Morality vs. Legalism
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04-08-2015, 09:45 AM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
(02-08-2015 08:25 PM)666wannabe Wrote:  I am a man of many theories; not all of them good, as is evident from my post "A Mathematical Argument Against Life Elsewhere in the Universe"

I would like to present a theory to my peers (other members of this forum) for your comments and opinions.

I think that much of the confusion surrounding religion is caused by the conflation of the concepts of "legalism" and "morality". I am defining legalism as obedience to a set of laws or rules with the express purpose of attaining a reward and/or avoiding punishment. A set of laws may be political, whereby they are given by a dictator or a legislature or they may be institutional, whereby they are established by the governing body of an institution, or they may be religious, whereby the "lawgiver" is claimed to be a supernatural being or beings, and revealed to a "prophet" by this supernatural being.

This can be contrasted with "morality" which, at least according to science, is the result of our evolution. The morality of an act is contained in the act, itself, not in the authority of the lawgiver. An act is not "moral" because it is stems from a political or institutional law or because it is the will of God, supposedly revealed to Abraham or Moses or Mohammad or John Smith.

To obey such rules or laws is mere legalism--not morality. We may not entirely understand what moral behavior is and what it is not, but we can be sure that that question of the morality of an act is an entirely different consideration from the question of what is a mere legality within the context of any particular religion. Morality can also be applied universally (cross-culturally). This is obviously not true of legal systems, whether political, institutional, or religious.

This cements my conviction that Human Rights (based on moral actions) must take precedence over religious freedoms (mere legalities).

Comments?

I'm grateful to escape legalism as a born again--my heavenly reward is indeed based on actions but not salvation from hell.

I agree that there are moral absolutes that apply cross-culturally but am surprised you feel science has demonstrated them to have evolved. We humans may not eat our own--but other species do--and these species still manage to propagate and survive. Moral absolutes come from the moral lawgiver.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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04-08-2015, 10:18 AM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
A moral action is any free action done by a rational creature. This action action is meritorious in that it can either merit scorn or praise. A moral action is a choice between two or more courses of action. To say an action is morally good, is to say that the actor chose the better course of action.

Laws on the other hand are created in order to allow a society to better fulfill its end.

That is a simple definition of each. The problem tends to be this. In the first case, not everyone agrees on what the better course of action is and thus what is morally good or bad is often debated.

Similarly, the end of a society is not always agreed upon. In classical political philosophy, the end of society was to help as many people to practise virtue (or act morally good) as possible. Since much of Christian theology comes from classical philosophy, many Christians hold this end to be the purpose of society and laws should be created as such. More modern branches of philosophy hold that the end of society is to allow each individual to practice as much freedom as possible without causing harm to others. Many secular people hold this to be true.

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I'm. Also homophobic in the same way I'm arachnophobic. I'm scared of spiders but I'd still fuck'em.
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05-08-2015, 06:14 AM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
(02-08-2015 08:25 PM)666wannabe Wrote:  This can be contrasted with "morality" which, at least according to science, is the result of our evolution.

When you attribute evolution here, what aspects are you claiming were selected for? Does it just break down to a feel good sensation when we help others, etc..? When you attribute it to evolution, I assume you're referring to some aspect of my biological makeup, but it's never particularly clear to me what aspect that is.
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05-08-2015, 08:08 AM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
(02-08-2015 08:25 PM)666wannabe Wrote:  I am a man of many theories; not all of them good, as is evident from my post "A Mathematical Argument Against Life Elsewhere in the Universe"

I would like to present a theory to my peers (other members of this forum) for your comments and opinions.

I think that much of the confusion surrounding religion is caused by the conflation of the concepts of "legalism" and "morality". I am defining legalism as obedience to a set of laws or rules with the express purpose of attaining a reward and/or avoiding punishment. A set of laws may be political, whereby they are given by a dictator or a legislature or they may be institutional, whereby they are established by the governing body of an institution, or they may be religious, whereby the "lawgiver" is claimed to be a supernatural being or beings, and revealed to a "prophet" by this supernatural being.

