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Moral Relativism

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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2008
    MrMister wrote: »
    I was talking to the "morality is a social adaptation" crowd. They seemed to be endorsing the proposition that "the good is what is socially useful."

    That implies that if there's no "socially useful" there's no "good."

    I am the "morality is a social adaptation" crowd, and if I seem to be endorsing any proposition that is structured even remotely like that you might want to clean your contacts. And you've got three people, so you have a society, so you can still have socially useful if you want to. And it certainly doesn't imply that other nonsense either. "Good" can only exist in a mind. If there is no mind, there is no "good".

    ViolentChemistry on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2008
    MrMister wrote: »
    And I don't think social contract theory is what would keep a pair of islanders in line. But neither do I think social contract theory is what keeps most people in line in any society. Social contract theory explains why it's in our best interest to act morally, not why we actually act morally.

    I agree that this is an important distinction, and hold that it is one which has been entirely ignored by Qingu et all.

    Actually it does explain why we actually act "morally", as it explains why morality still exists as a phenomenon. Basically, it's still useful. At least parts of it. And lots of the other parts are dying off over time, like the point of how it's immoral for a man to love a man as he ought a woman. Though even that part is slow in dying because it's still useful to many religious societies as a rallying-point.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2008
    Yar wrote: »
    These scenarios are a lot easier to answer (and morality actually makes sense) if you accept that morality has certain axioms, axioms which are best expressed as: suffering = bad; joy = good.

    Having been exposed to many forms of morality, I can conclusively say that those axioms don't hold as universal. And honestly I wouldn't hold them to be universal either, as far as I've seen some suffering is good, some joy is bad, some joy leads to or is born of suffering and some suffering leads to or is born of joy.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    darthmixdarthmix Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    MrMister wrote: »
    darthmix wrote: »
    What ElJeffe says is true, too. I was just trying to point out something else, which is that these desert island scenarios are kind of cheating. They rely for their effect on our socially derived moral inhibitions, which have quite properly educated us of the dangers of ever condoning rape or murder.

    Why have we been educated against condoning rape and murder in and of themselves, rather than merely educated against condoning rape and murder in our own societies? It's of no consequence to us and our society whether the men on the desert island are cruel to each other, so why do we have a strong response against it?

    The first reason is that moral rules have to be as simple and unambiguous as possible in order for them to serve their purpose; if they're too complicated people don't internalize them, and if people don't internalize them they don't work. Drawing the kind of societal boundaries around the rape prohibition as you're suggesting would serve no particular purpose other than to make the rule sloppier and harder to understand; all of this would serve to dilute its force, so that it's utility would be diminished. The second reason is that, increasingly over the last few hundred years, we've begun to regard oursleves as members of a global society, rather than a set of discrete societies. The whole of the world is more and more part of our social existence, so that going to another country and raping and murdering now rubs sharply against our moral sense - much more than it might have, say, five hundred years ago.
    MrMister wrote: »
    Honestly, do you think that the only reason a strong person on a desert island has to be kind to his weaker colleague is because of some quid pro quo? Do you think that altruism for the sake of the other person, not yourself is irrational? Because that conclusion seems obviously wrong to me.
    How about this: the reason a strong person on a desert island has to be kind to his weaker colleague is because you or I may someday be the weaker colleague on a desert island. We encourage these values precisely for the sense of security and social connectedness they provide, not just in case of eventualities like the desert island scenario - though, indeed, there too - but also right now. Knowing that we demand kindness and humanity of people in extreme circumstances renews my investment in the moral compact of my culture when we're not under extreme circumstances. If I went around believing you'd eat me if our culture fell apart, I'd probably have trouble engaging in culture with you to begin with.

    darthmix on
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    Gravity and PunishmentGravity and Punishment Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    Qingu wrote: »
    Edit: one way it could change is if we ever do meet aliens. Then morals about human-alien marriage will certainly evolve, and the ones that promote the most stable and profitable social arrangements will win out in the end, just like with vertebrate legs.



    my point is that people have morals about circumstances that may or may not ever happen.

    So tell me why you derided me for lumping God into this category.

    Gravity and Punishment on
    "I assure you, your distaste only reveals your ignorance."
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    DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I wish reality would cease to exist. Oblivion is better than this morality crap.

    Sure, sure, call me a nihilist all you want. Whatever.

