No morality, just ethics?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
20-10-2014, 08:17 PM
RE: No morality, just ethics?
(20-10-2014 02:28 PM)cjlr Wrote:  The best definitions of morality I have seen are that it amounts to the mechanism we use to answer the question "what should I do?". Do note that this amounts to "there are many people who have opinions".

For example, I am also of the opinion that water is wet.
Yup, any discussion on morality would benefit from first agreeing on a definition of it.

"What should I do?" does not necessarily lead to a moral.
If I am thirsty "what should I do?"
Answer "Drink water"
But drinking water isn't a moral or immoral action is it? I think it is morally neutral.
Also if we think of "what shouldn't I do?" as being the immoral, then when I play chess, I decide for myself that I shouldn't move my rook in a diagonal if I want to play the game properly because moving it diagonal is against the rules. It doesn't mean that I have decided that it is immoral to move the rook diagonal. It just means that if I want to play the game properly then that is a move I think that I shouldn't do.

But many people, even those that believe that morality is subjective, also go and make judgements as to whether other people are behaving morally or immorally. Which is deluded of course, because the other person isn't using your moral opinions as their moral guide.
I think it would be great if people confined their own moral beliefs to themselves and didn't expect others to conform to their own moral opinions.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-10-2014, 10:44 PM
RE: No morality, just ethics?
(20-10-2014 02:28 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(20-10-2014 02:17 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Many times people act even if it does not impact them personally. They feel they are doing the right thing, ridding the world of immorality.

Great! Now connect the dots: your feels as to whose actions affect whom are not privileged.
Here's a simple scenario.
Gay marriage.

Many people believe that it is wrong and immoral.

They state that it should be illegal because it is immoral, that it is not a right etc.

We often say to these people, "If you don't like it, then don't marry someone of the same gender as yourself".
But they are not content with that. They want to stop all gays from getting married.

When probed as to how it affects them, they sometimes say that they don't like gay people flaunting their love down the street. (By this I think they mean kissing or holding hands or showing affection? or maybe even flamboyant behaviour??).

But anyway, with regards to personal impact, it is clear that these homophobes lives aren't in danger, their freedoms aren't in danger, their livelihoods aren't in danger etc. they are just sticking their noses in where they don't belong. Trying to control others, trying to get them to conform to their own beliefs.

How can they justify use of law and force against gay people, if we take away "morality" as a reason for law?

I tend to think that without moral beliefs we would be a more diverse and tolerant bunch. We would spend less time judging each other, less time trying to control each other, less time throwing derogatory labels like "lacking empathy" or "libretardism". It really is a consequence of a person trying to force me to conform to their own moral beliefs or otherwise publicly ridicule me or what not. It's vacuous really.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-10-2014, 04:31 AM (This post was last modified: 21-10-2014 04:34 AM by MadDog.)
RE: No morality, just ethics?
(20-10-2014 10:44 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(20-10-2014 02:28 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Great! Now connect the dots: your feels as to whose actions affect whom are not privileged.
Here's a simple scenario.
Gay marriage.

Many people believe that it is wrong and immoral.

They state that it should be illegal because it is immoral, that it is not a right etc.

We often say to these people, "If you don't like it, then don't marry someone of the same gender as yourself".
But they are not content with that. They want to stop all gays from getting married.

When probed as to how it affects them, they sometimes say that they don't like gay people flaunting their love down the street. (By this I think they mean kissing or holding hands or showing affection? or maybe even flamboyant behaviour??).

But anyway, with regards to personal impact, it is clear that these homophobes lives aren't in danger, their freedoms aren't in danger, their livelihoods aren't in danger etc. they are just sticking their noses in where they don't belong. Trying to control others, trying to get them to conform to their own beliefs.

How can they justify use of law and force against gay people, if we take away "morality" as a reason for law?

I tend to think that without moral beliefs we would be a more diverse and tolerant bunch. We would spend less time judging each other, less time trying to control each other, less time throwing derogatory labels like "lacking empathy" or "libretardism". It really is a consequence of a person trying to force me to conform to their own moral beliefs or otherwise publicly ridicule me or what not. It's vacuous really.