This can be contrasted with "morality" which, at least according to science, is the result of our evolution. The morality of an act is contained in the act, itself, not in the authority of the lawgiver. An act is not "moral" because it is stems from a political or institutional law or because it is the will of God, supposedly revealed to Abraham or Moses or Mohammad or John Smith.

To obey such rules or laws is mere legalism--not morality. We may not entirely understand what moral behavior is and what it is not, but we can be sure that that question of the morality of an act is an entirely different consideration from the question of what is a mere legality within the context of any particular religion. Morality can also be applied universally (cross-culturally). This is obviously not true of legal systems, whether political, institutional, or religious.

This cements my conviction that Human Rights (based on moral actions) must take precedence over religious freedoms (mere legalities).

Comments?

Legalism is amoralism and makes one amoral if all they are doing is what they are told.

Theists could learn a lot if they'd realize that. Thumbsup

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05-08-2015, 08:25 AM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
(05-08-2015 08:08 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Legalism is amoralism and makes one amoral if all they are doing is what they are told.

Theists could learn a lot if they'd realize that. Thumbsup

It would probably help, if you understood that there are a variety of different moral views where this wouldn't be the case. If one subscribes to a deontological view then it very much could be moral.

If a person subscribed to some form of consequentialism, then it wouldn't matter why they did what they did, but rather the consequences of his actions.

Perhaps what you need to realize is that there are a variety of different perspectives on what makes something moral or immoral, or even amoral, beside your own undisclosed criteria.

Speaking of which, I'd be curious to hear you expand on what distinguishes what's moral and immoral in two actions that are similar in form?

What's the criteria for moral reasons? As opposed to amoral reasons? Helping an old lady across the street because it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling, count as an amoral or moral reason?
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05-08-2015, 08:26 AM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
(05-08-2015 08:25 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(05-08-2015 08:08 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Legalism is amoralism and makes one amoral if all they are doing is what they are told.

Theists could learn a lot if they'd realize that. Thumbsup

It would probably help, if you understood that there are a variety of different moral views where this wouldn't be the case. If one subscribes to a deontological view then it very much could be moral.

If a person subscribed to some form of consequentialism, then it wouldn't matter why they did what they did, but rather the consequences of his actions.

Perhaps what you need to realize is that there are a variety of different perspectives on what makes something moral or immoral, or even amoral, beside your own undisclosed criteria.

Speaking of which, I'd be curious to hear you expand on what distinguishes what's moral and immoral in two actions that are similar in form?

What's the criteria for moral reasons? As opposed to amoral reasons? Helping an old lady across the street because it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling, count as an amoral or moral reason?

It'd help if you weren't so dense Thumbsup

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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05-08-2015, 08:29 AM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
You can refer to this thread if you want answers to your questions :http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/Thread-Another-attack-on-moral-subjectivism?pid=798632#pid798632

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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05-08-2015, 08:31 AM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
(05-08-2015 08:26 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  It'd help if you weren't so dense Thumbsup

I think that whatever criteria you're attempting to appeal to, to declare something as amoral or moral is lacking any real reflection on your part, to move beyond being vague, and contradictory. Something that would be more apparent, if you actually attempted to define it.
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05-08-2015, 08:41 AM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
(05-08-2015 08:29 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  You can refer to this thread if you want answers to your questions :http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/Thread-Another-attack-on-moral-subjectivism?pid=798632#pid798632

I looked through about 20 or so post of yours, and found nothing that laid out your criteria for what constitutes as moral as opposed to amoral.
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05-08-2015, 09:14 AM
RE: Morality vs. Legalism
(05-08-2015 08:41 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(05-08-2015 08:29 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  You can refer to this thread if you want answers to your questions :http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/Thread-Another-attack-on-moral-subjectivism?pid=798632#pid798632

I looked through about 20 or so post of yours, and found nothing that laid out your criteria for what constitutes as moral as opposed to amoral.

We've gone round and round on this before with you plugging your ears.

Give me one good reason to waste any more time on your ignorance? Consider

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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