Slavery and Abolitionist
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24-12-2014, 03:32 PM
RE: Slavery and Abolitionist
(24-12-2014 02:16 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  What does Orders mean? You constantly use these terms as if there is some higher entity or power that is forcing things into a box.

No, I never said anything about a higher power, or made any appeals to him either. As far as this discussion is concerned, you can treat anything I have to say here as coming out of the mouth of practicing agnostic.

What I mean by order, is simply as it would be understand anywhere else, like if I were to make an order of my top ten favorite films. But let's use an example to explain what I mean here when concerning the topic of discussion.

I see a homeless man who is hungry, I feel the biological sensation of empathy, which causes me to consider giving him some money to get something to eat, I also feel a biological sensation of greed, to keep the money for myself, and use it for something else that I enjoying doing for myself.

Most us have a sense that greed is bad, empathy is good. That in such a scenario we should act the way our empathy is steering us, and not the way our greed is suggesting. The question is, is this sort of favoritism that we have towards empathy, that labels it a good, and greed as bad is that a product of our biology? Is it our biological makeup that shows us that empathy is to be chosen over greed?

Or is this sort of ordering, that places one sensation as superior to another sensation, a product of the beliefs ingrained to us by the societies and religions we grew up in?

Quote:Do take it so seriously foolish like that. it's not a direct experience situation only, you give the man food because you in his situation (If you ever were, it doesn't matter if you think you wont be) would want the man walking down the road to give you food. It's an abstract return, you're not expecting a direct person to person return... and thinking of him as your brother is a bizarre thing to add. That's a connection you have from your biological connection tightly to that person.

The whole situation is one about empathy. The golden rule, is in essence encouraging compassion, and empathy between people, even towards strangers and bums. It's not about gain, or even abstract gain in this sense. But rather the reason for why I fed the homeless man, or clothed him, is from an outpouring of compassion, in the same sense that I would clothe my child, or feed a starving brother.


Quote: And instinctively people have a range of where they value social good acts higher than other moral quandaries.

Meaning different people value things such as greed, and empathy differently? It's not our biology that determines for us that greed is inferior to empathy, that fairness is better than selfishness, but is rather this ordering of values is a product of our particular belief systems? Is this what you mean?
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24-12-2014, 05:52 PM
Re: Slavery and Abolitionist
Okay I took it wrongly then... Higher power doesnt mean God though, its any objective or basic sense of definite nature. I struggle with seeing this ordering you're talking about because these aren't equal propositions. You're equating emotional impacts with arbitrary defined concepts.

On what chemical foundation or natural foundation is greed? Greed is excess, I wouldn't define labels the way you frequently do. You've seemed to run into this with others as well. I would more likely define those feelings as emotional desires for comfort and self being. Greed and selfish isn't the same; itd be equivalent to excess charity or giving.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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25-12-2014, 09:31 AM
RE: Slavery and Abolitionist
(24-12-2014 05:52 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  Okay I took it wrongly then... Higher power doesnt mean God though, its any objective or basic sense of definite nature. I struggle with seeing this ordering you're talking about because these aren't equal propositions. You're equating emotional impacts with arbitrary defined concepts.

On what chemical foundation or natural foundation is greed? Greed is excess, I wouldn't define labels the way you frequently do. You've seemed to run into this with others as well. I would more likely define those feelings as emotional desires for comfort and self being. Greed and selfish isn't the same; itd be equivalent to excess charity or giving.

I meant it as a competing desire, a desire to give him money so he can be fed, and a desire to keep the money for myself, and use it for my own selfish enjoyment, such as buy a toy for myself.

Like, if I were to see a lost wallet, my empathy leads me to consider giving it back its owner, but my desire for money, and instant gratification, tempts me to keep the money in the wallet for myself.

Most of us would say, in these situations that we should act in the way our empathy is directing us to, to give the wallet back, to feed the starving man, and not the way our selfish desires are directing us to behave.

Is this sort of direction, the one that places behaving according to empathy, as superior to behaving according to these selfish desires, is it derived from our biology? Or is it something along the lines of a social construct, that our value of empathy as being superior, is something indoctrinated upon us by the societies and religions we are a product of?
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26-12-2014, 09:59 AM
RE: Slavery and Abolitionist
(22-12-2014 09:23 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  One argument that I often encounter, is that since slavery was advocated in some parts of the bible, and never really condemned in any other parts of scripture either, that the moral forces behind the abolitionist movement were secular.

In fact when one encounters discussions about the historical failings of religious based morality, you often finds praise for godless moral forces that saved us from this religious abyss of darkness and destruction.

If you do believe in the viability of this godless moral alternative, I'm curious.

Assuming you belong to a society where slavery was accepted, on what basis would you claim it was morally bad/evil/immoral?

I believe that secular morality (ethics) must begin with the purely intellectual acknowledgment that human beings desire happiness and freedom from suffering. This acknowledgement is "empathy"--Others have the same desires as I do, myself. You do not need to love, or even like someone, in order to acknowledge that they have the same desires as I do. Unless we are complete masochists, we do not desire unhappiness and suffering. Neither do others.

"Morality" in the secular sense is, if not to help others have happiness and freedom from suffering, it is, at least, to not cause others unhappiness and suffering. I need to add the codicil of "unjustly" cause unhappiness and suffering. There are cases when it is necessary to cause others to be unhappy and to suffer, such as incarcerating a person who poses a genuine threat to society.

If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.--Voltaire.

"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." --Thomas Paine.
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26-12-2014, 11:25 AM (This post was last modified: 26-12-2014 12:39 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: Slavery and Abolitionist
(26-12-2014 09:59 AM)666wannabe Wrote:  I believe that secular morality (ethics) must begin with the purely intellectual acknowledgment that human beings desire happiness and freedom from suffering.

So do chickens, and cows, mules and possibly even beatles. A cow is not happy that he's slain for burgers, and mules not happy that their work is unpaid, and done for little reward. Just because they don't desire to suffer, and desire happiness just like we do, doesn't mean we have to oblige them, because it sure beats eating vegetables.

Quote:This acknowledgement is "empathy"--Others have the same desires as I do, myself.

What does that mean? that because I feel empathy towards chicken, that I shouldn'y fry them for dinner?
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26-12-2014, 03:44 PM
RE: Slavery and Abolitionist
I am surprised that no one has postulated that morality predates divinity. It is entirely possible that society created divinity in order to explain the existence of morality.
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29-12-2014, 08:36 AM
RE: Slavery and Abolitionist
(26-12-2014 11:25 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(26-12-2014 09:59 AM)666wannabe Wrote:  I believe that secular morality (ethics) must begin with the purely intellectual acknowledgment that human beings desire happiness and freedom from suffering.

So do chickens, and cows, mules and possibly even beatles. A cow is not happy that he's slain for burgers, and mules not happy that their work is unpaid, and done for little reward. Just because they don't desire to suffer, and desire happiness just like we do, doesn't mean we have to oblige them, because it sure beats eating vegetables.

Sometimes you say things that make sense, othertimes I'm not sure you're all there seriously.

In so far for how you manage these ideas you want to unfurial into non-equal situations and scenarios, there are layers of what desires come out in humans. The drives of sex, hunger, and comfort at the top... after that the next couple I've seen are claimed to be fairness or some ideas of emotional closeness.

The concepts of selfish acts or greed are just doing something for comfort when you already have what you would considered adequate comfort. They aren't innate feelings in themselves.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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