Morality



  • How does everyone view morality? There will always be a wide variety of moral positions, whether or not you belief there is one ultimate moral position, which is absolutely objectively correct, and any other positions are wrong.
    But how does everyone personally view it? I believe that morality is a relative thing, which is based on the sum of all influences in our life (nature, nurture, experience, culture, religions, society, etc.) The existence of seemingly universal (its wrong to assume that every society does so) moral values regarding murder, does nothing other than provide evidence to support the nature influence. What i mean by this is that every creature has a self-preservation instinct. So naturally, nobody wants to be murdered. when people form a society, the moral structure of the society they form will be a pluralistice compromise among all the members, a forced compliance by a coercive authority (such as a dictator), or a combination of the two (caste system). to safeguard their own life, and fulfill their self-preservation instinct, most societies generally agree on some kind of standard prohibiting murder (usually qualified in some way, such as exceptions for war, self-defense, etc.) and there are always the possibilities of “illegitimate loopholes” (killing slaves is “ok” because they arent people). so moral standards on a group level are based on practical considerations, and also empathy (people imagine themselves suffering the way others are, realize they wouldnt like it, and so want to prevent it), not from some objective standard which determines morality. and i believe individual morals are just that: individual, unique to a person based on the sum of their life. there may be agreement with the group moral standard, or with other individuals on many issues, but ultimately, people have their own positions, and adapt to a society that fits them the best.

    i can elaborate on any point if you ask, ive been writing papers about this all semester. but this is just my view. how does everyone else feel?



  • Well, I’m a constructivist.  The trick for me is linking moral behavior in subjective reality (i.e. society) to objective reality (things largely uninfluenced by human activity).  I suppose at base that means I’m a relativist, in that I think morality is a socially created phenomenon, but at the same time, I think limits have to be drawn somewhere, and those limits depend in great measure upon what is objectively possible and effective.  But then, I’m not utilitarian either, as part of what is subjectively valuable includes intangibles like human consciousness which cannot be converted into “utils” but are also important.

    Incidentally, and not to turn this into a debate about this topic, but I don’t think morality is influenced that heavily by “nature,” by which a lot of people mean evolution and genes.  The actual testing and scientific argumentation done in sociobiology is fairly weak, and often methodologically flawed.  Notice also that group preservation, as advocated by Ridley, is not necessarily compatible with a prohibition against murder.  Also, there is a big debate in sociobiological circles (and more widely) about whether homosexuality is genetic, and therefore, this is a form of genetic suicide.  But not quite (it’ll take me a lot longer to explain).  Anyway, I can at least superficially agree with your points, Janus, about how people come together and recognize the need to stop killing each other.  But here my constructivism comes out.  That’s a historical question for me, not a moral one.  How did people really come together?  We may never know.  But I don’t know if it’s necessary to know in order to create a moral system.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I despise “moral relativism” in the most strongest terms possible… it leads to so many complications  and contends that opposing moral positions have no truth value, and that there is no preferred standard of reference by which to judge them. The consequence of this holds no meaning apart from the observers point of view on a given day. Further is renders science open to subjective evaluations and Denys its validity. It portends to solve disharmony, but leads to further erosion of a basic framework or foundation of knowledge.



  • and contends that opposing moral positions have no truth value, and that there is no preferred standard of reference by which to judge them.

    simplistic interpretation. there is no “objective truth value”. we can argue about whether truth can be subjective or not, but the fact remains that the statement “murder is wrong” has no objective truth value, but it has subjective truth value (from the relativist perspective that is). for preferred standard of reference, thats just wrong. there are always moral standards to judge actions against, you must simply realize that the standard has no inherent truth value. any truth value is instilled by people.

    Further is renders science open to subjective evaluations and Denys its validity. It portends to solve disharmony, but leads to further erosion of a basic framework or foundation of knowledge.

    how?


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Quote
    and contends that opposing moral positions have no truth value, and that there is no preferred standard of reference by which to judge them.
    simplistic interpretation. there is no “objective truth value”. we can argue about whether truth can be subjective or not, but the fact remains that the statement “murder is wrong” has no objective truth value, but it has subjective truth value (from the relativist perspective that is). for preferred standard of reference, thats just wrong. there are always moral standards to judge actions against, you must simply realize that the standard has no inherent truth value. any truth value is instilled by people.

    Quote
    Further is renders science open to subjective evaluations and Denys its validity. It portends to solve disharmony, but leads to further erosion of a basic framework or foundation of knowledge.

    how?

