Morality
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19-09-2011, 07:04 AM (This post was last modified: 19-09-2011 07:25 AM by ebilekittae.)
RE: Morality
(18-09-2011 08:37 PM)Joe Bloe Wrote:  
(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.

I have to disagree, I don't think there's much of a redefinition at all. o.o Would you consider someone living alone in their house but still chatting on Omegle someone living in solitude or isolation from others? I know I wouldn't--interaction or the lack thereof is what makes solitude or isolation, not physical proximity. Prisoners who are put into "Solitary Confinement" aren't put somewhere far away from any other people, they're put in a place where there's a lack of interaction. That's solitude. The moment you interact is the moment you break the isolation or solitude.

(18-09-2011 08:37 PM)Joe Bloe Wrote:  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.

I know this wasn't addressed to me, so I apologize if I'm being rude by answering, but again, solitude is defined by interaction and not physical proximity. Ghost is asserting, I believe, that this amorality would stop the moment the hermit interacts with someone else. At the moment where morality can be applied, that's the moment where it is applied.

As far as "who decides", no one does. Just as no one decides when your actions are called into morality. Morality as a concept is applied when two (or more) intelligences interact.

I would ask how a hermit could have morality without interaction.

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19-09-2011, 03:49 PM
RE: Morality
Hey, Joe Bloe.

Ebilekittae and I are on the exact same page. If someone lives in isolation and does things that affect others, then they're interacting with others. Direct interaction or no, they aren't in isolation.

And again, for the record, I don't actually care about people in isolation. It doesn't really happen. All I mean to illustrate is that morality and social interaction are inextricable.

It's along the lines of, a naked man in space can't breathe because breathing requires an atmosphere. I don't actually care about the dynamics of naked men in space, I'm just illustrating that breathing requires an atmosphere. Morality (including both the moral and the immoral) requires agreement with others that you are living in society with.

And when I say agreement, I don't mean, "Ok, Bob, it's settled, we agree that buggering kids is immoral." Societal agreement does not have to be explicit. It can just as easily be tacit.

The original point is that morality is inevitable for humans because we live socially. It can be nested in religion, but it doesn't have to be. The fact that religion "has" morality doesn't mean that religion is the cause of morality. The cause is living in society and having shared culture. You can have morality nested in culture, or morality nested in religion nested in culture and it comes to the same thing. All societies have morality regardless of religiosity or irreligiosity.

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Matt
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20-09-2011, 12:14 AM
RE: Morality
(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. Morality is a cultural matter. Religion is a cultural matter. Morality is nested within religion, but does not have to be; however, both religion and morality are nested within culture. There is nothing genetic at work. Morality is an agreement between two or more people and is not exclusive to religion. Morality is ubiquitous in all cultures. Discuss.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Not necessarily. A person is predisposed (and this is not based on culture) to not wanting to sleep with siblings (or anyone who is raised with them as a sibling), killing members of their own species, eating their own species, etc.

These all exist outside society and are behaviors that can be seen in a wide array of species, and these behaviors exist to benefit all species.

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20-09-2011, 12:41 AM (This post was last modified: 20-09-2011 04:29 AM by Joe Bloe.)
RE: Morality
(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.

(19-09-2011 03:49 PM)Ghost Wrote:  And again, for the record, I don't actually care about people in isolation. It doesn't really happen.


A person living in solitude cannot be moral [but people living in isolation] doesn't really happen.

Well that was a waste of time then.

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20-09-2011, 01:53 AM
RE: Morality
I just watched "Are We Good or Evil" by BBC Horizon. I encourage all of you to watch it, it seemed to answer the question of "Are we born with morality or is it contrived?". I don't want to spoil it, so go watch it!

Part 1 of 4
Part 2 of 4
Part 3 of 4
Part 4 of 4
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20-09-2011, 07:02 AM
RE: Morality
Hey, 17th.

Quote:Not necessarily. A person is predisposed (and this is not based on culture) to not wanting to sleep with siblings (or anyone who is raised with them as a sibling), killing members of their own species, eating their own species, etc.

These all exist outside society and are behaviors that can be seen in a wide array of species, and these behaviors exist to benefit all species.

How can you sleep with a sibling, kill other humans or eat other humans unless there are other humans around? So even if I agreed that these things are universals, which I don't think I do, they're still meaningless without other humans around. They do not exist outside of society.

