Poll: Where do you stand ethically/morally?
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Moral Philosophy: Where do you stand?
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03-06-2012, 04:42 AM
RE: Moral Philosophy: Where do you stand?
(02-06-2012 10:00 AM)TrulyX Wrote:  
Quote:The rules of our society, our governing laws are mostly in place for survival. In order to create a stable and functional society. Some people look to put their belief in morality into law, because they think they know what is right and what is wrong. If this is their focus and if you agree with morality then you cannot possible argue against it. Who is to say your sense of morality is better than the morality of your government?
First argument is self-defeating. If we needed law for survival, how would we have ever evolved to the point where we would be able to form civilized law based society?
Unfortunately instead of asking for clarity on my position here you are arguing against a strawman.

I am not concerned about the survival of humanity as a species. I am concerned about my own survival. I strongly feel that certain society rules will increase my own chances for survival. e.g. laws against murder, thus I am motivated to belong to a society which has rules against murder. It is not simply like disagreeing on which colour of the rainbow is the best.
Quote:You being on this site already shows you take part in something similar
to what you are opposing. I am an atheist, and if you're not trolling,
you are too. We have a belief on something we don't know (assuming you
don't have powers I don't). I'm not saying you do, but I tend to
challenge the practicality of people who hold the opposing belief.
I am an atheist. I do not have a belief that there is no god. I merely lack a belief in gods, I have heard some god stories and I remain unconvinced.
I do not oppose people having a belief in god/s. I am opposed to the use of morality belief with regards to forming laws and I am opposed to oppressing people based purely on moral beliefs. I don't understand how you tie this into my lack of belief in god/s.
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03-06-2012, 11:59 AM
RE: Moral Philosophy: Where do you stand?
(03-06-2012 04:42 AM)Stevil Wrote:  I am not concerned about the survival of humanity as a species. I am concerned about my own survival. I strongly feel that certain society rules will increase my own chances for survival. e.g. laws against murder, thus I am motivated to belong to a society which has rules against murder. It is not simply like disagreeing on which colour of the rainbow is the best.

I addressed both you and human species, but it was important to bring in the human species. You're goal is centered around survival, and you brought up law. It is obvious, however, if you believe in evolution, that we have survived without law for a long time. It's one of the main points atheist make against theist who claim that atheist have nothing to base morality off of, when we obviously do.

To now address you again. Even if it's your own personal survival, what are you basing your right to survive on?

If you claim morality doesn't exists, than yes it is like arguing over colors of the rainbow. You have no basis off which to argue that some action should not be brought upon you; whether it's murder, torture, assault, or anything else that harms you, what are you using to argue against that? I know you are claiming that you want to protect yourself, but protecting yourself only requires you protecting yourself, not developing a construct of rights such as law.

If you want to claim others should not violate your right to life, you need something to stand on to make that claim, and by claiming that morality doesn't exist, you are taking away any basis for that reasoning. If morality doesn't exist, than someone murdering you isn't wrong. If you're still worried about survival, you either have to kill them, or get over it.

By saying that you want to live in a society that doesn't allow murder, you are making a claim about what is moral. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Once you make the claim that nothing is right or wrong, you can't backtrack and say, well certain things should not be done to others to ensure our individual survival, because that is a moral argument.


Quote:I am an atheist. I do not have a belief that there is no god. I merely lack a belief in gods, I have heard some god stories and I remain unconvinced. I do not oppose people having a belief in god/s. I am opposed to the use of morality belief with regards to forming laws and I am opposed to oppressing people based purely on moral beliefs. I don't understand how you tie this into my lack of belief in god/s.

I'm also opposed to oppressing based on moral beliefs, though I think they are incorrect beliefs. How are you opposed to people being oppressed, however, if you don't think morality exists, and if you only care about your own survival? If you're being oppressed, looks like you have to sharpen your blade, and if others are being oppressed, that shouldn't have anything to do with your own personal survival. Also given that you don't believe in morality, why do you have a problem with the actions of others; if it's neither right nor wrong, it's just an action, is it not? Are you opposed to me listening to rap music?

