Disoriented ex Catholic - how to make moral decisions?
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19-09-2016, 01:24 PM
Disoriented ex Catholic - how to make moral decisions?
Okay. So since figuring out I've been basing my entire worldview on something that doesn't exist for my entire life, there have been some roadblocks. Obviously.

Without some sort of trump-all source of your rules and regulations(this is ok because God says so, this is bad because God says so), how do you make morality-type decisions? If I was to say, for example, "I think rape is morally unacceptable", a typical theist would ask me what basis I have for that declaration. "Why is rape wrong? What makes it so?" And if I was to answer, say, "It causes suffering to our fellow humans", they would continue to answer, "Why is it wrong to cause suffering?" And on and on.

Also, what about religious freedom? I know this is a difficult issue and I don't expect everyone on this page to agree, but what gives me the right to say a religious person's view that same-sex marriage should be illegal is incorrect and should not be allowed to rule the country? My personal opinion is that there is no good reason to deny marriage to someone because of their sexual orientation, but their personal opinion is that there is a good reason. Who gets to decide and why?

Ugh. So much deprogramming to do. I know there's a good answer here! Consider

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19-09-2016, 01:52 PM
RE: Disoriented ex Catholic - how to make moral decisions?
(19-09-2016 01:24 PM)ErinRH2342 Wrote:  Okay. So since figuring out I've been basing my entire worldview on something that doesn't exist for my entire life, there have been some roadblocks. Obviously.

Without some sort of trump-all source of your rules and regulations(this is ok because God says so, this is bad because God says so), how do you make morality-type decisions? If I was to say, for example, "I think rape is morally unacceptable", a typical theist would ask me what basis I have for that declaration. "Why is rape wrong? What makes it so?" And if I was to answer, say, "It causes suffering to our fellow humans", they would continue to answer, "Why is it wrong to cause suffering?" And on and on.




Also, what about religious freedom? I know this is a difficult issue and I don't expect everyone on this page to agree, but what gives me the right to say a religious person's view that same-sex marriage should be illegal is incorrect and should not be allowed to rule the country? My personal opinion is that there is no good reason to deny marriage to someone because of their sexual orientation, but their personal opinion is that there is a good reason. Who gets to decide and why?

Ugh. So much deprogramming to do. I know there's a good answer here! Consider


The response should be that rape is wrong because it doesn't feel good to you. You feel sick thinking of innocent people being hurt, and that why you believe it's wrong. That allowing someone to be raped, will cause you to feel distressed, making it hard for you to live with yourself. That it illicit's such a strong emotional displeasure, that you would go out of your way to insure rapist are punished, and that such acts do not occur.

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19-09-2016, 02:00 PM
RE: Disoriented ex Catholic - how to make moral decisions?
(19-09-2016 01:24 PM)ErinRH2342 Wrote:  Okay. So since figuring out I've been basing my entire worldview on something that doesn't exist for my entire life, there have been some roadblocks. Obviously.

Without some sort of trump-all source of your rules and regulations(this is ok because God says so, this is bad because God says so), how do you make morality-type decisions? If I was to say, for example, "I think rape is morally unacceptable", a typical theist would ask me what basis I have for that declaration. "Why is rape wrong? What makes it so?" And if I was to answer, say, "It causes suffering to our fellow humans", they would continue to answer, "Why is it wrong to cause suffering?" And on and on.

If somebody needs a justification for not wanting to cause suffering ask them how much suffering you can impose on them before they object. The "golden rule", in various forms, predates Christianity because it is a pretty self-evident guide for anybody who lives in a cooperative society and doesn't want to be an outcast.

Quote:Also, what about religious freedom? I know this is a difficult issue and I don't expect everyone on this page to agree, but what gives me the right to say a religious person's view that same-sex marriage should be illegal is incorrect and should not be allowed to rule the country? My personal opinion is that there is no good reason to deny marriage to someone because of their sexual orientation, but their personal opinion is that there is a good reason. Who gets to decide and why?

The question is what harm same-sex marriage does to others. If anybody does not approve of same-sex marriage then they have a perfect right to not participate in one. They can even say that they think it is wrong and refuse to attend weddings or send anniversary cards or recognize it in any personal way. What they don't have the right to do is prevent others from doing something that has no meaningful negative effect on them. Being offended is not grounds for banning something.