You being a bit vague with the "morality" notion you put forth. Superimposed ethics would be more accurate. Nevertheless this is a naive stance that assumes there is no evil. And worryingly if you have no morality but still some ethics, you are a hypocrite. If you have no ethics at all you are by definition unethical. Ethics arn't relative, you arn't a law of nature society requires trust not to be broken. If everyone had such low expectations for each other the nasty or stupid guys would take power as noone would stand up to their law breaking or incompetence.

Good examples for you: look at what like is happening now with this impending 10 million amnesty exec order governing against the will of the American people. Or you can keep your plan doctor, no you can't. Ignoring ISIS, or Ebola, until it gets to crisis point. Using stimulus spending as political pay offs, ie crony capitalism while infrastructure degrades. Not showing leadership on the economy when you are the worlds reserve currency. http://wallstreetexaminer.com/2014/09/pe...are-done/. The head leader spending all of his time fundraising, golfing or in political meetings rather than leading his country and to a large degree the world. The NSA. Russia feeling they can bully with no consequence there will just be another reset button. On a sidenote the Australian Prime Minister recently challenged Putin to a shirt-off. Reality is stranger than fiction.

If all politicians, including republicans, independents but particularly democrats stuck to ethics over self interest because they were scared of the consequences (ie. being voted out, or shamed, or prosecuted) we wouldn't all be in this mess, and I'm saying this from Australia it affects my business here too in the new global order. I think my view of the USA above a better analogy than random acts of violence and homosexual marriage to determine the endpoint of ethics and morality.

In saying that I would think a person who intervenes to stop a robber, or a fight, a morale person worthy of respect for the non self-centred risk they took. Otherwise I would simply look at the person as too sick, or old, or vulnerable female etc. But if you were a fit strong guy and done nothing I would conclude you somewhat slow or a coward. This is your problem you hate these superimposed ethics, or judgement. I think this is superficial it sounds harsh but it isn't. It builds the social contract, and we have long evolved to rely on it as it produces the most effective tribe. This recent morale relativism is an aberration to it. That doesn't mean we all have to be christians but rather if we are to replace christians and not kill the social contract we have to stand for something other than anarchy or apathy. Character does mean something, people require role models.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes MadDog's post
21-10-2014, 08:50 AM
RE: No morality, just ethics?
(20-10-2014 08:17 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Yup, any discussion on morality would benefit from first agreeing on a definition of it.

"What should I do?" does not necessarily lead to a moral.
If I am thirsty "what should I do?"
Answer "Drink water"
But drinking water isn't a moral or immoral action is it? I think it is morally neutral.

Sure; that's your opinion. Some moral philosophers would disagree with you.

(20-10-2014 08:17 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Also if we think of "what shouldn't I do?" as being the immoral, then when I play chess, I decide for myself that I shouldn't move my rook in a diagonal if I want to play the game properly because moving it diagonal is against the rules. It doesn't mean that I have decided that it is immoral to move the rook diagonal. It just means that if I want to play the game properly then that is a move I think that I shouldn't do.

Okay; you didn't like my (extraordinarily brief beginning of an) answer.
(I mean, it's not like it might be a richer topic than four words can comprehensively address, right?)

I note that you haven't presented an alternative, so there's that.

(20-10-2014 08:17 PM)Stevil Wrote:  But many people, even those that believe that morality is subjective, also go and make judgements as to whether other people are behaving morally or immorally. Which is deluded of course, because the other person isn't using your moral opinions as their moral guide.

That's nonsensical. It simply does not follow. And has nothing to do with subjectivity.

If we grant the existence of opinions it will inevitably follow that people will compare others' to their own.

(20-10-2014 08:17 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I think it would be great if people confined their own moral beliefs to themselves and didn't expect others to conform to their own moral opinions.

That's disingenuous at best.

It's bizarrely and almost uniquely asinine to say that one's moral opinions cannot (should not!) inform one's ideas of how people should relate to each other. Although we may note that having opinions about how others should act is a pretty good definition for "society".

You've never come close to coherently defining what it means for one person's actions to "affect" another, and so as a standard that is a wholly inadequate non-starter.