(And just a quick aside, from a genetic standpoint, the kind of behaviours you mentioned aren't selected because they benefit the species, they are selected because they increase the chances that an individual's genes will be transmitted. Check out "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins.)

Hey, Joe Bloe.

Sorry you felt it was a waste of time.

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Matt
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20-09-2011, 07:56 AM
RE: Morality
(20-09-2011 12:14 AM)17thknight Wrote:  A person is predisposed (and this is not based on culture) to not wanting to sleep with siblings (or anyone who is raised with them as a sibling), killing members of their own species, eating their own species, etc.

These all exist outside society and are behaviors that can be seen in a wide array of species, and these behaviors exist to benefit all species.

If people are naturally predisposed not to behave in this ways, why do societies make explicit rules against such behaviour, devise punishments for indulging in such behaviour.... and it still happens anyway?
The whole point of a moral code is to curb instinctive, impulsive behaviour.
Besides, come on! Humans predisposed against killing other humans? Where? When? Since the dawn of history, have we ever for a minute stopped killing our own species?

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20-09-2011, 04:21 PM
RE: Morality
(20-09-2011 07:02 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Joe Bloe.

Sorry you felt it was a waste of time.

Not just a feeling - it really was a waste of time:

You started with a bold statement that piqued my interest and six pages later you casually dismissed the subject by saying you "don't actually care about" it, and "it doesn't really happen".

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20-09-2011, 08:22 PM
RE: Morality
(20-09-2011 07:56 AM)Peterkin Wrote:  If people are naturally predisposed not to behave in this ways, why do societies make explicit rules against such behaviour, devise punishments for indulging in such behaviour.... and it still happens anyway?
The whole point of a moral code is to curb instinctive, impulsive behaviour.
Besides, come on! Humans predisposed against killing other humans? Where? When? Since the dawn of history, have we ever for a minute stopped killing our own species?


Regardless of whether a species is predisposed to certain behaviors or not, there will always be individuals who do not act in accord with what we deem "wrong". It neither proves nor disproves my point.

That people do kill one another does not mean that it is a norm, or that it is a non-traumatic event. Killing another human being is anathema to our species. To take a life is something that is beyond comprehension until it is done, and people do not do it lightly.

I will agree, though, that people are inherently selfish, self-serving, greedy little monsters who require social norms to keep them from treating one another like total crap and taking advantage of each other. However, that being said, most people are not wanton killers, and it has nothing to do with societal rules. In fact, it takes some rather severe brainwashing to devalue a human life to someone to the point where they can easily kill.

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22-09-2011, 06:37 PM
RE: Morality
Hey, Joe.

I only apologise once. If it aint good enough for you, that's your problem.

I can appreciate your excitement, but you made a mountain out of a molehill. When I explained that I wasn't championing the idea that humans DO live alone, but that morality requires social agreement de-riguere, you said it was a waste of time. Obviously I disagree but I have no meaningful counterargument for, "Well that was a waste of time then." So I said something nice. And you were too cynical and or petty to accept that. So I don't know what it is you want, but... actually, no but, I don't know what you want. A cookie perhaps? All I know is that it's rude to ignore someone's apology.

Hey, 17th.

I agree absolutely that it takes a lot to create the conditions in which humans can kill easily. It involves stripping the target of their humanity. This can be accomplished in many ways. Some intentional, like army training and some naturally occurring, like psychopathy. So yes, I agree 100% with your point.

Salvationists and lawmakers believe that humans are basically good and that when someone does bad, it's because something is wrong with them and they should be punished for it. I subscribe to the idea that all humans are capable of all things. The nicest person can murder and the most hardened criminal can help a lady across the street.

I think that this dual nature has everything to do with morality. Social living offers many advantages, but the trade off is that we sacrifice perfect freedom. We need to agree what constitutes normative behaviour and what constitutes non-normative behaviour. All societies employ a moral code to facilitate day to day interaction.

The viewpoint I subscribe to admits that humans will break the "don't do it" rules, but that's to be expected.

Hey, Peterkin.

Quote:If people are naturally predisposed not to behave in this ways, why do societies make explicit rules against such behaviour, devise punishments for indulging in such behaviour.... and it still happens anyway?

Very good point. Well said.

I find that people are too liberal with their assumptions of universals.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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