What IS morality, really?
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19-06-2016, 07:30 PM
RE: What IS morality, really?
Where did morals come from?

Lets go back to hunter gatherer time....it didn't take long to figure out that ones odds for survival were greatly increased if we stick together in groups, hunt in packs, protect each other....it also doesn't take a genius to figure out that as we started to build bigger tribes, groups, villages, towns, etc...that the basis of self preservation and safety is a tier one concern. It would be frowned upon to put it lightly, if you stole my food, raped my wife or children, or killed one of my family....these type of actions would be considered against everyones self preservation and safety...thus banned...thus SOCIETY dictates what is acceptable behavior, and this evolves with time. No made up god/s needed at all. No BS "ten commandments" which are so obviously written by a group of empowered, ignorant patriarchal men.....thou shalt not rape? ....nope, not on there, thou shalt not enslave other humans? ...nope, not on there, and surely the all knowing god knew that would be a problem...but no...the MEN that created the ten commandments were more concerned with pressing matters like thou shalt not covet thy neighbors wife.

Let's look at xtian development of morals...

Moral Theology is the study of how persons live in response to what God has done for them (Mueller 221).

Morality is concerned with human conduct but goes to a deeper level of personhood, such that our conduct is a reflection of who we are, a reflection of our character (Mueller 221).

Ethics can be defined as a discussion of the formation of human conduct… How responsible human beings capable of critical judgment should live using reflection on fundamental issues in the description of concrete cases (Mueller 221).

Conscience is the voice of God written in our hearts, in accordance with the second Vatican Council. Natural law is considered one of the major sources of moral theology and answers the question: how do I know what is good or evil? Christians believe that natural law has been a factor in our decisions about what is morally right and wrong, good and evil (Mueller 222 – 227).

“These people who may personally and individually be moral and good people and have no intention of conflict and harm on others often share a Christian theory called the collective guilt “social sin.” (Mueller 257). The depths that theists go to fabricate the conception of sin knows no bounds, here you can be a good person yet you still have “social sin”. John Paul II said that social sins were “collective behavior of certain social groups, big or small, or even of whole nations or blocks of nations” (Mueller 258). Social sin becomes the personal sin of individuals through complicity, indifference, or reluctance of those in a position to exert influence for change who do not do so (Mueller 258).

Catholic social teaching looks to gospel teaching to form the moral foundation the Catholic approach to questions of social justice, and assist the disciple in the ongoing task of reflecting on the challenge of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount and in discerning what it means in a consumer, technological, and globalized society to be poor in spirit and to embrace a sorrowing and the lowly (Mueller 260).


Secular morality is the aspect of philosophy that deals with morality outside of religious traditions. Modern examples include humanism, freethinking, and most versions of consequentialism. Additional philosophies with ancient roots include those such as skepticism and virtue ethics. Greg M. Epstein states, "much of ancient Far Eastern thought is deeply concerned with human goodness without placing much if any stock in the importance of gods or spirits. Other philosophers have proposed various ideas about how to determine right and wrong actions. An example is Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative: "The idea that actions can only be considered moral if they could be imitated by anyone else and produce good results."

A variety of positions is apparent regarding the relationship between religion and morality. Some believe that religion is necessary as a guide to a moral life. This idea has been with us for nearly 2,000 years. There are various thoughts regarding how this idea has arisen. For example, Greg Epstein suggests that this idea is connected to a concerted effort by theists to question nonreligious ideas: "conservative authorities have, since ancient days, had a clever counter strategy against religious skepticism—convincing people that atheism is evil, and then accusing their enemies of being atheists.

Others eschew the idea that religion is required to provide a guide to right and wrong behavior. Interestingly the Westminster Dictionary of Christian Ethics states that religion and morality "are to be defined differently and have no definitional connections with each other". Some believe that religions provide poor guides to moral behavior.

