Governance excluding morality
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11-12-2013, 12:48 PM
Governance excluding morality
Let's say a new government form.
They make a broadcast and state that it is too hard to know the difference between right and wrong so they will just let people decide for themselves.
Instead they will enforce laws only for the purpose of stable and sustainable society.
Thus murder and theft are still illegal, but prostitution, abortion, gay marriage, polygamy, incest are now legal.

Over time you find for the most part that society is similar to before. Except that prostitution houses are more prominent and people aren't afraid of talking about or inquiring about where to find the prostitution houses. A few hotels offer prostitution services as well.

You hear about the rare circumstance where brother and sister marry, or where some woman has many, many abortions, including late term abortions.

You make a complaint to the police and they tell you there is nothing they can do, that it isn't against the law.
You go to you local politician and they tell you that their hands are tied, that the prime minister/president remains firm that they will not enforce morality.

You find that Churches have become invigorated, attendance is up and church people are more frequently seen door knocking or preaching on the street, trying to sell their brand of morality.

As an Atheist, what do you do? Do you form a secular moral club, pool funds together and take to the street selling your brand of morality? Within your club do you debate aspects of morality? Does this society give you more moral purpose? An incentive to become more actively involved in the affairs of society.

Or

Do you become motivated to overthrow government and put your own morality into law and force it on people?
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11-12-2013, 03:04 PM
Lightbulb RE: Governance excluding morality
Note on incest:

Incest is a form of sex slavery. You have people growing from infancy in a household where their very health and safety and development are dependent on those immediately around them. Whether you actively raise them to be sex partners, or only subconsciously insist on them being sex partners, it's coercion and duress.

B-but what if we were separated at birth and only found each other in our 20s?
Sure, fine, there are exceptions. Go be weird together.
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11-12-2013, 03:34 PM
RE: Governance excluding morality
(11-12-2013 12:48 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Let's say a new government form.
They make a broadcast and state that it is too hard to know the difference between right and wrong so they will just let people decide for themselves.
Instead they will enforce laws only for the purpose of stable and sustainable society.
Thus murder and theft are still illegal, but prostitution, abortion, gay marriage, polygamy, incest are now legal.

Over time you find for the most part that society is similar to before. Except that prostitution houses are more prominent and people aren't afraid of talking about or inquiring about where to find the prostitution houses. A few hotels offer prostitution services as well.

You hear about the rare circumstance where brother and sister marry, or where some woman has many, many abortions, including late term abortions.

You make a complaint to the police and they tell you there is nothing they can do, that it isn't against the law.
You go to you local politician and they tell you that their hands are tied, that the prime minister/president remains firm that they will not enforce morality.

You find that Churches have become invigorated, attendance is up and church people are more frequently seen door knocking or preaching on the street, trying to sell their brand of morality.

As an Atheist, what do you do? Do you form a secular moral club, pool funds together and take to the street selling your brand of morality? Within your club do you debate aspects of morality? Does this society give you more moral purpose? An incentive to become more actively involved in the affairs of society.

Or

Do you become motivated to overthrow government and put your own morality into law and force it on people?

The last line is the only thing I will address, the rest of it is mental masturbation.

Revolutions are caused by abuse of power, and everything ultimately amounts to resources. Those revolutions can shift to a more open society or a more closed society, nether focus on the totality of evolution, they are simply the "morality of the victor" which has plagued humanity with "the virtue of the oppressed" which allows once the oppressed to become the oppressor.

No atheists should NOT form a moral code because we are NOT a separate species from believers. We are just as diverse in our political views and classes and economic views.

The mistake humans make in trying to "set up" a better system is to assume that "one size fits all". Our morality is evolutionary and has nothing to do with labels.

Our species has always had the same range of behavior in our ability to have empathy and our ability to be cruel.

The only thing I'd claim is a better tool is too look at nature and human psychology grounded in the reality that there is no such thing as a utopia. The only thing atheists have in common is a lack of belief in a God or gods.

As far as revolutions, any group that is getting crush to the point of not wanting to tolerate will take that chance if they can, however, the outcome is not determined as to whether that new power will be any more or less oppressive than the one it got out from under.

Poetry by Brian37(poems by an atheist) Also on Facebook as BrianJames Rational Poet and Twitter Brianrrs37
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11-12-2013, 11:58 PM
RE: Governance excluding morality
(11-12-2013 03:04 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  Incest is a form of sex slavery. You have people growing from infancy in a household where their very health and safety and development are dependent on those immediately around them. Whether you actively raise them to be sex partners, or only subconsciously insist on them being sex partners, it's coercion and duress.
So, let's say that incest is a form of sex slavery and that government isn't doing anything about it, because it isn't making society unstable.
Do you do anything about it?
What can you do?
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12-12-2013, 12:10 AM
RE: Governance excluding morality
(11-12-2013 03:34 PM)Brian37 Wrote:  No atheists should NOT form a moral code because we are NOT a separate species from believers. We are just as diverse in our political views and classes and economic views.
Is there anything that you think is immoral but will not cause society to become unstable?

If you are against late term abortion or even after birth infanticide and government were not punishing the crime. Then what would you do, if anything, to stop mothers from killing their unborn or offspring?
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15-12-2013, 02:55 AM
RE: Governance excluding morality
(11-12-2013 12:48 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Let's say a new government form.
They make a broadcast and state that it is too hard to know the difference between right and wrong so they will just let people decide for themselves.
Instead they will enforce laws only for the purpose of stable and sustainable society.
Thus murder and theft are still illegal, but prostitution, abortion, gay marriage, polygamy, incest are now legal.

