a mother to save her baby is it not also rational??? But which one follows from the other...It is not the logical that makes the moral, but the moral which makes the logical... It is nature and the behavior of nature which teaches what one can logically expect to occur... We teach nothing... It teaches us...We formulate laws of nature and govern no behavior but our own....Well, we are nature, and morals are the way human nature is expressed, and when it is expressed well the community of the morals survives, or at least would in most circumstances...Morals keep the man from becoming the enemy of mankind...And the healthy society can put up a reasonable defense, so they survive...Morals are accepted because they are good...It is rather reason which is turned to the support of immorality...Injustice is justified, but what is just is always moral, so immorality cannot be justified...Morals justify themselves... They are what people do out of a natural desire for justice and to be just...
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 4 Apr, 2010 11:58 am
@Fido,
Fido;148239 wrote:
If it is moral for a mother to save her baby is it not also rational???



Yes, and it is also, very emotional. Have you ever read William Styron's, Sophie's Choice (or seen the movie)? There is a moral and emotions decision for you. Sophie is forced to choose which of her two children should die. She makes a rational decision, but boy, is it emotional too!
 
classicchinadoll
 
Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2010 01:58 am
@Fido,
Fido;124751 wrote:
Let me see if I can clarify your problem. First, there is the definition, which is impossible to nail down because moral reality is full of infinites...

Second, Morality is based upon emotion, and emotional connectedness, first and foremost with ones family, and then with ones gentile group...For this reason, what is moral for one in relation to ones group, as morals as morals are a form of relationship, is not necessarily moral in regard to all other groups...

Third; the desire to rationalize morality is in search of a universal morality, but as the reference above to morality in relation to ones group suggests, morality has its milieu... If the milieu is destroyed as it was, in Rome, and Greece for example, then there is no culture or community to support morality, and the whole society feeds on itself until it caves in...The wise men know what is missing and they try to replace natural morality based upon natural relationships with a reasoned morality based upon a universal relationship...Ask: Can we have law without justice???Justice is moral, is it not; but the desire to control behavior without giving to each his due is common...

Fourth: There is no hypothetical morality, and people should not waste time finding one..If what is moral can never be clearly defined, then the same is true of the immoral... To rationalize morality requires a fixed form, and this is nonsense because the most moral people were primitives, and morality would never have served their purpose if it did not leave them essentially free in their own actions...As one English jurist said: There are no imaginary cases...Hypotheticals shine on a light on stupidity, and not on morality...Moral actions are the actions of moral people...That is what we should seek; but only consider how law works against communiites, and families which are the source of morality... There is no point in trying to rationalize morality which is naturally a result of emotional attachments, and is in most respects irrational...Morality is learned before all other knowledge, or not learned at all...Morality cannot be taught, nor rationalized...


Morality is an evolutionary trait in it's basic form. we as evolved beings have instigated moral codes to protect "our own" as we are evolutionarily bonded to our family and tribe, and I agree that we have one set of morals for our "own" and another for outsiders as we are tribal beings. yet sophisticated moral codes are based on education and indeed are rationalized. Take for example the moral code set forth in the old testament of the bible, it is no where near as human rights focused as is common in today's western society. Countries that base there legal system on religious law, such as Islamic countries are not as human rights focused, which is what one might expect if people adhere to ancient rules laid down by people who did not have the benefit of modern education.
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2010 04:24 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;148265 wrote:
Yes, and it is also, very emotional. Have you ever read William Styron's, Sophie's Choice (or seen the movie)? There is a moral and emotions decision for you. Sophie is forced to choose which of her two children should die. She makes a rational decision, but boy, is it emotional too!

Very often, our making of those choices is a form of cooperation in our own demise... If the people involved in the death camps had chosen death over cooperation they would have died, but the process would have had one more impediment... Think of how many were swallowed up in the death machine who first stuffed its maw with the lives of others...The thing would not have worked but for the desire of people to live being turned into the deaths of millions more... We should not blame the victims... In fact, we are all guilty, for what we allow we justify, and it is happening today, and around the world; and we should all be aware that while we are presented with no good choice, or no rational choice, or no political choice that we are still always presented with a choice... Every move we make is preceeded by a moral choice... It is always there...
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2010 05:42 am
@Fido,
Fido;148478 wrote:
Very often, our making of those choices is a form of cooperation in our own demise... If the people involved in the death camps had chosen death over cooperation they would have died, but the process would have had one more impediment... Think of how many were swallowed up in the death machine who first stuffed its maw with the lives of others...The thing would not have worked but for the desire of people to live being turned into the deaths of millions more... We should not blame the victims... In fact, we are all guilty, for what we allow we justify, and it is happening today, and around the world; and we should all be aware that while we are presented with no good choice, or no rational choice, or no political choice that we are still always presented with a choice... Every move we make is preceeded by a moral choice... It is always there...


What has that to do with the issue?
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2010 10:37 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;148500 wrote:
What has that to do with the issue?


You brought up Sophie's choice...It was a choice we all make... Who will live and who will die...

You know, most of us are not guilty... Few of us would take a step in the direction of conscious injustice toward another... By the nature of things, our forms like government and our economies, we all share in the guilt for the destruction of nature, the environment, resources and life...If we cannot say we are guilty, no one can justly claim innocence who would not advertize their ignorance...
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2010 02:54 pm
@Jebediah,
Following link should be read by anyone who wants to make a decision.

Clever fools: Why a high IQ doesn't mean you're smart - life - 02 November 2009 - New Scientist
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2010 05:19 pm
@Jebediah,
I don't need a link to tell me my IQ does not make me smart... It does what it does, helps in certain areas and hurts in others...

Making a dicision is only a part of the problem... If knowledge is virtue as Socrates said, then it is so in a way different from Socrate's meaning, in my estimation, and it is because we can only do right knowing the consequences of our actions to be good...And how many know enough to do, and yet every one does, as Oedipus, doing what we do not knowing what we do...It is that fact which moderated the guilt of Oedipus, for as Abalard said, without intent there is no crime...
 
TranscendHumanit
 
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2010 06:51 pm
@Jebediah,
Problem with a debate for morality is morality being human signaling and social control mechanism. Make no sense, like argue about what kind food is best.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2010 08:43 pm
@TranscendHumanit,
TranscendHumanit;153028 wrote:
Problem with a debate for morality is morality being human signaling and social control mechanism. Make no sense, like argue about what kind food is best.
There are many similarities in our understanding of moral through out the world, be it primitive tribes, to highly developed civs. Be it western, middle east, or asian.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2010 08:56 pm
@Jebediah,
Yes; morality is community, and where morals are strong, communites are strong...
 
TranscendHumanit
 
Reply Fri 16 Apr, 2010 09:07 pm
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;153055 wrote:
There are many similarities in our understanding of moral through out the world, be it primitive tribes, to highly developed civs. Be it western, middle east, or asian.


I think is reverse causation of what you are saying: constellation of norms some approximation of sort necessary for social integration, tort and property; also other of typical human personality and dominance. Thus many society have these. So what? Many people like taste of sugar. Not making sugar 'good'.

Every value individual value. If you have no worth for morality, morality worthless.
 
 

 
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