Popular atheist author and biologist Richard Dawkins, writing in The God Delusion, has stated that religious people have committed a wide variety of acts and held certain beliefs through history that are considered today to be morally repugnant. He has stated that Adolf Hitler and the Nazis held broadly Christian religious beliefs that inspired the Holocaust on account of antisemitic Christian doctrine, that Christians have traditionally imposed unfair restrictions on the legal and civil rights of women, and that Christians have condoned slavery of some form or description throughout most of Christianity's history. Dawkins insists that, since Jewish and Christian interpretations of the Bible have changed over the span of history so that what was formerly seen as permissible is now seen as impermissible, it is intellectually dishonest for them to believe theism provides an absolute moral foundation apart from secular intuition. In addition, he argued that since Christians and other religious groups do not acknowledge the binding authority of all parts of their holy texts (e.g., The books of Exodus and Leviticus state that those who work on the Sabbath and those caught performing acts of homosexuality, respectively, were to be put to death.), they are already capable of distinguishing "right" from "wrong." (Boghossian 248).

The well-known passage from Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, "If God is dead, all is permitted," suggests that non-believers would not hold moral lives without the possibility of punishment by a God. This perspective is absurd as all one has to do is look at Denmark or Sweden to see that these largely atheist areas enjoy being at the top tier of civilization. This is broken down in great detail in a book by Phil Zuckerman, "Society without God".

Phil Zuckerman, associate professor of sociology at Pitzer College in California, in his article, "Is Faith Good For Us" states the following: "A comparison of highly irreligious countries with highly religious countries, however, reveals a very different state of affairs. In reality, the most secular countries (those with the highest proportion of atheists and agnostics) are among the most stable, peaceful, free, wealthy, and healthy societies. And the most religious nations-wherein worship of God is in abundance are among the most unstable, violent, oppressive, poor, and destitute."

A study by Gregory S. Paul, entitled "Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies: A First Look," was done and the study's conclusion was that there was an inverse relationship between religion and poor societal health rates. What that means is that the higher the level of religious belief in a country, the lower the level of societal health (more violent crimes, suicides, teen pregnancies, etc.).

So it seems that a plethora of evidence exists to show that not only do we not need religion in our lives to be good humans, but that having it in our lives can be counter-productive and unhealthy.

Works cited

Mueller, J.J., Theological Foundations: Concepts and Methods for Understanding the Christian Faith. Winona: Anselm Academic, Christian Brothers Publications, 2011. Print.

Boghossian, Peter. A Manual for Creating Atheists. Durham: Pitchstone Publishing, 2013. Print.

Zuckerman, Phil. Society without god: What the least religious nations can tell us about contentment. New York: New York University Press, 2008. Print.

Flex

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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19-06-2016, 08:27 PM
RE: What IS morality, really?
I've come to thinking that morality is like a code that we all follow. Maybe it differs from person to person, but it's a code of some type, nonetheless. My code might differ from your code, but you do follow one. I tend to align mine with spiritual beliefs now, but I also have my own worldview, that's been shaped since childhood. That's my idea of morality.

Be true to yourself. Heart
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19-06-2016, 08:56 PM
RE: What IS morality, really?
Okay, you started the thread with this:
(17-06-2016 03:32 PM)neilxt Wrote:  Discuss.

And have laboriously dragged the "discussion" to this:
(19-06-2016 01:43 PM)neilxt Wrote:  Which brings us right back to the door I led us into.

Do you want an honest discussion or are you just lecturing? Because I'm seeing more of the latter than the former.

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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20-06-2016, 05:39 AM
RE: What IS morality, really?
(19-06-2016 08:56 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  Do you want an honest discussion or are you just lecturing?

Thank you for the false dichotomy. The answer is no, neither.

I posited a thesis and now I'm defending it.
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20-06-2016, 06:30 AM
RE: What IS morality, really?
(19-06-2016 07:30 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  So it seems that a plethora of evidence exists to show that not only do we not need religion in our lives to be good humans, but that having it in our lives can be counter-productive and unhealthy.

My problem is with your use of the word "good". I would argue that in an indifferent (godless) universe, there is no such thing as a "good" or "bad" person. There are behaviors that you like and dislike, but it would be silly for someone to claim "i like x, therefore x is good".

As an example, lets' look at three hypothetical people. Person A has captured a horse from a nearby area, and has made a slave out of that horse. He now uses the horse to perform work and to travel around on the horse's back (this is good for person A, not so much for the horse). Person B has captured a human from a nearby tribe and uses that human as a slave in a similar manner (except, instead of riding the slave, person B also uses his for sex, again this is good for person B, not so good for the human slave). Person C doesn't like the behavior of enslaving animals (including humans), but does enjoy killing cows and pigs and eating their flesh (killing and eating animals is good for person C, but not so good for the cows and pigs).