But anyway, our laws ARE ALL based off of moral belief. If we didn't have a moral belief system, as rational beings, we would have no laws currently. What would we base it off of otherwise? Laws are based off of people together rationalizing over what rights people have that should not be infringed upon i.e. morality. You are right now, if you live in a country with laws, the beneficiary of moral philosophy.

You are currently, with your mentioning of survival, making an argument similar to Hobbes' social contract theory. You don't want to be murdered or violated, and you will respect everyone else right to that, as well as other things, as long as they don't infringe upon your rights.

Yet, at the same time you are talking about survival, you are saying that you don't support, and don't believe in, morals. Even if morals came from just wanting to survive, they are still morals.

Also, I mentioned atheism, because just like I look at people who believe in God as being a irrational, I look at people who think that murder, lying, rape, etc. are moral the same way. I view anyone who thinks murdering another human being is rationally moral as being completely irrational for having such a belief.

I was just assuming your lack in a belief was based off of rationality and you realizing that there was a lack of rational practically in accepting it as a truth that God exists.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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03-06-2012, 01:32 PM
RE: Moral Philosophy: Where do you stand?
(03-06-2012 03:37 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(02-06-2012 11:29 PM)MrEchidna Wrote:  I never said morals had to be necessarily universal.
I never meant to say or imply that you did. I understand what you are saying, I agree with what you are saying. The difference between you and me is a semantic difference. I wouldn't call what you are describing a morality. Other than that my position is very closely aligned with yours.
Quote:I also agree with your assertions
that free will is an illusion. Though i disagree vehementally about
morality. Even if there exists no absolute morality (which i agree on)
humans do definatly at the very least have an internal system of "ought"
which we opporate on to maintain our social structures.
This is why I would call morality an illusion. It appears very much so, in some circumstances that we all mostly agree with some social rights and wrongs. I don't think this originates with being in tune with the cosmos, a cosmic intelligent designer or the Human DNA. I think this stems from natural law and an understanding that if we behave in certain ways then our society will react negatively towards us, therefore we need to behave in a socially acceptable manner.
Quote:I'm
arguing for a utilitarian based morality
This sounds interesting and you have motivated me to research this more. Thank you.
Quote:It seems like we're arguing for the same overarching
idea except you have a different formulation of the same overarching
grounding for a morale system.
Yes, if it came to a vote on laws we would probably vote for most of the same ones. Our main difference is semantic.
Hahaha this seems to be an overarching theme with atheists. We're always arguing with each other over semantics when we actually agree with each other on most things. We're like a heard of cats.
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03-06-2012, 02:27 PM
RE: Moral Philosophy: Where do you stand?
(03-06-2012 01:32 PM)MrEchidna Wrote:  Hahaha this seems to be an overarching theme with atheists. We're always arguing with each other over semantics when we actually agree with each other on most things. We're like a heard of cats.
A yowl of cats.
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03-06-2012, 02:32 PM
RE: Moral Philosophy: Where do you stand?
(03-06-2012 11:59 AM)TrulyX Wrote:  It is obvious, however, if you believe in evolution, that we have survived without law for a long time.
I have no doubts that the human species can survive without laws.
I also have no doubts that without laws my life is in more danger than it would be with laws. I want to survive (me), therefore I want laws.
Quote:what are you basing your right to survive on?
In the world of amoralism, morality, ethics and rights are all meaningless. They are make believe.
No-one has the right to do anything or everyone has the right to do what ever it is that they can.

In our Universe, we are governed by physical laws, e.g. we cannot travel faster than the speed of light. But anything that is possible, this makes up the plethora of actions that we are able to perform. If we must use the term "rights" then that is our "rights" the plethora of all actions that are possible. In this way even murder is a "right", which seems odd because probably by your definition "rights" are all the possible actions which are not immoral. I deem nothing to be immoral.