    Drez on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Roaming the streets, waving his mod gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
    edited November 2008
    MrMister wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Acting to sate one's conscious is perfectly rational.

    Are you veering into psychological egoism? Because that would make me a sad panda. The reason I act to help others is because I value helping others, and as a side effect because I value it doing it makes me happy. I do not act to help others because I value being happy and helping others is the requisite means to that end.

    Veering? Dude, I fucking live there. It is my hood, if you will, and my crib is decked out in the bling-bling of evolutionary hedonism.

    ...

    Okay, not really. I do think that psychological egoism explains a lot, but I don't think it's a silver bullet.

    ElJeffe on
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    darthmixdarthmix Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    I wish reality would cease to exist.
    Be careful what you wish for.

    darthmix on
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    DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    darthmix wrote: »
    Drez wrote: »
    I wish reality would cease to exist.
    Be careful what you wish for.
    Wishes are children. :whistle:

    Drez on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    darthmix wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Who the fuck is this "we."

    Everyone, taken generally. You and me and society.

    You me and Bin Ladin and Mao and Genghis Khan and Michael Jackson?

    "Not me," you'll say. Okay, want to take the darthmix challenge? Here it is: see if you can identify a moral rule that you think is true and has value, but which does not present the society with any social benefit. Think of a behavior that you feel is immoral, but that if widely practiced would not lead to broad social harm. If morality is really disconnected from the well-being of the larger culture it shouldn't be too hard.

    I don't believe in morals. I'm an ethical egoist and a nihilist. To me, the notion of morals is present because most people lack the personal strength or empathy to be non-assholes without a code. Hence why I support people becoming humanists even though I would never count myself as one.

    So this would be the wrong test.

    Incenjucar on
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    zakkielzakkiel Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    darthmix wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Who the fuck is this "we."

    Everyone, taken generally. You and me and society.

    You me and Bin Ladin and Mao and Genghis Khan and Michael Jackson?

    "Not me," you'll say. Okay, want to take the darthmix challenge? Here it is: see if you can identify a moral rule that you think is true and has value, but which does not present the society with any social benefit. Think of a behavior that you feel is immoral, but that if widely practiced would not lead to broad social harm. If morality is really disconnected from the well-being of the larger culture it shouldn't be too hard.

    I don't believe in morals. I'm an ethical egoist and a nihilist. To me, the notion of morals is present because most people lack the personal strength or empathy to be non-assholes without a code. Hence why I support people becoming humanists even though I would never count myself as one.

    So this would be the wrong test.

    That doesn't make sense. For a start, empathy is a precondition for genuinely moral behavior. Your outlook boils down to, "The common sot is deeply deficient and so must make do with the convenient falsehoods I prescribe for him. I myself, however, am a far superior being, capable of accepting The Truth." Not exactly convincing stuff.

    zakkiel on
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    MorninglordMorninglord I'm tired of being Batman, so today I'll be Owl.Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Social Intuitionist Theory specifically goes against the idea of rationality being the basis of ethical behavior.

    Rational judgements are a reaction to moral judgements and formed after, according to the theory. They've since tested the theory and have been able to successfully apply it in situations where the old rationality models have failed.

    So, you guys really do need to be treating rationality arguments as bunk, or at least suspect, in terms of causal influences on moral judgements, because they're not supported by what we, as human beings, actually do.

    Oki doki?

    (Oh and they found evidence of intuistic ethical behavior in animals)

    Morninglord on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2008
    Social Intuitionist Theory specifically goes against the idea of rationality being the basis of morality.

    Rational judgements are a reaction to moral judgements and formed after, according to the theory. They've since tested the theory and have been able to successfully apply it in situations where the old rationality models have failed.

    So, you guys really do need to be treating rationality arguments as bunk, because they're not supported by what we, as human beings, actually do.

    Oki doki?

    (Oh and they found evidence of intuistic ethical behavior in animals)

    Most people don't really choose their morality, but natural selection of a sort dictates which moral-rules have the greatest staying-power with the passage of generations.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    MorninglordMorninglord I'm tired of being Batman, so today I'll be Owl.Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Social Intuitionist Theory specifically goes against the idea of rationality being the basis of morality.

    Rational judgements are a reaction to moral judgements and formed after, according to the theory. They've since tested the theory and have been able to successfully apply it in situations where the old rationality models have failed.

