Advising Morally
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03-12-2013, 06:16 PM
RE: Advising Morally
Hmm, I guess I just don't consider "deception" necessarilly immoral. You summed up how I feel about things pretty well though. I think the entire outcome needs to be taken into account when considering the best actions.

Did you listen to the TTA podcast on morality by any chance? He set up some horrible "moral choice" situations such as ...you are on a ship that sinks, so you and 30 other people smoosh onto a lifeboat. Underneath the lifeboat you see bloodthirsty sharks circling beneath you. The life boat starts to sink, and it (somehow) becomes apparent that 10 people need to get off the boat in order for the boat to stay afloat. However anybody that gets off the boat will SURELY be eaten by the sharks. The group (for some reason) looks to you as a leader to make the decision on what to do. What do you do?

You don't need to answer that (if you don't want), but the point is that morality is very situation specific. There are some situations where condeming others to death is the more moral decision. Objectively saying deception is not moral (which you may not have said, technically) doesn't work for me, when I see it as something that can be used to create the most positive outcome.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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03-12-2013, 08:13 PM
RE: Advising Morally
We get many teens asking this very question here. I try to advise them to use their 'closet time' as a time to prepare, get a job, save money, figure out where you are going to go and how to do it.

For many, getting away to college gives them the distance to feel safe about finally coming out of the closet. Sometimes having those hard conversations are easier when there is a 100 miles or more between you & your parents….especially in situations where it might get into a physical altercation.

Also, college provides that needed break to meet others that are different, and really for many get their first real taste of being on their own. It brings some clarity to their choices if there were any doubts.

Lastly, universities will have resources to help them if their parents cut them off.

So I don't encourage them to remain silent for the entire length of their studies, but for many, college is part of the escape plan, it gets them out from under their parents daily control and out of the war zone.

just my two cents.


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03-12-2013, 09:26 PM
RE: Advising Morally
(03-12-2013 08:13 PM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  We get many teens asking this very question here. I try to advise them to use their 'closet time' as a time to prepare, get a job, save money, figure out where you are going to go and how to do it.

For many, getting away to college gives them the distance to feel safe about finally coming out of the closet. Sometimes having those hard conversations are easier when there is a 100 miles or more between you & your parents….especially in situations where it might get into a physical altercation.

Also, college provides that needed break to meet others that are different, and really for many get their first real taste of being on their own. It brings some clarity to their choices if there were any doubts.

Lastly, universities will have resources to help them if their parents cut them off.

So I don't encourage them to remain silent for the entire length of their studies, but for many, college is part of the escape plan, it gets them out from under their parents daily control and out of the war zone.

just my two cents.

And it's a good two cents! I agree with the utility college provides for all of the reasons you outlined. Those situations where violence is a possible outcome would certainly alter the dynamics of the decision-making process. But in those cases where it is simply economics at stake I don't know that it rises to the level of justifiable intentional deceit.

Just my additional $.02 (on top of the other cents/sense I have donated Wink
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03-12-2013, 09:51 PM
RE: Advising Morally
(03-12-2013 06:16 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  Hmm, I guess I just don't consider "deception" necessarilly immoral. You summed up how I feel about things pretty well though. I think the entire outcome needs to be taken into account when considering the best actions.

Did you listen to the TTA podcast on morality by any chance? He set up some horrible "moral choice" situations such as ...you are on a ship that sinks, so you and 30 other people smoosh onto a lifeboat. Underneath the lifeboat you see bloodthirsty sharks circling beneath you. The life boat starts to sink, and it (somehow) becomes apparent that 10 people need to get off the boat in order for the boat to stay afloat. However anybody that gets off the boat will SURELY be eaten by the sharks. The group (for some reason) looks to you as a leader to make the decision on what to do. What do you do?

You don't need to answer that (if you don't want), but the point is that morality is very situation specific. There are some situations where condeming others to death is the more moral decision. Objectively saying deception is not moral (which you may not have said, technically) doesn't work for me, when I see it as something that can be used to create the most positive outcome.

I did listen to that podcast but I don't recall the specifics. I don't like your example, not because it is a bad example but because it is very good.
1) First I would ask for volunteers. But if people remain who need to be sacrificed I would make a decision based on two factors; age and likelihood of survival if saved.

2) Call me an age-ist if you like, but if people need to be ejected it would be the elderly first under theory that they have had more life experience and would be less likely to survive an extended stranding at sea (this would have to include myself if I were in the oldest ten.)

3) Modifying the age approach would be likelihood of survival after the immediate danger is mitigated. If, for example, there was a middle-aged person who was wounded (to the point where their survival is in doubt) then they would take the place of the youngest of the ten and so on. Children, in my opinion, are ineligible for tossing overboard (now waiting for the "you are in a boat with only children" scenario... Wink

4) I'd give them the option of being killed prior to being tossed overboard (no reason to be eaten alive while drowning if they don't want to go that way.)

5) If I survive it, I'd start saving for the inevitable therapy I would need.