I would argue that there is no way to tell whether or not any of these three are exhibiting "good" or "bad" behavior. You might prefer certain behaviors over others, but that only tells us about your preferences, it doesn't tell us what is (objectively) good and bad. Basically, if there is no god, there is no good (or bad).
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20-06-2016, 07:16 AM
RE: What IS morality, really?
(20-06-2016 06:30 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  My problem is with your use of the word "good". I would argue that in an indifferent (godless) universe, there is no such thing as a "good" or "bad" person. There are behaviors that you like and dislike, but it would be silly for someone to claim "i like x, therefore x is good".

This is the "Is morality objective or subjective" argument.

I would argue that in an indifferent universe it would be harder to define a what makes a person good or bad, but I think/hope that it could be done.

(20-06-2016 06:30 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  As an example, lets' look at three hypothetical people. Person A has captured a horse from a nearby area, and has made a slave out of that horse. He now uses the horse to perform work and to travel around on the horse's back (this is good for person A, not so much for the horse).

The justification for domesticating animals is first and foremost that it benefits the domesticator. We use animals for labor because it is easier for them and in many cases impossible for humans. The animals were supposed to benefit from the care and maintenance provided by humans. it was also justified by the differentiation of species. Horses are a different species so thus not "entitled" to the same rights as people.

I would argue that this is a neutral to good act, depending on the people involved.

(20-06-2016 06:30 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Person B has captured a human from a nearby tribe and uses that human as a slave in a similar manner (except, instead of riding the slave, person B also uses his for sex, again this is good for person B, not so good for the human slave).

See below.

(20-06-2016 06:30 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Person C doesn't like the behavior of enslaving animals (including humans), but does enjoy killing cows and pigs and eating their flesh (killing and eating animals is good for person C, but not so good for the cows and pigs).

This is simple biology. Some animals ingest other animals. Circle of life, etc. If a person domesticates animals for food, that person is obliged to care for them humanely. But killing and eating for food: biologically necessary.

(20-06-2016 06:30 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I would argue that there is no way to tell whether or not any of these three are exhibiting "good" or "bad" behavior. You might prefer certain behaviors over others, but that only tells us about your preferences, it doesn't tell us what is (objectively) good and bad. Basically, if there is no god, there is no good (or bad).

This illustrates my fundamental problem when people argue against objective morality. No god = no morality is true only in reference to divinely ordained morality. That isn't exactly objective morality. Saying god = morality could mean that a god is enforcing it's own subjective morality, not an objective source.

Before I continue: I believe subjective morality exists. I would like to believe that a secularly based system of objective morality exists, but I have not been convinced that it does so.

But getting back to your example:
Being enslaved is bad for person B. It deprives them of their free will. It deprives them of the fruits of their labors. It deprives them of their self determination.

Being raped can cause physical and emotional trauma. Trauma/damage is bad. If an organism is damaged it is less able to survive. This is bad for that organism. Pain is a sign of trauma. Pain is generally considered bad or at best, a warning sign.

It does not matter if Person A thinks slavery and rape are peachy keen.
It does not matter if Country A permits and encourages slavery and permits rape.

Country A and Person A are only half of the equation.

Slavery is always bad for the enslaved.
Rape is always bad for rape victim.

Even more interestingly, slavery also has negative effects on the enslaver. Most people, not all, have empathy for other creatures. Inflicting pain on others, even for "good" reasons, also causes emotional trauma on the inflictor.

In regards to a society that endorses slavery, part of that societies resources have to be diverted to maintaining slaves, getting slaves, enforcing slavery laws, etc. This is a drain on that society that may or may not be offset by the benefits of free labor.

Does this not indicate that things could be objectively immoral?
I am very interested in hearing opinions on this.

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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20-06-2016, 07:43 AM
RE: What IS morality, really?
My reply below in red.

(20-06-2016 07:16 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  
(20-06-2016 06:30 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  My problem is with your use of the word "good". I would argue that in an indifferent (godless) universe, there is no such thing as a "good" or "bad" person. There are behaviors that you like and dislike, but it would be silly for someone to claim "i like x, therefore x is good".

This is the "Is morality objective or subjective" argument.