... this is my signature!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-10-2014, 09:09 AM (This post was last modified: 21-10-2014 09:45 AM by cjlr.)
RE: No morality, just ethics?
(20-10-2014 10:44 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(20-10-2014 02:28 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Great! Now connect the dots: your feels as to whose actions affect whom are not privileged.
Here's a simple scenario.
Gay marriage.

Many people believe that it is wrong and immoral.

They state that it should be illegal because it is immoral, that it is not a right etc.

We often say to these people, "If you don't like it, then don't marry someone of the same gender as yourself".
But they are not content with that. They want to stop all gays from getting married.

When probed as to how it affects them, they sometimes say that they don't like gay people flaunting their love down the street. (By this I think they mean kissing or holding hands or showing affection? or maybe even flamboyant behaviour??).

But anyway, with regards to personal impact, it is clear that these homophobes lives aren't in danger, their freedoms aren't in danger, their livelihoods aren't in danger etc. they are just sticking their noses in where they don't belong. Trying to control others, trying to get them to conform to their own beliefs.

I'm not sure how you've missed the essential point here, but it isn't at all clear to them, right? Surely that's the point?

Though I'm not particularly fond of answering on behalf of others, I'll give you one. To put it very, very simply: someone who does one bad thing is more likely to do other bad things. I'm not sure what "they" you've heard "probed", but such answers are not at all uncommon.

If so then there is the possibility of making some external arguments, which is ideal. One might compare crime rates, or the prospects of children raised in such environments, for example.

But among the bases we humans use to form such opinions, there is the concept of sanctity, as it were (alongside, generally, empathy, reciprocity, authority, and such). The idea of "impurity" causes discomfort, as genuinely as empathy causes discomfort in witnessing another's pain. To be hyperbolic we might even say harm. It is hopeless to say merely that "well, I wouldn't feel that way...", as if your feels had any bearing on those of others. If you wish to say people are wrong for possessing certain innate moral impulses, be my guest.

But sure. Yes, gay marriage is gay marriage. So what? What does that have to do with anything else? What does that have to do with the preceding discussion?

(20-10-2014 10:44 PM)Stevil Wrote:  How can they justify use of law and force against gay people, if we take away "morality" as a reason for law?

Indeed. Why have any law regarding marriage at all?

Why have any laws?

(20-10-2014 10:44 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I tend to think that without moral beliefs we would be a more diverse and tolerant bunch. We would spend less time judging each other, less time trying to control each other, less time throwing derogatory labels like "lacking empathy" or "libretardism". It really is a consequence of a person trying to force me to conform to their own moral beliefs or otherwise publicly ridicule me or what not. It's vacuous really.

You seem to persist in using some highly idiosyncratic definition of "morality" for yourself which you have not yet defined for the rest of us.
(well, you did say my overly simplified gloss wasn't enough...)

If you don't want people to say you seem to lack empathy, you probably shouldn't say things that seem as though they lack empathy.

So long as you admit of some means for deciding which actions are good or bad you will see disagreement. Accepting as a premise that a society requires rules, and presented with innate statistical disagreement, I've long since concluded that it's impossible to please all of the people all of the time. I'm not sure you've quite understood that.

... this is my signature!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes cjlr's post
21-10-2014, 10:59 AM (This post was last modified: 21-10-2014 11:19 AM by TreeSapNest.)
RE: No morality, just ethics?
(18-10-2014 11:35 AM)OddGamer Wrote:  I've come to think that when we discuss atheists having morality, we're playing into theist hands. They define morality as obedience to god, and we've been socially programmed to think that morality is a desirable trait. As such we argue that we have morality, too. [snip] We would also avoid terms such as 'good' and 'evil', instead referencing 'unethical' and 'ethical'.

I've thought a lot about morality and I think at it's most fundamental base it implies a compass for "do and don't do." To say a person has morals is to imply there are things that a person will do and things a person wont do. To say a person has no morals means a person will do anything. Christians, I think, are attacking the atheist for lacking a compass. To them, No God equals no right and no wrong. No directive to do X and not do Y. And they are correct. We have only ourselves, as individuals and a community, to come up with the best dos and don'ts we can that provide us with the outcome we desire. We are indeed moral, it's only that our compass differs from them*.