To the objective morality of deception - I agree with you that deception can be as moral in a given situation. But the scope of the my concern is when there is no reasonable expectation of violence or imminent harm coming to the individual. In those scenarios there is still the option of being truthful or being deceptive and I see being truthful as the morally correct choice.
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03-12-2013, 11:25 PM
RE: Advising Morally
So consider flipping the script a bit, as it were.

Are you familiar with the clergy project?

http://www.clergyproject.org/

Same scenario, on most terms. Coming to a realization of atheism while deeply entrenched in a religious family atmosphere. This time, however, it's not only your own future you are responsible for, it is that of your family. The chance you take for being completely honest will most likely affect your ability to provide for not only your family's immediate needs, but also that of your children's future. This is beside the fact that you are risking being completely ostracized from your family if you come out.

In most of these cases (I'm a preacher's kid so I speak from experience), there's no way a preacher's wife would have the education, time, resources, to take care of a family on her own.

Even if there is no threat of physical harm, do you come clean right away and stop being deceptive? It's not just your life that you are responsible for here.

It's not your future that you need to be concerned with.

But I find that the complete transparency that you are asking us to agree with to be on the same playing field. Is it that easy? Is it that clear cut and dried? Do you treat the need for moral honesty the same in both situations?

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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05-12-2013, 11:15 AM
RE: Advising Morally
Don't advise Mormon-raised kids in this situation to attend BYU or other church schools. It could jeopardize their graduation if they choose to come out as athiest while still at school.
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05-12-2013, 01:24 PM
RE: Advising Morally
(03-12-2013 09:51 PM)joshChase Wrote:  
(03-12-2013 06:16 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  Hmm, I guess I just don't consider "deception" necessarilly immoral. You summed up how I feel about things pretty well though. I think the entire outcome needs to be taken into account when considering the best actions.

Did you listen to the TTA podcast on morality by any chance? He set up some horrible "moral choice" situations such as ...you are on a ship that sinks, so you and 30 other people smoosh onto a lifeboat. Underneath the lifeboat you see bloodthirsty sharks circling beneath you. The life boat starts to sink, and it (somehow) becomes apparent that 10 people need to get off the boat in order for the boat to stay afloat. However anybody that gets off the boat will SURELY be eaten by the sharks. The group (for some reason) looks to you as a leader to make the decision on what to do. What do you do?

You don't need to answer that (if you don't want), but the point is that morality is very situation specific. There are some situations where condeming others to death is the more moral decision. Objectively saying deception is not moral (which you may not have said, technically) doesn't work for me, when I see it as something that can be used to create the most positive outcome.

I did listen to that podcast but I don't recall the specifics. I don't like your example, not because it is a bad example but because it is very good.
1) First I would ask for volunteers. But if people remain who need to be sacrificed I would make a decision based on two factors; age and likelihood of survival if saved.

2) Call me an age-ist if you like, but if people need to be ejected it would be the elderly first under theory that they have had more life experience and would be less likely to survive an extended stranding at sea (this would have to include myself if I were in the oldest ten.)

3) Modifying the age approach would be likelihood of survival after the immediate danger is mitigated. If, for example, there was a middle-aged person who was wounded (to the point where their survival is in doubt) then they would take the place of the youngest of the ten and so on. Children, in my opinion, are ineligible for tossing overboard (now waiting for the "you are in a boat with only children" scenario... Wink

4) I'd give them the option of being killed prior to being tossed overboard (no reason to be eaten alive while drowning if they don't want to go that way.)

5) If I survive it, I'd start saving for the inevitable therapy I would need.

To the objective morality of deception - I agree with you that deception can be as moral in a given situation. But the scope of the my concern is when there is no reasonable expectation of violence or imminent harm coming to the individual. In those scenarios there is still the option of being truthful or being deceptive and I see being truthful as the morally correct choice.
I get what you are saying. I have probably said my position enough to where you get it, but I think kids are in such an important part of their life, that choosing to face discrimination and fallout from their parents by being honest is not the best choice if it jeapordizes their future. I always say they should review their own situation, consider their options, and make the decision themselves. but it's important for them to know what the decision to "come out" can mean..what it can lead to. And I think withholding that information is what leads to the best outcome much of the time.

Anyways, I liked your response to the boat question. I start with something similar.
Ask for volunteers and HOPE that that would resolve the issue.

However beyond that, different situations would give different needs for different people. For instance if this boat needed to rebuild civilization then kids would actually be the least valuable people (as unpopular an idea that is). The older people with more experience..and more to teach would have more to offer in a rebuilding effort. Similarly women of breeding age would be valuable in order to continue as a species. From a cold, emotionless sort of view, eliminating the men who did not have useful skills, or eliminating the women who couldn't breed and had no useful skills, or eliminating the children who are more of a burden then a resource (of course they provide happiness) might be the "best" route.

From an emotional point of view, in trying to offer a fair chance at living to all, going for the oldest might be the best (fairest) route. After all, they had their run, right?