The fact is, me being me. I want to survive. I want to live. This is not based on rights, this is simply based on my desire to live.
Quote:If
you claim morality doesn't exists, than yes it is like arguing over
colors of the rainbow. You have no basis off which to argue that some
action should not be brought upon you; whether it's murder, torture,
assault, or anything else that harms you, what are you using to argue
against that? I know you are claiming that you want to protect yourself,
but protecting yourself only requires you protecting yourself, not
developing a construct of rights such as law.
This is very limited thinking. I feel you have great capacity for thought so I assume you are blinded by your goal to prove to yourself the importance of morality.

I deem nothing to be right or wrong. There is no definer of right and wrong and there is no cosmic judge or justice system that is going to enforce adherence to this universal right and wrong.

I don't care to make up a belief system of right and wrong, it is not my place to judge people. I only want to survive.

Let's imagine I am living in a place where there are many individuals but no society, no organised groups, no governing body, no rules.
Now I can freely admit that I am not the strongest person in this place, not the fastest, not the smartest, I am not top of the heap.
A strong person can come over to me, beat me up and take my things.
Do I want to be beaten up and have my things taken? No
Does this require me to have belief in morality? No

So maybe I band together with some other people, we make a pact that we won't beat each other up and take each other's things, we also make a pact that we will defend each other against this strong person. Thus we are defining our society, with rules, not based on morality, but based on our own desire for survival. This improves our lives and our likelihood to survive.
Quote:By
saying that you want to live in a society that doesn't allow murder,
you are making a claim about what is moral. You can't have your cake and
eat it too. Once you make the claim that nothing is right or wrong, you
can't backtrack and say, well certain things should not be done to
others to ensure our individual survival, because that is a moral
argument.
I am not claiming that it is universally wrong to murder. I am just stating that I have a desire to belong to a society that doesn't support murder. My reason is that I want to survive, I don't want to be murdered.




Quote:How are you opposed to people being oppressed,
however, if you don't think morality exists, and if you only care about
your own survival? If you're being oppressed, looks like you have to
sharpen your blade, and if others are being oppressed, that shouldn't
have anything to do with your own personal survival.
As I have stated before.
1. When people within society are being oppressed this may cause conflict and war. I might get killed in this conflict, because I live within this society.
2. If there is a precedent to oppress certain people, who is to say that one day I won't become the target? If we band together and stop oppression then we won't be picked off as individuals.
Quote:But anyway,
our laws ARE ALL based off of moral belief.
If this were true, with the USA being heavily Christian, then in the USA it would be illegal to commit adultery, it would be illegal to divorce, it would be illegal to work on the sabbath, it would be illegal to be a non Christian.
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03-06-2012, 03:34 PM
RE: Moral Philosophy: Where do you stand?
(02-06-2012 07:17 PM)MrEchidna Wrote:  Holy Hell batman you gave me a load to sort through. I'll try and word my response at least half as intelligibly as you worded yours. I'm an amateur wading into these fields and just starting my third year as an undergrad in philosophy and i haven't composed a sorted answer myself to many of the dilemma's of consequentialism but i'll give you my base thoughts in response to your problems.

1. If one seeks to objectify a morale system, how do you not beg the question? Like i'm not sure of how to escape the Is/Ought distinction without just biting the bullet so to speak. I'm not really seeking a objective morale system nor claim to, i just say that i can't think of better subjective goal (basically a place to pick your self up by the philosophical bootstraps) then the well being of conscious creatures. I also think that having a subjective goal such as that is a strength of consequentialism when compared to theistic or non theistic deontology because it has no possibility of being completely subjugated by universal Morales that don't actually have a correlation to our well being. If such objective Morales were to exist i'd think it'd be of the utmost importance that we not follow them.