I would argue that in an indifferent universe it would be harder to define a what makes a person good or bad, but I think/hope that it could be done.

I would say it's impossible.

(20-06-2016 06:30 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  As an example, lets' look at three hypothetical people. Person A has captured a horse from a nearby area, and has made a slave out of that horse. He now uses the horse to perform work and to travel around on the horse's back (this is good for person A, not so much for the horse).

The justification for domesticating animals is first and foremost that it benefits the domesticator. We use animals for labor because it is easier for them and in many cases impossible for humans. This could apply to humans as well. After all, it's easier for a healthy 20 year old to perform manual labor than it is for a 60 year old with a bad back. The animals were supposed to benefit from the care and maintenance provided by humans. Animals were supposed to benefit? You've got to be kidding...You're just making stuff up. it was also justified by the differentiation of species. So one could make a similar justification by the differentiation of races, right. Horses are a different species so thus not "entitled" to the same rights as people. Plenty of PETA members would disagree with you here, how would I go about finding out who is correct?

I would argue that this is a neutral to good act, depending on the people involved.

(20-06-2016 06:30 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Person B has captured a human from a nearby tribe and uses that human as a slave in a similar manner (except, instead of riding the slave, person B also uses his for sex, again this is good for person B, not so good for the human slave).

See below.

(20-06-2016 06:30 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Person C doesn't like the behavior of enslaving animals (including humans), but does enjoy killing cows and pigs and eating their flesh (killing and eating animals is good for person C, but not so good for the cows and pigs).

This is simple biology. Some animals ingest other animals. Circle of life, etc. If a person domesticates animals for food, that person is obliged to care for them humanely. Obliged to care for them humanely? Where did you learn this? A lot of people seem to think that we have no obligations to them, how would i go about finding out who is right? But killing and eating for food: biologically necessary. You're just flat out wrong here, have you not heard of vegetarianism?

(20-06-2016 06:30 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I would argue that there is no way to tell whether or not any of these three are exhibiting "good" or "bad" behavior. You might prefer certain behaviors over others, but that only tells us about your preferences, it doesn't tell us what is (objectively) good and bad. Basically, if there is no god, there is no good (or bad).

This illustrates my fundamental problem when people argue against objective morality. No god = no morality is true only in reference to divinely ordained morality. That isn't exactly objective morality. Saying god = morality could mean that a god is enforcing it's own subjective morality, not an objective source.

Before I continue: I believe subjective morality exists. I would like to believe that a secularly based system of objective morality exists, but I have not been convinced that it does so.

But getting back to your example:
Being enslaved is bad for person B. It deprives them of their free will. It deprives them of the fruits of their labors. It deprives them of their self determination.

Being raped can cause physical and emotional trauma. Trauma/damage is bad. If an organism is damaged it is less able to survive. This is bad for that organism. Pain is a sign of trauma. Pain is generally considered bad or at best, a warning sign.Ok, killing pigs and eating their flesh is bad for the pig and makes it less able to survive, does this mean that killing pigs should be avoided?

It does not matter if Person A thinks slavery and rape are peachy keen.
It does not matter if Country A permits and encourages slavery and permits rape.

Country A and Person A are only half of the equation.

Slavery is always bad for the enslaved.
Rape is always bad for rape victim.

Even more interestingly, slavery also has negative effects on the enslaver. Most people, not all, have empathy for other creatures. Inflicting pain on others, even for "good" reasons, also causes emotional trauma on the inflictor. I don't see the relevance of this at all, unless you are suggesting that slavery is perfectly moral so long as the master feels no remorse?

In regards to a society that endorses slavery, part of that societies resources have to be diverted to maintaining slaves, getting slaves, enforcing slavery laws, etc. This is a drain on that society that may or may not be offset by the benefits of free labor. So slavery is bad if it results in a net loss economically, but if there was a way to perform slavery that resulted in a net gain economically, then it would be good?

Does this not indicate that things could be objectively immoral?yes, it does not indicate that things could be objectively immoral.
I am very interested in hearing opinions on this.
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20-06-2016, 08:32 AM
RE: What IS morality, really?
(20-06-2016 07:43 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(20-06-2016 07:16 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  I would argue that in an indifferent universe it would be harder to define a what makes a person good or bad, but I think/hope that it could be done.

I would say it's impossible.