*sigh* honestly I don't know what I would do though. I would almost want to die instead of having to make the decision. But then at the same time I also wouldn't..and I would just be thinking about how that would just put the burden on somebody else.

Let's hope we never find ourselves in those types of situations.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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13-12-2013, 09:59 PM
RE: Advising Morally
(03-12-2013 11:25 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  So consider flipping the script a bit, as it were.

Are you familiar with the clergy project?

http://www.clergyproject.org/

Same scenario, on most terms. Coming to a realization of atheism while deeply entrenched in a religious family atmosphere. This time, however, it's not only your own future you are responsible for, it is that of your family. The chance you take for being completely honest will most likely affect your ability to provide for not only your family's immediate needs, but also that of your children's future. This is beside the fact that you are risking being completely ostracized from your family if you come out.

In most of these cases (I'm a preacher's kid so I speak from experience), there's no way a preacher's wife would have the education, time, resources, to take care of a family on her own.

Even if there is no threat of physical harm, do you come clean right away and stop being deceptive? It's not just your life that you are responsible for here.

It's not your future that you need to be concerned with.

But I find that the complete transparency that you are asking us to agree with to be on the same playing field. Is it that easy? Is it that clear cut and dried? Do you treat the need for moral honesty the same in both situations?

It's good flip - in this scenario the effects of the choice to come out extend beyond the person having to make it. I am familiar with the clergy project and I am entirely sympathetic to their situation. That being said, however, I think it is incumbent upon the preacher (in this scenario) and his wife to start working on other life skills to remove themselves from the situation as soon as possible without forcing the family into destitution.

In my original scenario, though, the kid (neophyte adult) is only responsible for himself and to continue to deceive is causing others potential harm. For example, if the parents are both working two jobs to be able to send the kid to college then his deception directly relates to the quality of life and resource availability of his/her parents. As reprehensible as we may see them witholding that funding the kid would still be gaining for other's suffering. Consider also potential siblings who may be going without to fund the cryptoatheist's college education.

I like the angle you brought to this but they are distinctly different - your scenario puts the needs of the family as the justification for the deception. In my scenario the only beneficiary is the cryptoatheist and others may suffer for his/her decision.

Josh
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13-12-2013, 10:04 PM
RE: Advising Morally
(05-12-2013 01:24 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  I get what you are saying. I have probably said my position enough to where you get it, but I think kids are in such an important part of their life, that choosing to face discrimination and fallout from their parents by being honest is not the best choice if it jeapordizes their future. I always say they should review their own situation, consider their options, and make the decision themselves. but it's important for them to know what the decision to "come out" can mean..what it can lead to. And I think withholding that information is what leads to the best outcome much of the time.

Anyways, I liked your response to the boat question. I start with something similar.
Ask for volunteers and HOPE that that would resolve the issue.

However beyond that, different situations would give different needs for different people. For instance if this boat needed to rebuild civilization then kids would actually be the least valuable people (as unpopular an idea that is). The older people with more experience..and more to teach would have more to offer in a rebuilding effort. Similarly women of breeding age would be valuable in order to continue as a species. From a cold, emotionless sort of view, eliminating the men who did not have useful skills, or eliminating the women who couldn't breed and had no useful skills, or eliminating the children who are more of a burden then a resource (of course they provide happiness) might be the "best" route.

From an emotional point of view, in trying to offer a fair chance at living to all, going for the oldest might be the best (fairest) route. After all, they had their run, right?

*sigh* honestly I don't know what I would do though. I would almost want to die instead of having to make the decision. But then at the same time I also wouldn't..and I would just be thinking about how that would just put the burden on somebody else.

Let's hope we never find ourselves in those types of situations.

Let's hope we don't. Given the other circumstances your outlined (repopulation concerns, ability to recover from a survival skill viewpoint, etc.) I don't like the choices either but think you and I are thinking along the same lines.
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13-12-2013, 10:16 PM
RE: Advising Morally
(13-12-2013 09:59 PM)joshChase Wrote:  I think it is incumbent upon the preacher (in this scenario) and his wife to start working on other life skills to remove themselves from the situation as soon as possible without forcing the family into destitution......

I like the angle you brought to this but they are distinctly different - your scenario puts the needs of the family as the justification for the deception. In my scenario the only beneficiary is the cryptoatheist and others may suffer for his/her decision.

Josh

So you would say that it would be morally acceptable for the deception in the case of the preacher, but not for the child?

I guess what I took away from the OP was a sense that you felt that keeping the deception going, even in the face of loss, would be immoral. This would hold true for both situations, although I would agree the amount of initial loss is greater for one than the other.

But keep in mind that for the child, it's not only his/her own lives they are worried about, but also that of their parent. Any child who loves his parents and knows the loss and pain that may come of it (regardless of any supposed future financial support) would be hesitant to be the cause of such a situation. Especially if it can easily be avoided by keeping silent.

The preacher on the other hand, has his entire flock to worry about, let alone the potential repercussions for him and his family. They believe in his integrity and honesty as a man of faith to lead them spiritually.

Who would you say has the greater moral responsibility to come clean?

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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