2. The answer would be on the same line as answer 1 really.

3,5,6 Ah the most infamous objection. I think there's much to be said with the difficulties of measuring or quantifying human well being. I've been toiling away in my free time on trying to design a metric, and it hasn't given any meaningful results as of yet. There are many strange situations within a utilitarian ethic that could be designed as such. Say you are aiming for the highest average well being. It would be then preferred to have one person existing alone at the highs of Ecstasy then any number of other individuals at lower states of well being. I think there's a way to properly design a metric out there to address all of these concerns though i haven't found one yet. I can however offer some apologetics offered in the name of consequentialism on this point. Sam Harris says that human well being is like human health. We don't really have a well defined definition of health. A person's main goal in life could be to vomit continuously for as long as possible yet we don't abandon healthcare because someone's view of health differs. Well being would be as such, that it incorporates our knowledge of health, psychology, anthropology and anything else that offers us insights into how human-kind exists successfully. While there would be small distinctions that would be really hard to figure out, there are obviously more ways to exist in suffering then in well being and on a macroscopic scale these judgement would be easy and at least within the system of ethics, backed by objective research and data. Harris's book the Morale Landscape really does a nice job explaining the macroscopic points of consequentialism, why its necessary in comparison to its forerunners and why the common objections need not impede it though i think it lacks a actual, nitty gritty metric that can be of use.

You are a better philosopher then you give yourself credit for. Kantian ethics interests me greatly and i have a little pet undeveloped train of thought that involves combining Kantian and Utilitarian ethics. I understand that they are harshly opposed, and Kant developed his philosophy to directly counter Hume's skepticism, but i think that Kant Categorical Imperative has something useful to say about states of human well being. Like if you could rationalize the use of the Categorical Imperative on a microscopic scale using a utilitarian macroscopic model, which would then use a metric to balance the well being of individuals against the possible well being of macroscopic social systems in individuals that inhabit it.

As for Kant as a philosophy i think there's a simple beauty in the way he went about his thinking, even if it is wrong (and somewhat scary when you think about the universal implications of his ethics) I haven't done hardly any primary reading of him, and only glanced over his Critique of Pure Reason though my feelings on him seem to be something like this. He is a magnificent counterpoint to Hume. Like Kant's philosophy wasn't so much a philosophy developed from scratch but mainly as a counter agent to Hume's skepticism and the way Kant dissects so many of our ideas and implications of reason are quite breath-taking. If only i had time to really delve into the primary material, i have a very long reading list from The Republic and Nicomachean Ethics to Summa Contra Gentiles and a proper reading of Kant.

Btw, thanks for this discourse, it's been the highlight of my dull weekend.

The thing is, like I've already pointed out, you're always going to beg the question when someone opposes your point of view, at least in most cases. You can make any argument circular and you can make any argument beg the question, by arguing fundamentals and definitions (basically metaphysics).

I've distinguished before, in other threads, the difference between rationality and logic, and I think that is exactly what needs to be applied to ethics/morality i.e. you have to not look at the logic of ethical theories, but look at the rationality and practicality of them being applied to certain philosophical questions.

Like, I've already stated, I distinguish between ethics, the overall philosophy analyzing peoples actions and how people ought to act, etc, and morality, which I believe to be what's right or wrong/good or bad and analyzing how people ought to treat each other or should treat each other, which is ultimately a part of ethics/meta-ethics. (some may disagree)

As far as just morality goes, I think Kant hit it out of the park. His theory is based on practicality and rationality.

I think the second categorical imperative does a great job at defining what it is that people in general are trying to express when they are talking about well-being, like you pointed out, or intrinsic worth or value of human beings. Everyone has the right to be treated as and end-within themselves and never as just a means only.

I think the first does the best job at kind of giving an idea of why it's actually rational and practical to follow morality. It also does it in a way that is in line with synthetic-a priori knowledge and doesn't make us look back at the past and debate leviathan (like social contract) or to the future and trying to judge how certain actions will play out like Utiltarianism/Egoism both of which would force us to rely on philosophically unobtainable knowledge. Kant's categorical imperative, specifically the first, is based off experience but in a way that only requires understanding of what murder (or similar actions) is, what society is, and how people function and operate. Now you can take these experiences and form the metaphysical construct of morality to give rise to knowledge synthetic a priori. It's synthetic because nothing about the action of murder says, within that action or language itself, that murder is wrong (though I'd argue it'd become analytic by definition under the construct of morality). Also, it's a priori because it allows, if murder is wrong, for it it to be known without having to experience it; not without having had the experience to understand murder, but for you not to actually have to witness the murder and see the aftermath to make a judgement on the morality of it. He does this by basically rationality: he tells you to rationalize a situation in which a certain act e.g. dishonesty (this is the best to illustrate this with) was accepted as a moral standard for society. If dishonesty was the standard (i.e. willed into universal law) then society would have a fundamental collapse in operation and the actual idea of dishonesty, itself, would also become contradictory. Basically if everyone wasn't expected to tell the truth (i.e. it was moral) then society would collapse as no one would be able to trust each other, and dishonesty wouldn't work because the idea of it is based off of a societal standard of honesty and trust that has to be taken advantage of for dishonesty to work.