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19-09-2016, 02:54 PM
RE: Disoriented ex Catholic - how to make moral decisions?
Quote:Also, what about religious freedom?


Believe what you want but do your fucking job. You don't get to use your bullshit religion as a club to bash someone over the head with.

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19-09-2016, 03:15 PM
RE: Disoriented ex Catholic - how to make moral decisions?
(19-09-2016 01:24 PM)ErinRH2342 Wrote:  Without some sort of trump-all source of your rules and regulations(this is ok because God says so, this is bad because God says so), how do you make morality-type decisions? If I was to say, for example, "I think rape is morally unacceptable", a typical theist would ask me what basis I have for that declaration. "Why is rape wrong? What makes it so?" And if I was to answer, say, "It causes suffering to our fellow humans", they would continue to answer, "Why is it wrong to cause suffering?" And on and on.
It is not wrong to cause suffering Smile It is also not right. There is no absolute. If someone is threatening you and you kick them in the knee-cap that's causing them suffering, but justifiably so. Right and wrong are OK words to use so long as one remembers that there's no absolute moral framework and they refer simply either to our personal views or those of the society in which we live.

Theists like the world to be black and white and clear-cut, but it just doesn't work that way. Even they, who claim to base their morality on God, are in face basing it on what they *think* God wants, and the numerous sects of every major religion should be indication enough that they cannot agree even among themselves as to precisely what God(s) does/do want. So they're no better off than you, just more deluded Smile

Raping someone causes harm to them, and typically we as a society punish such acts. It may be emotion based to punish because we find it repugnant, but again, it's at least honest to admit that that is why we punish it. IMO all crimes such as rape and murder, the purpose of legal punishment should be to protect society from the criminal, and if possible to rehabilitate the criminal. I think one of the most genius pieces of legal work in recent times was the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, even if it's violated quite often.

Quote:Also, what about religious freedom? I know this is a difficult issue and I don't expect everyone on this page to agree, but what gives me the right to say a religious person's view that same-sex marriage should be illegal is incorrect and should not be allowed to rule the country? My personal opinion is that there is no good reason to deny marriage to someone because of their sexual orientation, but their personal opinion is that there is a good reason. Who gets to decide and why?
We decide as a society, and it takes time. One thing you need to realise is that your opinion is *at least as valid* as anyone elses, which means if they're shouting about it, you also have a right to be heard and to hold a contrary view to theirs. Also the nice thing about arguing against a religious viewpoint is that it's guaranteed to be a load of crap, which makes the argument a bit one-sided Tongue

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19-09-2016, 04:24 PM
RE: Disoriented ex Catholic - how to make moral decisions?
(19-09-2016 01:24 PM)ErinRH2342 Wrote:  there have been some roadblocks
Fair, enough. Your mind has been shaped and moulded by your spiritual advisors, so much so that it is difficult to untangle this as each little understanding relies upon other little understandings. If you focus on just one bit at a time then it doesn't make sense because it then conflicts with the other understandings related to it.

(19-09-2016 01:24 PM)ErinRH2342 Wrote:  "Why is rape wrong? What makes it so?" And if I was to answer, say, "It causes suffering to our fellow humans", they would continue to answer, "Why is it wrong to cause suffering?" And on and on.
This is philosophy. You seem to want to be philosophically correct. Which is fine.
I think first though, you need to redefine what is meant by "good". Before you test your definition out with these various questions.
Some people define good by a set of values that have meaning to themselves.
"Maximise happiness and minimise suffering" might be a common one.
If someone asks, "well why would you want to do that?". You could respond with, "This makes me happy". If they ask why, you could say "because you have empathy and it makes you feel sad when you see suffering on others".
If they ask, why you feel sad, you could say, "I don't know why, all I know is that I feel sad".

That could be your position. Perhaps it is, perhaps it is not. IDK. There is no right and wrong answer. All there is, is your understanding and interpretation of the world. You do get to decide your path.