    So, you guys really do need to be treating rationality arguments as bunk, because they're not supported by what we, as human beings, actually do.

    Oki doki?

    (Oh and they found evidence of intuistic ethical behavior in animals)

    Most people don't really choose their morality, but natural selection of a sort dictates which moral-rules have the greatest staying-power with the passage of generations.

    I have no comment.

    If it works like every other automatic cognition it could be affected prior and post moral judgement so that the rationality of why they "made that choice" changes.

    Morninglord on
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    Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008


    Yeah, so. Way to miss the mark entirely. It's cool though, we can have two different discussions going on here if you want. Just don't expect to understand what I'm saying, or for me to care what you're saying.

    don't worry about me, i actually majored in understanding rambling anti-religious rants. but as for the not careing... congratulations on plugging your ears and going la la la.... i think there are a group of people that believe the earth is 6000 years old who do the same thing.
    And sorry, but yeah, your belief/disbelief in "God" or any analogous concept does have a bearing on your morality. The very concept of morality is inextricably bound to these supposed universal maxims of human behavior, which, back in the day, were supposedly handed down to us from on high. For many people, even today, there is no discussion of morals without a discussion of God.

    so while god doesnt have any place in any real world discussions, you cant discuss morals without god?

    you somehow think that your reason for having a moral value or for making a moral decision has some bearing on the outcome of that decision. as if you can make a bad judgement because you had eggs this morning and eggs give you gas sometimes... so since you made a bad choice in eating eggs, you will somehow follow that bad choice up with deciding to pull down your pants and take a crap in the subway. your moral choices, while following a pattern, aren't bad because a previous judgement was bad.

    regardless of what "many people" do, discussions on moral values are only tied to god when you start throwing around inflamatory statements like "god gave us morals and anyone who doesnt follow them is a sinner" or "believing in god makes you immoral"
    I'm not saying belief in God is any indication of a "good" or "bad" person. I'm saying that basing all of your actions in "faith" is irresponsible.

    You want examples? Islamic fundamentalism, pogroms, and Joel Osteen.

    Don't argue my point by telling me I don't know shit. It makes you look like an ass.

    well then you are in luck, because noone bases all of their actions on faith. maybe you were talking about some obscure line on the ground where you go from being responsible to "irresponsible" based on the reasons behind your action?

    to cut down on the time it takes for me to prove you wrong, heres an example. in your definition mother teresa would be irresponsible because of all the decisions she made to help people based on faith. the same with any other religious person who has ever helped anyone.... they were all irresponsible. morality is about consideration for other people, not about wether or not your reasoning is based on your mom training you to become a cristian poster child.
    Edit: Furthermore, I wasn't even talking about religion for the sake of it. I was saying that it's silly to talk of absolute morals because they're a foregone idea, like a geocentric universe or a luminiferous ether. And yeah, "redneck christians" suck and there really isn't a way around it. Bigotry and exclusivity aren't "immoral" (since that's what this is all about), they're just unnecessary and retarded.

    you think they are foregone, that does not make them so.... in fact that IS what the thread is about. moral relevatism vs moral absolutism.

    Dunadan019 on
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    YarYar Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Having been exposed to many forms of morality, I can conclusively say that those axioms don't hold as universal. And honestly I wouldn't hold them to be universal either, as far as I've seen some suffering is good, some joy is bad, some joy leads to or is born of suffering and some suffering leads to or is born of joy.
    You're purposefully being shallow about it. Obviously joy that comes from suffering is joy and vice versa. You stub your toe and then find $100 as you bend down to rub it - I'd say it was a good day.

    And no, you cannot conclusively say that those axioms aren't universal, because they are.

    Yar on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2008
    Yar wrote: »
    Having been exposed to many forms of morality, I can conclusively say that those axioms don't hold as universal. And honestly I wouldn't hold them to be universal either, as far as I've seen some suffering is good, some joy is bad, some joy leads to or is born of suffering and some suffering leads to or is born of joy.
    You're purposefully being shallow about it. Obviously joy that comes from suffering is joy and vice versa. You stub your toe and then find $100 as you bend down to rub it - I'd say it was a good day.

    And no, you cannot conclusively say that those axioms aren't universal, because they are.

    So I need all of one example, yeah? "Allowing gay-marriage is wrong."