Like I said, I don't particularly like the first, because it's cloudy when applied to other situational morals. I also don't like the idea of morality as an obligation ethically (i.e. that is how everyone ought to act all of the time regardless), because I think "how a person ought to live life", for example, or other questions, are questions not answered by morality alone and requires the philosophy of additional ethics which would most likely become more scientific/empirical in nature than they would metaphysical after they were theories and were looking to be applied. But I don't know if Kant was trying to do make it seem as an ethical obligation, or just a moral one i.e. if he made the same distinction I make. I do know the categorical imperative was not meant for situational morals, however, it was meant for the big picture idea of what was moral. And like it does a beautiful job at illustrating with dishonesty, I think it gives a good idea of why morality is necessary and everyone should (not obligated) follow what is moral.

There is an obligation that must be upheld to be moral, but nothing obligates you to morality. Free will, as far as it extends, allows you to chose to be moral or immoral as you will, and it should be viewed as if you are automatically immoral if you do one thing considered immoral; your character, however, should be measured by your overall virtue as a moral being. The only good is a good will, and if by the categorical imperative, the second specifically, you see it as your rational duty and treat others as ends and never as means only, you are a moral person.

Morality has to be universal/absolute, basically, by definition, in my book. Otherwise you are violating the law of contradiction. Even Utilitarianism and Egoism see it as absolute. You either increase the overall happiness or it's in your self-interests or you do not/it is not. If you want to speak about individual actions, which under a Kantian morality would, if they become moral by definition e.g. murder, cheating, raping, dishonesty, are always considered moral, under Kantianism they are that way, but under other ethical theories that's not the basis of morality.

If you are asking for my personal view, I think Kant's way is the way to go, and no, I'm not scared of the implications of murder always being immoral. There is this thing called justice. Murder might always be wrong, but not always considered unjustified. Just like justified homicide in law, which is basically justified murder, and I think Kant would agree, once a person is attempting or does treat you as a means only, he might say obligation or duty, but I would just say that you are justified in responding by also treating them as a means only. Does a theory of justice get cloudy, yes, but I'm claiming Kantian ethics as a moral standard not a standard for justice. What happens when someone violates another person's, or people's moral rights? That's where the fun begins.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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03-06-2012, 04:07 PM (This post was last modified: 03-06-2012 04:15 PM by TrulyX.)
RE: Moral Philosophy: Where do you stand?
(03-06-2012 02:32 PM)Stevil Wrote:  So maybe I band together with some other people, we make a pact that we won't beat each other up and take each other's things, we also make a pact that we will defend each other against this strong person. Thus we are defining our society, with rules, not based on morality, but based on our own desire for survival. This improves our lives and our likelihood to survive.

That is morality though. Like I pointed out that is damn near social contract theory, line for line.

I think we are just arguing over semantics.

What you are doing through rationalization in the paragraph is philosophy. Specifically ethical and moral philosophy.

What you are attempting to do is something that many philosophers have tried to do in the past and that is through metaphysics out of the window. But the thing is, in my view, you are still yourself using metaphysics.

I agree that without a construct morality doesn't exist. Without rationality, we wouldn't have an ability to establish a construct. But we are rational: You are raising questions/ideas and answering them i.e. philosophy, you are taking mind derived ideas such as survival, society, improve i.e. metaphysics, and rationalizing on how
you can bring together a construct to help you i.e. ethics/morality.