You could perhaps say that you don't know how to come by a definitive set of rights and wrongs that apply to everyone. But you can make your own decisions on how you will behave, based on your own values, and beliefs and emotions and situation.
They might argue that you are being selfish.
I understand that you may have been taught that selfishness is a bad thing. But perhaps it isn't bad. Perhaps it is fine to mind your own business and behave in a way that makes you happy and benefits your future.

So why don't you steal? Perhaps you don't want to end up in jail, perhaps you want others to trust you. Perhaps you want to live in a society where we don't have to constantly guard our stuff so you are doing your part to promote that society.
Why do you want rape outlawed? Perhaps you want a society that is safe for you and your loved ones.

I think if you remove the word "good" as being the purpose or outcome then you can instead focus on what is real and important. On why we might have laws, on why you might behave in a certain way.

Anyway, just my 2 cents.
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19-09-2016, 05:08 PM
RE: Disoriented ex Catholic - how to make moral decisions?
Morality? Just follow your empathy.

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19-09-2016, 05:14 PM
RE: Disoriented ex Catholic - how to make moral decisions?
Quote:This is philosophy. You seem to want to be philosophically correct. Which is fine.

Ha. Raised by a philosophy teacher here. I don't even realize when that happens half the time.

Good answers here, thank you. One major thing I keep running into over and over is getting used to the fact that I don't have some objective standard to answer to. It's almost an instinct when I'm not sure about something to just go "Someone please tell me what to do" and wait patiently for the answer to be spoon fed to me and then accepted uncritically. It's weird I actually get to make up my own mind, if that makes sense.

I just realized a major place where I was getting mixed up was in thinking laws and society are some higher agenda that individuals have to subscribe to. I mean, I know that, but I keep trying to function as if I didn't. Society IS individuals, all working toward what makes them happy. Weird as it sounds I hadn't really thought of it that way before.

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19-09-2016, 05:42 PM
RE: Disoriented ex Catholic - how to make moral decisions?
(19-09-2016 01:24 PM)ErinRH2342 Wrote:  Okay. So since figuring out I've been basing my entire worldview on something that doesn't exist for my entire life, there have been some roadblocks. Obviously.

Without some sort of trump-all source of your rules and regulations(this is ok because God says so, this is bad because God says so), how do you make morality-type decisions? If I was to say, for example, "I think rape is morally unacceptable", a typical theist would ask me what basis I have for that declaration. "Why is rape wrong? What makes it so?" And if I was to answer, say, "It causes suffering to our fellow humans", they would continue to answer, "Why is it wrong to cause suffering?" And on and on.

Also, what about religious freedom? I know this is a difficult issue and I don't expect everyone on this page to agree, but what gives me the right to say a religious person's view that same-sex marriage should be illegal is incorrect and should not be allowed to rule the country? My personal opinion is that there is no good reason to deny marriage to someone because of their sexual orientation, but their personal opinion is that there is a good reason. Who gets to decide and why?

Ugh. So much deprogramming to do. I know there's a good answer here! Consider

If your action harms an innocent it is very likely not a good thing to do. That's pretty much it.

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19-09-2016, 05:49 PM
RE: Disoriented ex Catholic - how to make moral decisions?
See the difference is this:
Religious child learns: Don't do/say x because God... Do/say y because God....
Secular child learns: Think before you do something and learn from your mistakes.

What I used to teach the kids in kindergarten/preschool was this: "Look now he is crying, why is that?" or "Look now he is laughing, why is that?"
It is just important to keep that big fat "WHY" as a default in your brain.

As others said already, there is no absolute for almost anything.
Stealing for example. Generally it is being frowned upon.
But how about a child living on the street, no money, no parents, no one takes care of it, that kid goes and steals an apple because it is hungry.
But in contrast:
If I walk up to a homeless person and steal his blanket, that is very nasty thing to do.
Everything is a matter of perspective and also specific to the circumstances.

Morally, I don't care about anything honestly. Moral is superficial. But I do have a sense of honour and a well working set of ethics.
General rule of thumb: If you don't want a certain thing happening to you, don't do it to others. Therefore, if you don't want to be raped > don't rape anybody, if you don't want to be killed > don't kill anybody, if you don't want scratches in your card, don't scratch someone's car... makes sense?

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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