    ViolentChemistry on
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    Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Incenjucar wrote: »

    I don't believe in morals. I'm an ethical egoist and a nihilist. To me, the notion of morals is present because most people lack the personal strength or empathy to be non-assholes without a code. Hence why I support people becoming humanists even though I would never count myself as one.

    So this would be the wrong test.

    saying that you don't believe in morals strikes me as chopping off your legs to prove that you can move without them or deciding to not believe in the concept of 0. i mean, you can do it but i think it hampers your efforts to describe something that actually does exist.

    unless you are talking about absolute morals?

    Dunadan019 on
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    darthmixdarthmix Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I'm reading up on social intuitionism after seeing it mentioned in Morninglord's posts and am finding it quite fascinating.

    darthmix on
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    ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2008
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    to cut down on the time it takes for me to prove you wrong, heres an example. in your definition mother teresa would be irresponsible because of all the decisions she made to help people based on faith. the same with any other religious person who has ever helped anyone.... they were all irresponsible. morality is about consideration for other people, not about wether or not your reasoning is based on your mom training you to become a cristian poster child.

    Ooh, bad example. There are some recent accounts suggesting that, while she felt she was doing God's work, she was kind of a dick.

    Scalfin on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2008
    Scalfin wrote: »
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    to cut down on the time it takes for me to prove you wrong, heres an example. in your definition mother teresa would be irresponsible because of all the decisions she made to help people based on faith. the same with any other religious person who has ever helped anyone.... they were all irresponsible. morality is about consideration for other people, not about wether or not your reasoning is based on your mom training you to become a cristian poster child.

    Ooh, bad example. There are some recent accounts suggesting that, while she felt she was doing God's work, she was kind of a dick.

    Yeah she actually was. She would often withhold aid based on her faith.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    MorninglordMorninglord I'm tired of being Batman, so today I'll be Owl.Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    darthmix wrote: »
    I'm reading up on social intuitionism after seeing it mentioned in Morninglord's posts and am finding it quite fascinating.

    It would mesh well with the problem solving and decision making literature as well.

    I can see applying Post Event Information (example: participants shown a car crash video: asked questions with different wordings (smash vs hit) and the "smash" condition was more likely to report broken glass. there was no glass in the video. there's other examples)

    I'd love to see if it's possible to fuck with how people form their moral rationalisations.


    And yes post event information and other examples of this type of effect does mean that testimonials, including witnesses, and personal opinion, are completely, utterly, worthless.

    It's just what do you do, throw out the whole current legal system? So for the most part lawyers ignore that literature otherwise the world gets scary.

    Morninglord on
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    Gravity and PunishmentGravity and Punishment Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    First off, if you actually did major in anything (anti-religious rants are a major now?), you certainly don't write like it.

    Second, you've successfully missed the point again. Good job. But let's try again, just for shits and giggles.

    You seem to believe that "morals" are an actual thing, rather than a contrivance based on human circumstance and intelligence. Furthermore, you seem to think that any attempt to deny the existence of morals is silly. Let me tell you why you're contradicting every supposed "point" you made against me by saying this:

    1. The belief in morals as absolutes can be best described as archaic--the very Western conception of "morality" is ethnocentric in many regards, and many facets of it can be traced back to Judeo-Christian religion. Morals are nothing more than concepts floating on the air--they are anything but concrete, whether adhering in an individual or in a given society. They are no more a thing than your "soul."

    2. Your second example doesn't make much sense. At all. People adhere to what they think is right--this is generally in accordance with their given faith of choice. So yeah, the reason people adhere to principles has a lot of bearing on the choices they make with regards to those principles--I'm much more likely to resist impulse if I believe I'm going to burn in eternal hellfire for giving in to it.

    3. We're not talking about all actions, we're talking about moral actions. Meaning actions you make in supposed accordance with your "morals."

    4. I'm arguing a counterpoint to a point I never made. Your examples are elementary, your grammar sucks, and I'm not much inclined to listen to anything you have to say.

    This is all, of course, ignoring my first point: morals have no basis in anything but imagination. They are not corporeal, they are not "existent" in any way. I don't even think there's much of a reason to argue this--it's pretty self-evident given our current conception of the universe.

    Stop trolling the thread and dropping dumbass examples. Read the arguments you're countering or don't bother. I'll shit in your local subway whenever I damn well please.

    Edit: let me elaborate on our current "conception of the universe." Humans are a relatively new addition to the equation. Furthermore, human intelligence as it is currently conceived is even younger than our species--it's really only as old as the more complex tribes we've formed. Within these tribes, we formed concepts to embody our practices of proper food distribution, threat control, societal preservation, and so forth. Many of these practices extend back to some of our closer primate and monkey relatives, but the fact remains that humans are the only species known to have any "free" will over these practices. Thus, with choice, "morals" calcified to appear as something palpable within us. In reality, we're only making biological choices degrees of complexity "above" those of animals.

    Thus, morals are a contrivance. Sorry for asserting that without backing it up before.

    Gravity and Punishment on
    "I assure you, your distaste only reveals your ignorance."
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    YarYar Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    This is all, of course, ignoring my first point: morals have no basis in anything but imagination. They are not corporeal, they are not "existent" in any way. I don't even think there's much of a reason to argue this--it's pretty self-evident given our current conception of the universe.
    Such is all also true of mathematics. Yet I'd hazard a guess that you have a concept of the number 2 as a thing much like I do the morality of killing someone.

    In other words, not just imagination, but some practical imagination and a whole lot of reason.

    Yar on
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    MorninglordMorninglord I'm tired of being Batman, so today I'll be Owl.Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Yar wrote: »
    This is all, of course, ignoring my first point: morals have no basis in anything but imagination. They are not corporeal, they are not "existent" in any way. I don't even think there's much of a reason to argue this--it's pretty self-evident given our current conception of the universe.
    Such is all also true of mathematics. Yet I'd hazard a guess that you have a concept of the number 2 as a thing much like I do the morality of killing someone.

    In other words, not just imagination, but some practical imagination and a whole lot of reason.

    Uh.

    All of that is constructed.

    Look I think what you are saying is "Yes it's all in the imagination but it's applicable to the real world."

    Right?

    You are just confusing terms.

    Morninglord on
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    YarYar Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    So I need all of one example, yeah? "Allowing gay-marriage is wrong."
    Because it tears asunder the sanctity of gender pairing, an element crucial to the bonds that hold civilized society together, and goes against the bible, the only source of true happiness. It's the principle of the matter, and principles are far superior at ensuring a contented existence as opposed to giving into our fanciful whims and desires of boy-love.

    Don't confuse me for thinking a poorly-reasoned (or barely reasoned) morality is equivalent. Or even that a moral decision is normally made by reasoning it down to its atomic elements of suffering and joy. That's exactly not what I'm saying.

    Yar on
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    Gravity and PunishmentGravity and Punishment Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Yar wrote: »
    This is all, of course, ignoring my first point: morals have no basis in anything but imagination. They are not corporeal, they are not "existent" in any way. I don't even think there's much of a reason to argue this--it's pretty self-evident given our current conception of the universe.
    Such is all also true of mathematics. Yet I'd hazard a guess that you have a concept of the number 2 as a thing much like I do the morality of killing someone.

    In other words, not just imagination, but some practical imagination and a whole lot of reason.

    Uh.

    All of that is constructed.

    Look I think what you are saying is "Yes it's all in the imagination but it's applicable to the real world."

    Right?

    You are just confusing terms.

    Yes, but only in the correct context.

    Gravity and Punishment on
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    YarYar Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Uh.

    All of that is constructed.

    Look I think what you are saying is "Yes it's all in the imagination but it's applicable to the real world."

    Right?

    You are just confusing terms.
    What I'm saying is that the modern notion of morals as absolutes is not the superstitious/supernatural notion.

    Yar on
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    Gravity and PunishmentGravity and Punishment Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Yar wrote: »
    Uh.

    All of that is constructed.

    Look I think what you are saying is "Yes it's all in the imagination but it's applicable to the real world."

    Right?

    You are just confusing terms.
    What I'm saying is that the modern notion of morals as absolutes is not the superstitious/supernatural notion.

    I see. Still, though, I'm inclined to believe that it's firmly rooted in the superstitious/supernatural notion. The most I can concede is that, given the human context (emotions, joy/happiness, pain/sadness) there are actions that are biologically and socially beneficial, and there are those actions that are detrimental. Those actions that are detrimental can be said to be "immoral" if you like, but for me, that's really as far as it goes.

    In other words: morals are a derivative of context.

    Gravity and Punishment on
    "I assure you, your distaste only reveals your ignorance."
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    zakkiel wrote: »
    That doesn't make sense. For a start, empathy is a precondition for genuinely moral behavior. Your outlook boils down to, "The common sot is deeply deficient and so must make do with the convenient falsehoods I prescribe for him. I myself, however, am a far superior being, capable of accepting The Truth." Not exactly convincing stuff.

    Behavior requires no such thing. INTENT, perhaps. Other people believe in pixies and angels and can't comprehend that you can keep from being a dick without the threat of Hell. I just go an extra step, and luckily I just happen to not be a dick thanks to a great deal of empathy on my part, and various things learned through my childhood that have led me to consider others long enough to develop that empathy.

    But I wouldn't automatically trust the same development to come from someone who can't comprehend Morality without Jesus. You can have Ethical Behavior without Moral Truth, but a lot of people are simply too damaged by their upbringing for it to be worth the effort, or so it appears to me.

    --

    Dunadan: I do not believe that morality is anything more than an honorary title given to certain social rules and ideals produced by individuals and societies through personal experience, decision, emotion, and sometimes right out of their ass. I do not believe there is some Platonic Ideal-like truth to them. And, frankly, your little speech is the same shit I hear from born-agains.

    Incenjucar on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Yar wrote: »
    What I'm saying is that the modern notion of morals as absolutes is not the superstitious/supernatural notion.

    Unfortunately, because so many people are still superstitious, I don't think this is a blanket statement you can safely make.

    Incenjucar on
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    MorninglordMorninglord I'm tired of being Batman, so today I'll be Owl.Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Yar wrote: »
    Uh.

    All of that is constructed.

    Look I think what you are saying is "Yes it's all in the imagination but it's applicable to the real world."

    Right?

    You are just confusing terms.
    What I'm saying is that the modern notion of morals as absolutes is not the superstitious/supernatural notion.

    I see. Still, though, I'm inclined to believe that it's firmly rooted in the superstitious/supernatural notion. The most I can concede is that, given the human context (emotions, joy/happiness, pain/sadness) there are actions that are biologically and socially beneficial, and there are those actions that are detrimental. Those actions that are detrimental can be said to be "immoral" if you like, but for me, that's really as far as it goes.

    In other words: morals are a derivative of context.

    There is a notion of morals as occuring naturally as a result of self interest/interaction with a society.

    Since all humans interact with a society as they grow up all humans would develop a similar core of morals with a different societal slant. And presumably all humans are self interested to begin with.

    The trick is people look at a series of complicated interactions happening individually and reify the process.

    Like Wind. People say the wind is blowing hard today!

    No, the forces that are acting on the air particles happened to result in enough velocity on those particles to transfer that velocity onto you/your washing/your houses roof. This process, called wind, is a process, not a thing. But our language uses it as a thing.

    People do it with everything, it's ridiculous that morality/ethics are allowed to get away with this sort of lazy thinking.

    Morninglord on
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) (WiiU: Morninglord22) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
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    Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Dunadan: I do not believe that morality is anything more than an honorary title given to certain social rules and ideals produced by individuals and societies through personal experience, decision, emotion, and sometimes right out of their ass. I do not believe there is some Platonic Ideal-like truth to them. And, frankly, your little speech is the same shit I hear from born-agains.

    which speach? cause i love being compared to 'born-agains'... it makes me all fuzzy inside.

    you should have been more clear, when someone says 'i dont believe in x' it implies that they don't believe in the existence of x not that they dont believe in the absolute nature of x. yeah i don't think that there is some absolute meter of values or that you can ever hold the wrong value in the eyes of the universe (society is different) however what i mean by values (and you by morals) is fundamentally different from the process of moral decisions which can be either good or bad by its nature (whether as seen by society or as an absolute is just splitting hairs)

    to make another bad example,

    morals/values are data points

    morality is a program that uses those data points and others to return a decision.

    your program can be well written or poorly written. not just based on the speed of the return or the validity of the output on some (nonexistant) cosmic scale, but based on the types of inputs that are used in the calculation. if you base your decision on the outcome it has on other things besides yourself (heck it doesnt even have to be alive) it gains points for being a morally good decision which starts to level out the more things you consider regardless of the actual outcome.

    in other (religious) words (again)

    the road to hell may be paved with good intentions but the road to heaven is paved with good intentions for the well being of others.

    Dunadan019 on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Morals are "this is right and this is wrong."

    I don't believe in right and wrong. I believe that other people believe in it.

    I function off of a dynamic system of personal values and desires - dynamic in that the power of any one value can change from minute to minute. Those values just happen to include the happiness of others, as I get an emotional high off of it. This is how other people function as well; those who believe in morals simply have following those rules, whether they think them god-given or simply universal truths, as part of their value scheme, generally because they feel they need to justify their behavior.

    Incenjucar on
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    Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Morals are "this is right and this is wrong."

    I don't believe in right and wrong. I believe that other people believe in it.

    I function off of a dynamic system of personal values and desires - dynamic in that the power of any one value can change from minute to minute. Those values just happen to include the happiness of others, as I get an emotional high off of it. This is how other people function as well; those who believe in morals simply have following those rules, whether they think them god-given or simply universal truths, as part of their value scheme, generally because they feel they need to justify their behavior.

    so what you are saying is that anyone who believes that their values are absolute and unchangeable is wrong?

    i don't think there are a great number of people who believe that their morals have never changed and cannot change. there is a group of people who have a set of morals that haven't changed for a long time, and they are usually old.

    i don't think having your views on a subject change is anything special or uncommon.

    Dunadan019 on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    so what you are saying is that anyone who believes that their values are absolute and unchangeable is wrong?

    People change, you see. See: Mood Swings.

    i don't think there are a great number of people who believe that their morals have never changed and cannot change. there is a group of people who have a set of morals that haven't changed for a long time, and they are usually old.

    i don't think having your views on a subject change is anything special or uncommon.

    It isn't. Like I said, everyone does what I do, they just apply a moral system to their values for external validation.

    Incenjucar on
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    Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    so what you are saying is that anyone who believes that their values are absolute and unchangeable is wrong?

    People change, you see. See: Mood Swings.

    i don't think there are a great number of people who believe that their morals have never changed and cannot change. there is a group of people who have a set of morals that haven't changed for a long time, and they are usually old.

    i don't think having your views on a subject change is anything special or uncommon.

    It isn't. Like I said, everyone does what I do, they just apply a moral system to their values for external validation.

    so your point?

    it seems all you are saying is that there is no absolute right to measure the validity of your actual values against....

    which i agree with.

    Dunadan019 on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Roaming the streets, waving his mod gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
    edited November 2008
    Social Intuitionist Theory specifically goes against the idea of rationality being the basis of ethical behavior.

    Rational judgements are a reaction to moral judgements and formed after, according to the theory. They've since tested the theory and have been able to successfully apply it in situations where the old rationality models have failed.

    So, you guys really do need to be treating rationality arguments as bunk, or at least suspect, in terms of causal influences on moral judgements, because they're not supported by what we, as human beings, actually do.

    Oki doki?

    (Oh and they found evidence of intuistic ethical behavior in animals)

    Doesn't this just imply that the moral reasoning happens before hand? You, based on your upbringing or whatnot, and according to whatever thought you've given to the matter up until now, react to situation X by doing Y. Your reaction is instinctual. You rationalize it after the fact by saying, "I did Y because of blah blah yadda." That doesn't mean that you behaved completely at random and wanted to justify it after the fact; it means that you've ingrained your personal moral system to the point where you act on it automatically based on prior musings. The rational judgment still occurred, it just occurred before the act in question.

    ElJeffe on
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    darthmixdarthmix Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    That's sort of what I'm thinking as well. Last night I plowed through most of this essay (links to a word file) by Jonathan Haidt, who appears to be the big name in social intuitionism. It focuses mainly on how moral judgments occur in the moment, according to a basic set of four or five intuitions from which moral positions are formed. Whatever engine produced those intuitions, it seems to me they can certainly be purposeful; I'm not sure if that means they're necessarily rational or arrived at through reason.

    EDIT: html link, courtesy of google

    darthmix on
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    MikeManMikeMan Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »

    Doesn't this just imply that the moral reasoning happens before hand? You, based on your upbringing or whatnot, and according to whatever thought you've given to the matter up until now, react to situation X by doing Y. Your reaction is instinctual. You rationalize it after the fact by saying, "I did Y because of blah blah yadda." That doesn't mean that you behaved completely at random and wanted to justify it after the fact; it means that you've ingrained your personal moral system to the point where you act on it automatically based on prior musings. The rational judgment still occurred, it just occurred before the act in question.
    At which point did a rational judgment occur, though?

    MikeMan on
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