You can call it what you want, I call it morality.


Quote:If this were true, with the USA being heavily Christian, then in the USA it would be illegal to commit adultery, it would be illegal to divorce, it would be illegal to work on the sabbath, it would be illegal to be a non Christian.

I addressed this before.

First of all, no it wouldn't.

Second, Christians cherry pick their ideas. Why? They have an innate sense of right and wrong based on rationality that is contradicts their religious beliefs; they tend to follow rationality, most of them, more so than an old ass book. We do have a Christian influenced law; those things you mentioned are more Old Testament, though we have some of that too. Like I said, they just cherry pick the shit the like. Gays still can't get married and we have political problems with abortions, and our constitution, even though it protects us from establishment of religion, it allows for religion to be freely practiced.

Also, the Bible is so cloudy back in the day the half the people used it to support slavery and the other half used it to say slavery was immoral. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as many many others, used religion as motivation for civil rights. In our Declaration of Independence it reads: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The belief in god has yet to be deemed irrational, but people who believe in god's rationality has, for the most part, prevailed and they have shown to base their morality off of rationality, even when it contradicts their religious beliefs; they actually play it off like it doesn't contradict anything.

Quote:There is no cosmic judge or justice system that is going to enforce adherence to this universal right and wrong. I don't care to make up a belief system of right and wrong, it is not my place to judge people.

I'm an atheist, what makes you think my idea of morality would be based off of anything similar to that. Also, it is everyone's place to judge everyone, we do it all of the time. God doesn't exist, and doesn't need to exists, to be a judge or enforce morality. We are rational enough to come to the conclusion that we shouldn't be killing each other, etc. etc, and that we should have systems of law and justice to enforce our beliefs, so anyone who thinks it is okay to kill other people should be punished by society.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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03-06-2012, 04:11 PM
RE: Moral Philosophy: Where do you stand?
(31-05-2012 12:49 PM)TrulyX Wrote:  
(30-05-2012 09:03 PM)TheKetola Wrote:  As stated previously, these are all fallacious, and fail the logic test, but they do work with some values on some issues. None is all encompassing, and anyone who believes they are is a fool.


I call bullshit on that.

It might be that I don't quite know what you mean. Describe how they are fallacious, and I'll tell you if I agree.

Also, how are they not, when applied to morality, all encompassing? Wouldn't they be all encompassing by default?

edit: I didn't mean bullshit, as in it is not true what you're saying, I just don't completely understanding what you are trying to say.

I enjoy your spirit! By the logic test I mean single "if/then" statements. And by not all encompassing, I mean that you'd be a fool to follow just the VC through on all circumstance because of the failure of logic. At some point these will break down. Let me see if I can think of any right now, and then once I get home, I'll look at my debate notebook for some more if you are still interested.

If ethical egoism is moral, then allowing the human race to become extinct is also moral if it preserves the self. (I'm going to do a more realistic example in parenthesis for slightly more effect. If ethical egoism is moral, then suicide bombing is legal if it sends the you to heaven.)

I honestly can't remember one for utilitarianism, but perhaps due to the fact that there is no measurable variable to determine whether it is right or wrong except by the user is fact enough. If you disagree with communism here is one that would be fallacious for you specifically. If utilitarianism is moral, then communism is also moral since it raises the average happiness of individuals within society.

If Locke's social contract is moral (creater says Hobbes, but I prefer Lockes), then taking away all things which do not inhibit their life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness (this is in the manner that Jefferson applied it, so I guess it becomes Jeffersons social contract) is moral as long as it is to make them safe. (pursuit of happiness, and possesion of happiness are not the same)

I can't think of any right now really, I'll get to my debate notebook and give you more if you wish. It took a lot of thought power to really come up with a GOOD If/Then statement.
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03-06-2012, 05:20 PM
RE: Moral Philosophy: Where do you stand?
(03-06-2012 04:07 PM)TrulyX Wrote:  
(03-06-2012 02:32 PM)Stevil Wrote:  So maybe I band together with some other people, we make a pact that we won't beat each other up and take each other's things, we also make a pact that we will defend each other against this strong person. Thus we are defining our society, with rules, not based on morality, but based on our own desire for survival. This improves our lives and our likelihood to survive.
That is morality though. Like I pointed out that is damn near social contract theory, line for line.
But you stated that morality is an absolute right and an absolute wrong. I would agree with this definition of morality.
So we aren't differing on semantics. We semantically agree with regards to the term "morality".

But a group of people banding together and agreeing on rules does not define absolute right and absolute wrong. This ruleset is not morality. It is a set of human defined mutually agreed upon rules. Most societies have different rules, especially societies based on different cultures and religions. These rules differ, they are not aligned with any absolutes.

If you think morality exists and is absolute, then the elephant in the room is whom or what defined these rights and wrongs and how do people know of these rights and wrongs. Why is it that no-one can agree?

Why is it that an animal, say a chimpanzee, can kill another chimpanzee and we call it natural monkey behaviour, but if a human does it we call it murder?
Quote:What you are doing through rationalization in the paragraph is philosophy. Specifically ethical and moral philosophy.
Some Christians do this in debate. They tell us atheists that atheism is a belief, that it is a religion. It seems to me that believers whom debate, want their opponents to also be believers.

Wants aside. I am not a believer in morality. There are no absolute rights or wrongs. My stance as an amoralist is a philosophical stance. It is the philosophy of lack of belief in morality. People make rules to benefit themselves, not to align with some cosmically defined right and wrong.
Quote:
Quote:There
is no cosmic judge or justice system that is going to enforce adherence
to this universal right and wrong. I don't care to make up a belief
system of right and wrong, it is not my place to judge people.
I'm
an atheist, what makes you think my idea of morality would be based off
of anything similar to that.
I would be keen to know where you think absolute right and wrong comes from, and what the repercussions of not following this would be? In another post you talked about Kant and impacts on society.
Well I agree that our actions have impacts on society. e.g. if we go around killing people then society becomes unsafe. This isn't a cosmic justice, it is natural law. People want to survive, if there are threats e.g. murderers then people will act to remove those threats.
People aren't at all concerned with whether people are acting immorally or not. People are concerned for their own safety.
Sometimes by coincidence these things overlap. But people react due to the survival aspect not the moral aspect.
Quote:Also, it is everyone's place to judge
everyone, we do it all of the time.
This is your belief, not mine. I try not to judge. I don't believe in morality. Is it immoral for people to have gay sex? I would say no, because nothing is immoral. But lets say morality does exist. My answer would be, I don't care if gay sex is immoral or if people are immorally having gay sex. It does not impact my survival, so I don't care. Be as immoral as you like, as long as it doesn't threaten my survival, then I simply don't care.


Quote:We are rational enough to
come to the conclusion that we shouldn't be killing each other, etc.
etc, and that we should have systems of law and justice to enforce our
beliefs, so anyone who thinks it is okay to kill other people should be
punished by society.
If we were truly rational then we wouldn't believe in absolute right and wrong. We wouldn't have moral beliefs.

I think it is OK to kill people in certain circumstances. I am OK for the death penalty, I would prefer the death penalty over letting a repeat rapist/murder back into society or over paying to keep them alive in prison.
I think abortion is OK, for whatever reason the mother chooses.
I think euthanasia is OK,
I think self defense is OK.

Why? Not a moral stance but purely for survival. A pregnant woman having an abortion does not threaten my life, a sick and dying person having euthanasia doesn't threaten my life, a rapist/murderer does threaten my life, killing a rapist/murderer does not threaten my life.
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03-06-2012, 05:31 PM
RE: Moral Philosophy: Where do you stand?
(01-06-2012 12:17 PM)kineo Wrote:  Where would the "golden rule" fit in here? Seems like it's a relativistic stance. Am I right in that?

That mostly fits where I stand.
I'm with Kineo.

'See here they are, the bruises, some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way.' -JF
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