Good and evil are very real and should be embraced rather than avoided. Good is benevolence. Evil is malace. No God required. There are good and some real evil monsters in this world - in everyone really.



*Christians use the same compass as the atheist for almost everything they decide. It's only the apologist or the Christian who hasn't had a life outside their religious direction that questions "How do you or I know what to do?"
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-10-2014, 12:46 PM
RE: No morality, just ethics?
(21-10-2014 04:31 AM)MadDog Wrote:  In saying that I would think a person who intervenes to stop a robber, or a fight, a morale person worthy of respect for the non self-centred risk they took. Otherwise I would simply look at the person as too sick, or old, or vulnerable female etc. But if you were a fit strong guy and done nothing I would conclude you somewhat slow or a coward. This is your problem you hate these superimposed ethics, or judgement. I think this is superficial it sounds harsh but it isn't. It builds the social contract, and we have long evolved to rely on it as it produces the most effective tribe. This recent morale relativism is an aberration to it. That doesn't mean we all have to be christians but rather if we are to replace christians and not kill the social contract we have to stand for something other than anarchy or apathy. Character does mean something, people require role models.
I'm no super hero wanna be.
I going to try to live my life living up to other people's expectations.

You think I should risk myself, take it upon myself to get violent on some guy stealing a candy bar? Sure, you are entitled to your opinion. But I'm not out to please you. I don't even know you.
I'm no vigilante, I'll leave the law enforcement for the police. I'm not going to risk my own well being to save a multimillion dollar supermarket from losing a single candy bar. I'm certainly not going to punch or trip some guy for such a "crime".

I really don't think you are seeing the big picture here. The gay debate is key, because it highlights the issue will allowing a government to base laws on moral beliefs. There is no objective morality, so if you insist that morality is a decent basis for law then it is going to be a gamble on whose "moral beliefs" are going to be written into law. You then have really no response when the governing power decide to outlaw gay marriage. You can say it isn't immoral, but they will say it is.

BTW I am not a proponent of anarchy.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-10-2014, 02:34 PM
RE: No morality, just ethics?
(21-10-2014 04:31 AM)MadDog Wrote:  That doesn't mean we all have to be christians but rather if we are to replace christians and not kill the social contract we have to stand for something other than anarchy or apathy.
My stance is also not about apathy.
It's not that I don't care or can't be bothered.
It's that I respect other adult's ability to make choices more than I desire to control them by force.
You made mention of "cowardice"
Quote:But if you were a fit strong guy and done nothing I would conclude you somewhat slow or a coward.
It takes a strong confident and brave leadership to withhold themselves (given their position of power) from controlling and instead let people naturally make their own choices.
I can see how many people may have fears of "anarchy", "apathy", unruly dog eat dog society. But these fears are unfounded and in general many governments are going down this path, focussing on what the core purpose of a government is and leaving people to otherwise make their own decisions. The criticism some people resistent to change are making is that societies values, morals etc are eroding.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-10-2014, 02:48 PM
RE: No morality, just ethics?
(21-10-2014 02:34 PM)Stevil Wrote:  It takes a strong confident and brave leadership to withhold themselves (given their position of power) from controlling and instead let people naturally make their own choices.
I can see how many people may have fears of "anarchy", "apathy", unruly dog eat dog society. But these fears are unfounded and in general many governments are going down this path, focussing on what the core purpose of a government is and leaving people to otherwise make their own decisions. The criticism some people resistent to change are making is that societies values, morals etc are eroding.

If you saw a child being beaten, would you intervene in any way?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-10-2014, 03:38 PM
RE: No morality, just ethics?
(21-10-2014 02:48 PM)Chas Wrote:  If you saw a child being beaten, would you intervene in any way?
It depends.

If I saw a parent give their child a spank, I would not intervene.
If I saw two kids (not my own) having a fight and it seemed rather harmless, I would not intervene.
If the situation looked life threatening and no-one else were stopping it, then I possibly would intervene.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: