My views on Morality
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21-01-2014, 08:29 PM
My views on Morality
As a child, I was taught the difference between “right” and “wrong” or “good” and “bad”. I was often asked to describe the morals of stories, to apologize when I had done “wrong” or “bad” deeds, and I had expected to be praised when I had done something “right” or “good”. Being taught to be a good boy was remedial, as I often refused to pay attention or let my curiosity get the best of me. Often times, being a “bad” child was just asking why was it necessary to do good deeds. I was told as a child NOT to question the authority of my superiors. However, becoming a young adult, people have instead told me it was necessary to question authority and “speak up for myself”. The good deed as a child has now become a bad deed as an adult.

After several situations of changes in “good” and “bad”, I had noticed that morals can be altered. Therefore, they are not absolute. To steal is often viewed as a bad deed, however when you steal for the sake of your starving family it becomes a good deed. The kleptomaniac steals for pleasure or the thrill of stealing. The man in poverty steals to provide himself with his next meal. Both benefit from this and neither feel that the deed they have done is bad. However, the criticism both of them will receive will be mixed. If the men are receiving mixed criticism, good and evil are not valid entities.

Animals, plants, bacteria and other life forms do not have a moral code. Spiders eat their mates. Some dogs eat their pups. Nature has no universal code for morality. The human moral code is used to attempt to create a stable civil ecosystem. Therefore, morality is irrelevant to nature and is only a human concept. It is not absolute, and it is entirely up to the individual to evaluate his or her decisions.

The wise change their minds when facts and experience so demand. The fool does not hear or does not heed. (Wis 4:12-13)
- The Good Book
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21-01-2014, 09:06 PM (This post was last modified: 21-01-2014 09:09 PM by WillHopp.)
RE: My views on Morality
Animals have no moral code? First, humans are animals. Second, I don't think you understand the entire spectrum of morality. It's not just, "Thou shalt not steal." Many animals protect the young of their community, many mate for life, etc. These are morally sound practices, not just instincts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_morality

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21-01-2014, 09:24 PM
RE: My views on Morality
(21-01-2014 09:06 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  Animals have no moral code? First, humans are animals. Second, I don't think you understand the entire spectrum of morality. It's not just, "Thou shalt not steal." Many animals protect the young of their community, many mate for life, etc. These are morally sound practices, not just instincts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_morality

What you confuse as morals are actually instinctive. There is no good or bad in the animal kingdom. There is just do. They do not reason or evaluate their outcomes in terms of good or bad. If a squirrel wishes to share his nut, he does not do it because he evaluated it as good, he just does it because its instinctive to care for his fellow squirrels.

The wise change their minds when facts and experience so demand. The fool does not hear or does not heed. (Wis 4:12-13)
- The Good Book
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21-01-2014, 09:49 PM
RE: My views on Morality
(21-01-2014 08:29 PM)Krabman Wrote:  As a child, I was taught the difference between “right” and “wrong” or “good” and “bad”. I was often asked to describe the morals of stories, to apologize when I had done “wrong” or “bad” deeds, and I had expected to be praised when I had done something “right” or “good”. Being taught to be a good boy was remedial, as I often refused to pay attention or let my curiosity get the best of me. Often times, being a “bad” child was just asking why was it necessary to do good deeds. I was told as a child NOT to question the authority of my superiors. However, becoming a young adult, people have instead told me it was necessary to question authority and “speak up for myself”. The good deed as a child has now become a bad deed as an adult.

After several situations of changes in “good” and “bad”, I had noticed that morals can be altered. Therefore, they are not absolute. To steal is often viewed as a bad deed, however when you steal for the sake of your starving family it becomes a good deed. The kleptomaniac steals for pleasure or the thrill of stealing. The man in poverty steals to provide himself with his next meal. Both benefit from this and neither feel that the deed they have done is bad. However, the criticism both of them will receive will be mixed. If the men are receiving mixed criticism, good and evil are not valid entities.

Animals, plants, bacteria and other life forms do not have a moral code. Spiders eat their mates. Some dogs eat their pups. Nature has no universal code for morality. The human moral code is used to attempt to create a stable civil ecosystem. Therefore, morality is irrelevant to nature and is only a human concept. It is not absolute, and it is entirely up to the individual to evaluate his or her decisions.

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21-01-2014, 09:52 PM
RE: My views on Morality
Morals are instinctive, did you not read the link on the evolution of morality?

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21-01-2014, 09:54 PM
RE: My views on Morality
One of the measures of objective right and wrong is the degree to which it can be enforced by the objective law giver.
A law which isnt enforced can hardly be called objectively "good" or moral or right.
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21-01-2014, 10:00 PM
RE: My views on Morality
Is Lion IRC an alias for William Lane Craig?

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21-01-2014, 10:02 PM
RE: My views on Morality
Nope.
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21-01-2014, 10:08 PM
RE: My views on Morality
Of course I was being facetious, Lion. Smile

Have you ever visited ironchariots.org? It has a nice little refutation to your lawgiver point. Since I don't think you'll go there I'll paste it here for you.

Moral law requires a Lawgiver
Though we sometimes use the same words to talk about moral principles and human legislation, closer inspection calls into doubt the claim that there is a strong analogy between them. Human laws can be changed if the government wills it and follows correct procedures, but moral principles are typically thought to be unchanging. Also, it is possible to have a bad human law, but it is impossible to have a bad moral principle. In response to this second argument, it could be claimed that amoral laws are analogous to acts of a lower body that violate acts of a higher body which the lower body is responsible. This seems intuitively wrong, however: the wrong in a national law relegating part of the population to sub-human status seems very different, and more serious, than the wrong in a local law that contradicts a state. This argument is built on an equivocation, and is fallacious on those grounds.

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21-01-2014, 10:18 PM
RE: My views on Morality
(21-01-2014 09:24 PM)Krabman Wrote:  What you confuse as morals are actually instinctive.

That is besides the point--the point being that non-human animals don't behave in a completely unconstrained manner.

Quote:There is no good or bad in the animal kingdom.

Yes there is and that is one reason why mammals in general emote.

Quote:They do not reason or evaluate their outcomes in terms of good or bad.

Non-human primates do.

Quote: If a squirrel wishes to share his nut, he does not do it because he evaluated it as good, he just does it because its instinctive to care for his fellow squirrels.

The behaviour of the squirrel is driven by emotions, the squirrel feels a certain way when he shares his nut and that is why he behaves in the way that he does. That is no different from when a human operates on moral intuitions and experiences an emotion after acting in a certain way.
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