Morality
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15-09-2011, 11:13 AM
 
RE: Morality
(15-09-2011 10:56 AM)Peterkin Wrote:  Exactly. This is the emotional component that Zatamon embraces.

The only component of morality, worth remembering, is emotional.

We can intellectualize anything, till the cows come home, but morality is our emotional relationship to the universe, including other living things. It is based on empathy with these living things, recognizing our common heritage all the way from the amoebas. We are the same life form, based on the same biological building blocks, based on the same life-cycles, destined to propagate and then pass on.

How else can I put it?

We are in the same life-boat on an unforgiving ocean: humans, horses, dogs, chickens, squirrels, butterflies, insects, ants, microorganisms. As far as we know, we are the only life forms aware of our mortality. This awareness should be the source of our empathy.

For me morality means the common bond we all have, the empathy we must feel for one another, recognizing the balance required for survival. We did not invent this Darwinian nightmare, we are all victims, one way or another.

Morality is such a basic concept that it has to be hardwired in our identical hardware we carry in our skulls. This hardware can be reprogrammed by culture, can be twisted out of shape, but I doubt it very much that we can as cheerfully cut into the body of another living thing as we can enjoy the process of building our shelters. The guilt, maybe buried very deep, must be there in every human being, regardless of culture.
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15-09-2011, 12:08 PM
RE: Morality
(15-09-2011 10:29 AM)myst32 Wrote:  
(14-09-2011 09:42 PM)cufflink Wrote:  No matter how heinous an act you can dream up in your imagination, you can always concoct some situation or culture or society in which it's just peachy.

".....I wouldn't want to live in such a world."

Why not? Any world you are born into is going to seem "normal" to you. You can only make the statements above because you are imagining something outside of the norm and then comparing it with your current set of morals. If you were born into a world were all the morals were reversed you would say the same thing about this worlds set of morals and how you would not want to live in it. Your basing your position on a comparison were you are only familiar with the side you were born with and giving that side the weight of "truth".

When Columbus came to the new world he was appalled at the native population's morals. Especially how they treated there women. Native women had power... they could throw the man out of the house if they were unhappy with him. They were equal to the man. If you read his writings about it, you can get the sense that he wouldn't want to live in such a world. That is was too strange and primitive to him. However, it was not at all strange to the native people. To them it was the white man's morals that were strange. Either way both sets of people felt their set of morals were "normal" and "right" while the other sides was "strange" and "wrong". (Of course the white man had guns and horses... and we all know might makes right.) They can only make this determination though comparison. Each side will always give the set of morals they were born with, what is normal, higher weight when they make the comparison. Your doing the same with your statements above.

To say that people always give the morals they were born with higher weight is to trivialize the lives of countless individuals who did not accept their society's morals and worked to change them.

Please see post #40 above, where Peterkin expresses this idea eloquently.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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15-09-2011, 01:43 PM
RE: Morality
(15-09-2011 12:08 PM)cufflink Wrote:  To say that people always give the morals they were born with higher weight is to trivialize the lives of countless individuals who did not accept their society's morals and worked to change them.

Please see post #40 above, where Peterkin expresses this idea eloquently.

Thanks for the red herring. Tongue

Sorry... "slip of thought"... Let me fix as "born with" does not matter to my argument.

They can only make this determination though comparison. Each side will always give the set of morals in their head, what they feel is normal and right, higher weight when they make the comparison.

“We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.” Orson Welles
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15-09-2011, 02:26 PM
RE: Morality
(14-09-2011 09:43 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Joe Bloe.

Quote:If a moral person has been living in a community and then moves away to live in isolation, do they suddenly become immoral? I say not.

No. Immorality requires other humans too.

Please explain.

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16-09-2011, 02:54 PM
RE: Morality
Hey, Joe.

If morality requires agreement, then immorality requires agreement too. So if a moral person moves away from their community and lives in isolation, they don't suddenly become immoral because 1 - they aren't committing immoral acts because there's no one to perpetrate them against and 2 - there's no one to agree about what constitutes an immoral act.

So Peterkin had it right. The person becomes amoral: not involving questions of right or wrong; without moral quality; neither moral nor immoral.

I have an analogy. If a person is really nice to other people and then moves into isolation, they don't start acting mean to other people because there is no one around for them to be either nice or mean to.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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17-09-2011, 10:29 PM
RE: Morality
(14-09-2011 04:11 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, ebilekittae.

You're right to call me out. When I say there's nothing genetic at work, I mean there is no absolute morality that every human must follow as a result of their genes; whereas, every human must have lungs. But there is something genetic at work in that living as social animals is a part of our genetic makeup. We are social animals. Period. Morality itself, the naked concept, is universal in human societies. So the genes require us to HAVE moral codes, but makes no demands on the content of those codes.

