No morality, just ethics?
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21-10-2014, 03:43 PM
RE: No morality, just ethics?
(21-10-2014 03:38 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(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.

Since I used the word "beaten", your first two statements are inapplicable.

When would you intervene and when would you not? Only if, in your estimate, it was life-threatening?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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21-10-2014, 04:01 PM (This post was last modified: 21-10-2014 10:57 PM by Stevil.)
RE: No morality, just ethics?
(21-10-2014 09:09 AM)cjlr Wrote:  
(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?
That's a great question and sets us up for defining the purpose of government and law.
Something that I think needs to be clarified first before we launch into arguing about which laws are needed.



(21-10-2014 09:09 AM)cjlr Wrote:  
(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...)
In my experience it is impossible to get people to agree on what is right and what is wrong. It is also impossible to get people to agree on what is to be used as the yard stick for defining what is right and wrong e.g. maximised happiness, minimised suffering, golden rule, obey such and such a god.
So instead I have attempted to define what the moral landscape is. By this I mean, in a discussion on morality, what are the morally significant objects, properties and events. How can we tell whether an event is morally significant or morally neutral.

I doubt people would even be able to come to an agreement on this, but I have had a go at defining it. Feel free to pick holes in it, challenge it or even enhance it or articulate a competing definition. I would be interested to hear about a non vague, well articulated competing definition.
Ultimately it would be useful to do some litmus tests through it i.e. run some examples through the definition and see what qualifies as morally significant and what does not.
But this is such a large topic in its own right it would derail this thread here. So I'll provide a link.
My attempt to define the moral landscape
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22-10-2014, 02:09 PM
RE: No morality, just ethics?
(20-10-2014 05:46 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Yabut, not just groups.

That's why I said "typically".

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19-11-2014, 07:06 PM
RE: No morality, just ethics?
(18-10-2014 11:35 AM)OddGamer Wrote:  I've never read anything in philosophy, no classes, so I'm a total noob. Read a few things here and most philosophy goes right over my head.

I've been thinking about many of the morality debates I've had on youtube (<waits for choking, gagging, laughing to stop>). 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. Instead, perhaps we should be saying we have ethics, not morality. Ethics, as I understand it, is basically the analysis of whether a given activity unduly harms or endangers another's person or property without sufficient cause. This would avoid the entire trap. We would also avoid terms such as 'good' and 'evil', instead referencing 'unethical' and 'ethical'. It would mean that 'moral', 'good', and 'evil' are appeal to emotion buzzwords.

Thoughts? How far off base am I? Not that I might not use the argument on YY anyway since commenters there are generally about as philosophically literate as I am. Angel
The idea of morality and/or ethics have nothing to do
with the catagorization of Atheist 0r theist,

I am an atheist and have been since I was a young man,
starting on that course when I was 13.

In my honest opinion, I am still a better christian
(little c, adjective)than the vast majority of those
who class themselves as Christians (big c, noun) You
see, I have a philosophy which I try very hard to live
up to and follow. which is "Never to do anything
Hurtfull, Harmfull, Mean, or Unfair to any other
creature, Human or otherwise,

The first two are hard to follow due to basic
requirements of life, but the latter two, can be
followed as a simple matter of conscience
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20-11-2014, 08:35 AM
RE: No morality, just ethics?
Morals, ethics, obligations, etc are all expectations of behavior based on the society in which you live. They are not absolute.
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20-11-2014, 12:51 PM
RE: No morality, just ethics?
(20-11-2014 08:35 AM)wazzel Wrote:  Morals, ethics, obligations, etc are all expectations of behavior based on the society in which you live. They are not absolute.
And they differ from person to person, from observer to observer.
Individuals in society don't agree to a common set of morals, ethics, obligations.
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20-11-2014, 12:58 PM
RE: No morality, just ethics?
(20-11-2014 12:51 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(20-11-2014 08:35 AM)wazzel Wrote:  Morals, ethics, obligations, etc are all expectations of behavior based on the society in which you live. They are not absolute.
And they differ from person to person, from observer to observer.
Individuals in society don't agree to a common set of morals, ethics, obligations.

I will give you a sort of agree on that. IMO there is an acceptable range a society will tolerate, while individuals may have more defined ideas.
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20-11-2014, 02:44 PM
RE: No morality, just ethics?
(20-11-2014 12:58 PM)wazzel Wrote:  I will give you a sort of agree on that.
I can accept a "sort of agree" :-)
(20-11-2014 12:58 PM)wazzel Wrote:  IMO there is an acceptable range a society will tolerate, while individuals may have more defined ideas.
Society isn't an entity of itself, it has no thoughts, opinions or beliefs. Society cannot tolerate.
Society of course is a group of people. When you say "society will tolerate" you are obviously generalising the opinions of the individuals that make up society.
Some people are more tolerant than others, those people tolerate some things that others don't tolerate.
Since we don't each live in isolation, there is a degree of influence we have on each other. Each of us could move and live within a variety of societies where the prevailing wind blows in a different direction to how we think the weather ought to behave, we would adapt in an attempt to find a way to survive and succeed. Although we would be a member of society we may or may not be accepting of the weather patterns, we may find ourself pissing into the wind at the risk of getting some splash back on ourselves or just quietly grumble to ourselves and get on with it.
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28-11-2014, 03:48 PM
Re: RE: No morality, just ethics?
(18-10-2014 11:35 AM)OddGamer Wrote:  I've never read anything in philosophy, no classes, so I'm a total noob. Read a few things here and most philosophy goes right over my head.

I've been thinking about many of the morality debates I've had on youtube (<waits for choking, gagging, laughing to stop>). 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. Instead, perhaps we should be saying we have ethics, not morality. Ethics, as I understand it, is basically the analysis of whether a given activity unduly harms or endangers another's person or property without sufficient cause. This would avoid the entire trap. We would also avoid terms such as 'good' and 'evil', instead referencing 'unethical' and 'ethical'. It would mean that 'moral', 'good', and 'evil' are appeal to emotion buzzwords.

Thoughts? How far off base am I? Not that I might not use the argument on YY anyway since commenters there are generally about as philosophically literate as I am. Angel
Theists who define morality as obedience to their holy book or imaginary friend actually don't know what morality *is*. There is an interconnected web of animal behaviors that satisfy the outer appearance of morality and can explain moral behaviors in humans.

This web of behaviors has an evidentially satisfying evolutionary explanation, which promotes propagation of a moral individual's genes.
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28-11-2014, 03:56 PM
Re: RE: No morality, just ethics?
(18-10-2014 11:35 AM)OddGamer Wrote:  I've never read anything in philosophy, no classes, so I'm a total noob. Read a few things here and most philosophy goes right over my head.

I've been thinking about many of the morality debates I've had on youtube (<waits for choking, gagging, laughing to stop>). 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. Instead, perhaps we should be saying we have ethics, not morality. Ethics, as I understand it, is basically the analysis of whether a given activity unduly harms or endangers another's person or property without sufficient cause. This would avoid the entire trap. We would also avoid terms such as 'good' and 'evil', instead referencing 'unethical' and 'ethical'. It would mean that 'moral', 'good', and 'evil' are appeal to emotion buzzwords.

Thoughts? How far off base am I? Not that I might not use the argument on YY anyway since commenters there are generally about as philosophically literate as I am. Angel
Some good books to read in this regard are The Bonobo and the Atheist , The Selfish Gene , and The Moral Landscape . Of these, I've only read The Selfish Gene. I plan to read the other books, though.
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