    The first part depends on your interpretation of this problem since Hume, Heidegger,Sarte and countless others have addressed this problem it all depends on the orientation. Hume i believed in his “A Treatise of Human Nature” that introduces an old idea of Utilitarianism as his contribution to provide “the greatest good to the most possible” and therein lies his one solution but fails IMO to be anything more than open the interpretation of what is “good” to be entirely subjective.
        Sarte the worst provocateur of “Atheistic existentialism” contends:
    “If man as the existentialist sees him is not definable, it is because to begin with he is nothing. He will not be anything until later, and then he will be what he makes of himself. Thus, there is no human nature, because there is no God to have a conception of it. Man simply is. Not that he is simply what he conceives himself to be, but he is what he wills, and as he conceives himself after already existing – as he wills to be after that leap towards existence. Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself. That is the first principle of existentialism”
      So as a consequence we have a world devoid of value, no real foundation of knowledge as everything is our impression of it.

    Of the many concepts of this problem only Ayn Rand had any real grasp of the truth IMO with the idea of “objectivism”

    1. "Reality exists as an objective absolute—facts are facts, independent of man’s feelings, wishes, hopes or fears.
      Reason (the faculty which identifies and integrates the material provided by man’s senses) is man’s only means of perceiving reality, his only source of knowledge, his only guide to action, and his basic means of survival. "

    2)" Man—every man—is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life."

    1. “The ideal political-economic system is laissez-faire capitalism. It is a system where men deal with one another, not as victims and executioners, nor as masters and slaves, but as traders, by free, voluntary exchange to mutual benefit. It is a system where no man may obtain any values from others by resorting to physical force, and no man may initiate the use of physical force against others. The government acts only as a policeman that protects man’s rights; it uses physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use, such as criminals or foreign invaders. In a system of full capitalism, there should be (but, historically, has not yet been) a complete separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church.”

    This is a profound interpretation of the problem, while is does not subjucate interpretation and your “feeling” about something as the prima facia “truth” of it.

    The second part of your comments:

    Because this foundation is built on “cardboard” so people are actually allowed to think the world is flat and that the stork drops off babies and we never landed on the moon. This psycopathic pandoras box of ideas that can flow from its consequences denegrate mans “heroic” approaches to greater glory under Rands philosophy. It works perfectly if you were Sarte however. Please dont ask why this is THIS is so… you have to read their books.



  • well first, you are coming from a position of assuming moral relativism is a problem. second, you can make appeals to authority all you want, but the fact of the matter is, no one’s opinion on the matter, including that of a respected philosopher or great thinker, is any more valid than anyone else’s on this subject. i have my position, of moral relativism, others have a position of moral absolutism. it may turn out that they are right, we may all discover in the end that there is a god, and his morals are absolute and objective. but until then, no one’s opinion is any more valid than any one else’s, because this is not an empirical subject.

    so, i appreciate your position on the subject, but we have opposing value stances, and im sure neither of us will be dissuaded.



  • i treat morality like i treat religion. it is something that should not be forced on you, someone should not be able to tell you whats right and wrong, we(except for a few) know the difference between right and wrong. for me personally i do what i feel is right. i have a clear conscience, and this is with out talking to and begging for forgiveness from that ancient parental figure “GOD”. I also feel that their is a place for people with no morals to be, and that place is known as France. :roll:



  • it is something that should not be forced on you, someone should not be able to tell you whats right and wrong,

    yes, that is moral relativism

    for me personally i do what i feel is right. i have a clear conscience, and this is with out talking to and begging for forgiveness from that ancient parental figure “GOD”.

    moral relativism

    I also feel that their is a place for people with no morals to be, and that place is known as France.

    ignorant. and also, everyone has morals. there are people who have very different morals from you, but they still have there morals.

    we(except for a few) know the difference between right and wrong.

    and then this is moral absolutism (right and wrong objectively exist). so you dont really seem to know what you believe



  • All morals are relative. Without a framework there is no right or wrong after all. For instance, I believe slavery is a terrible sin. I know however that it was a normal and accepted practise in history. For me to judge people out of context and declare anyone that ever owned a slave as evil would be short sighted. America would not exist IMO, without the contribution of some prominent slave owners for instance.

    Now the interesting question is what should we do about immorality? Which side would you have been on in the civil war for instance? Would you have been willing to die for the rights of other men?  If Jen is around we can revive the ancient argument about the causes of the civil war. 🙂 Would you have fought for civil rights in the 50’s and 60’s? Moral absolutes are few and far between now. We have become a confused people. Who are the good guys? Who are the bad guys? The United States is desperate for a hero. A good guy to follow. We are grasping at straws. We want at our core to be good. To fight evil. Sadly, evil is not as easy to spot anymore. Evil wears a suit. Evil tells us it’s on our side. Evil says what we want to hear. In the end, whats more evil? The man that twists us into evil or us for carrying out evil? For not seeing truth. I suppose it’s just who we are. History both ancient and current affairs are full of decent people committing horrible acts for scum bags. Anyway, of course morals are relative.


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