What I mean by "a solitary human can't be moral" is that morality has to do with how you interact with others, not yourself. Namean?

I would argue that a "moral code" is a social agreement between two or more people, while unique personal codes of conduct are just preference.

Ah, I see what you mean! I completely agree with that, then! Smile

"It does feel like something to be wrong; it feels like being right." -Kathryn Schulz
I am 100% certain that I am wrong about something I am certain about right now. Because even if everything I stand for turns out to be completely true, I was still wrong about being wrong.
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18-09-2011, 01:31 AM
RE: Morality
(16-09-2011 02:54 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Joe.

If morality requires agreement, then immorality requires agreement too. So if a moral person moves away from their community and lives in isolation, they don't suddenly become immoral because 1 - they aren't committing immoral acts because there's no one to perpetrate them against and 2 - there's no one to agree about what constitutes an immoral act.

So Peterkin had it right. The person becomes amoral: not involving questions of right or wrong; without moral quality; neither moral nor immoral.

I have an analogy. If a person is really nice to other people and then moves into isolation, they don't start acting mean to other people because there is no one around for them to be either nice or mean to.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Your analogy doesn't work. A person could move into isolation and shift a road sign so that it will send future travellers down a dead end. The person sees nobody, and nobody sees the person, but an immoral act has been committed.

Or the person could move into isolation and put up a sign warning of a dangerous conditions ahead, or rescue an animal from a bog - moral acts performed with not another human in sight.

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18-09-2011, 04:52 AM
RE: Morality
(18-09-2011 01:31 AM)Joe Bloe Wrote:  
(16-09-2011 02:54 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Joe.

If morality requires agreement, then immorality requires agreement too. So if a moral person moves away from their community and lives in isolation, they don't suddenly become immoral because 1 - they aren't committing immoral acts because there's no one to perpetrate them against and 2 - there's no one to agree about what constitutes an immoral act.

So Peterkin had it right. The person becomes amoral: not involving questions of right or wrong; without moral quality; neither moral nor immoral.

I have an analogy. If a person is really nice to other people and then moves into isolation, they don't start acting mean to other people because there is no one around for them to be either nice or mean to.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Your analogy doesn't work. A person could move into isolation and shift a road sign so that it will send future travellers down a dead end. The person sees nobody, and nobody sees the person, but an immoral act has been committed.

Or the person could move into isolation and put up a sign warning of a dangerous conditions ahead, or rescue an animal from a bog - moral acts performed with not another human in sight.

I don't mean to put words in his mouth, but by "isolation" I believe Ghost is referring to isolation with all kinds of interaction, not just personal interaction. Changing a sign or producing a false sign is still interacting with the unwitting victim even if the interaction isn't personal.

That being said, tampering with a sign to send unwary travellers to their doom would be immoral, but it would also breach what I think Ghost is trying to express with the term "isolation". The amorality comes in at a point with no interaction--complete isolation (something I definitely still have a lot of trouble wrapping my brain around Tongue).

"It does feel like something to be wrong; it feels like being right." -Kathryn Schulz
I am 100% certain that I am wrong about something I am certain about right now. Because even if everything I stand for turns out to be completely true, I was still wrong about being wrong.
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18-09-2011, 07:52 AM
RE: Morality
The putative Adam and Eve, alone in a gated jungle community were amoral - just another pair of animals, with the usual mammalian protocols, followed instinctively, unreflectively, unselfconsciously - until they ate that pomegranate.
That's what the story is really an allegory for: attaining the level of cognition and linguistic sophistication where we can define morality.

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18-09-2011, 08:37 PM
RE: Morality
(18-09-2011 04:52 AM)ebilekittae Wrote:  I don't mean to put words in his mouth, but by "isolation" I believe Ghost is referring to isolation with all kinds of interaction, not just personal interaction.

Nope, in his first post he made it very clear that he was talking about people living alone:

(13-09-2011 08:15 PM)Ghost Wrote:  A person living in solitude cannot be moral. Morality requires the presence of at least one other person.

Perhaps (as you suspect) Ghost has redefined words like "solitude" and "isolation", but I'm sure he would have told us if that was the case.



Actually Ghost, now that I have re-read your first post. I wonder if you could tell us what happens to the "immoral" hermit as some other person approaches? When does the hermit become moral? At a distance of ten miles? Ten yards? Ten feet?

Who decides when morality has returned? How do they decide?

Or could it be (as I suspect) that the hermit may have been a moral person the whole time.

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