Over time you find for the most part that society is similar to before. Except that prostitution houses are more prominent and people aren't afraid of talking about or inquiring about where to find the prostitution houses. A few hotels offer prostitution services as well.

You hear about the rare circumstance where brother and sister marry, or where some woman has many, many abortions, including late term abortions.

You make a complaint to the police and they tell you there is nothing they can do, that it isn't against the law.
You go to you local politician and they tell you that their hands are tied, that the prime minister/president remains firm that they will not enforce morality.

You find that Churches have become invigorated, attendance is up and church people are more frequently seen door knocking or preaching on the street, trying to sell their brand of morality.

As an Atheist, what do you do? Do you form a secular moral club, pool funds together and take to the street selling your brand of morality? Within your club do you debate aspects of morality? Does this society give you more moral purpose? An incentive to become more actively involved in the affairs of society.

Or

Do you become motivated to overthrow government and put your own morality into law and force it on people?
I wouldn't do either.
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15-12-2013, 04:08 AM
RE: Governance excluding morality
(11-12-2013 12:48 PM)Stevil Wrote:  As an Atheist, what do you do? Do you form a secular moral club, pool funds together and take to the street selling your brand of morality? Within your club do you debate aspects of morality? Does this society give you more moral purpose? An incentive to become more actively involved in the affairs of society.

Or

Do you become motivated to overthrow government and put your own morality into law and force it on people?

Neither. Your proposal would also eliminate all victimless crimes, e.g. drug use, so I think in that regard it would be good. Towards the goal of stability and sustainability I would want to have a mixed-model healthcare system like we do in Australia as well as a small welfare state as a safety net.

I am troubled by the possibility of cruelty to animals. Your scheme would apparently permit cruelty to one's own animals as that wouldn't impact on the state's goals of sustainability/stability/security.

Also, what about spousal and child abuse. One could argue that so long as they happen behind closed doors they don't affect anyone else. Again that would disturb me.
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15-12-2013, 05:07 AM
RE: Governance excluding morality
Chip,
Disturbing as those may be, the model has moved the responsibility for individual risk / benefits / resourcing down to the local community level.

If the violence is detectable outside the home, there is a risk to stability in the form of counter-violence.
So the governance angle is to ensure that communities have local controls to deal with what they (the community) define as morality-breaches without the need to impose any particular version of morality.


St.Evil Smile
Thanks for using the words 'governance' and 'sustainability'. Appreciated. Thumbsup

I am wondering also about the governing body's role regarding outbreaks of violence. For example, when two or more 'morality clubs' clash, this might be considered to be a threat to stability.

In best practice, this would come under the heading of Continuity (Risk Management + Disaster Recovery).

Equally, there would need to be a form of defense force to counter the risk of a revolution generated by one dominant morality-club.

But to answer the question, my atheism would be irrelevant to any/all of this. Non-belief in a deity/deities does not correlate to any specific view of morality.

Brian,
Mental masturbation it may be but I think it is worth creating a vision of a sustainable civil society in order to be able to work towards it.
This model, in the OP, is widely recognised as best practice by the audit community (see ISACA and COBIT5)

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15-12-2013, 09:31 AM
RE: Governance excluding morality
I find it interesting that you mentioned murder and theft are still illegal and then your list of things that are not illegal, or at least have no laws governing them are what I would consider "sex" related activities.

The society/government you described sounds very close to complete anarchy. I think it would make sense to expand the government's legislation abilities to some code to determine if something is moral or not, with some parameters used to measure morality. I don't think its out of question that we could develop something like that, it just wouldn't fit everyone's view of what is moral and immoral, but in the end you might result in a very free society with a government that has little control over individual choice and liberty, which I wouldn't view as a bad thing. If you don't like prostitution, then don't participate.

The challenge would be to develop a system to determine whether a law was "moral". I would want to defer to at least one base principle and say that we could determine if an action by a person is immoral or moral, based on whether or not the action has a negative effect on another person, or limits that persons freedom or individual liberty.

We could say rape is bad, because one person is forcing something on another person, infringing on the victim's individual freedom. We could say that prostitution is fine, if the prostitute has chosen to participate in the profession. We could determine that "pimping" or forcing people to serve as prostitutes, against their will is slavery, which is immoral, due to the fact that it imposes on the prostitutes freedom.

Furthermore, we could use scientific data and information to determine whether a law was moral, or immoral. Let's face it, that some laws we have today are obviously not so black and white.

We could also say that a speed limit of 45mph on a certain street is moral, because although it imposes on the freedom of the person who wants to drive 100mph on that road, the person driving 100mph is posing a danger to the rest of society. We can statistically and scientifically prove that driving 100mph poses a threat to other citizens who are driving, walking, biking along the same road.

Bottom line, I like the idea of excluding any specific morality. I don't see the purpose of governance as to impose a specific moral code on society. I do see the role of government to protect the rights and freedoms of its citizens. Obviously there are certain acts that we consider "immoral" like murder and theft, so I don't know that you can complete exclude morality from governance. It's obviously necessary to have "morality" in laws or we would live in complete anarchy and eventually chaos. In such a system we would need a method to determine whether a law was moral or immoral, which would need to be completely objective and based upon some set of logic, or parameters to determine its morality.

So governance without morality? I'm not sure that's feasible, but I think the discussion is good.
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11-02-2014, 11:50 PM
RE: Governance excluding morality
Sorry Chippy, DLJ and LostCyborg.
I didn't notice that there were these posts in this thread.
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