Hence the discussion.

(20-06-2016 07:43 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(20-06-2016 07:16 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  The justification for domesticating animals is first and foremost that it benefits the domesticator. We use animals for labor because it is easier for them and in many cases impossible for humans.

This could apply to humans as well. After all, it's easier for a healthy 20 year old to perform manual labor than it is for a 60 year old with a bad back.

It is generally acknowledged that members of species treat others differently than they treat creatures of another species. I'm fairly sure that this is scientifically documented, but I've not got the quotations at hand.

In any case, if you are stating that you do not see that we treat humans on a different level than other animals, then I think I don't think we are going to get very far in this.

(20-06-2016 07:43 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(20-06-2016 07:16 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  The animals were supposed to benefit from the care and maintenance provided by humans.

Animals were supposed to benefit? You've got to be kidding...You're just making stuff up.

Again, something I've heard repeatedly, especially in regards to zoos. It's certainly not the strongest point in the post, however I've heard repeatedly how much better draft/working animals have it better than those in the wild. Longer life spans, etc.

(20-06-2016 07:43 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(20-06-2016 07:16 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  it was also justified by the differentiation of species.

So one could make a similar justification by the differentiation of races, right.


Yes, that point has been tried many times in the past and even in the present.

However since DNA has revealed all humans to be one, genetically identical species, that argument is no longer valid.

(20-06-2016 07:43 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(20-06-2016 07:16 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  Horses are a different species so thus not "entitled" to the same rights as people.

Plenty of PETA members would disagree with you here, how would I go about finding out who is correct?

Different species again, see above. Plus, I usually take viewpoints expressed by such extremist organizations with a healthy grain of salt.

(20-06-2016 07:43 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(20-06-2016 07:16 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  If a person domesticates animals for food, that person is obliged to care for them humanely.

Obliged to care for them humanely? Where did you learn this? A lot of people seem to think that we have no obligations to them, how would i go about finding out who is right?

That statement was based on above statement about benefits of animals living in captivity. If you own an animal and justify it by claiming to treat it well, then you are obligated to do so. Otherwise, your justification is invalid.

(20-06-2016 07:43 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(20-06-2016 07:16 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  But killing and eating for food: biologically necessary.

You're just flat out wrong here, have you not heard of vegetarianism?

eh. Necessary was not the right word. However we are omnivores and eating plants and animals is the "default" choice for our species.

However this all goes back to speciation. We treat different species differently from how we treat our own.

(20-06-2016 07:43 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(20-06-2016 07:16 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  Trauma/damage is bad. If an organism is damaged it is less able to survive. This is bad for that organism. Pain is a sign of trauma. Pain is generally considered bad or at best, a warning sign.

Ok, killing pigs and eating their flesh is bad for the pig and makes it less able to survive, does this mean that killing pigs should be avoided?

Are you going to address the question in regards to people or do you consider pigs to be a member of your own species?

(20-06-2016 07:43 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(20-06-2016 07:16 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  Inflicting pain on others, even for "good" reasons, also causes emotional trauma on the inflictor.

I don't see the relevance of this at all, unless you are suggesting that slavery is perfectly moral so long as the master feels no remorse?

You don't see the negative effects that guilt and remorse can have on a person?

(20-06-2016 07:43 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(20-06-2016 07:16 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  In regards to a society that endorses slavery....

So slavery is bad if it results in a net loss economically, but if there was a way to perform slavery that resulted in a net gain economically, then it would be good?

Economical slavery would only eliminate one negative point. All of the other negative points would still remain.

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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20-06-2016, 10:31 AM (This post was last modified: 20-06-2016 10:58 AM by Matt Finney.)
RE: What IS morality, really?
Reply in red

(20-06-2016 08:32 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  
(20-06-2016 07:43 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I would say it's impossible.

Hence the discussion.

(20-06-2016 07:43 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  This could apply to humans as well. After all, it's easier for a healthy 20 year old to perform manual labor than it is for a 60 year old with a bad back.

It is generally acknowledged that members of species treat others differently than they treat creatures of another species. I'm fairly sure that this is scientifically documented, but I've not got the quotations at hand. You are merely describing what is not what should be. Morality is only concerned with latter. A person killing another person is what is, morality is concerned with whether or not that should have been done.

In any case, if you are stating that you do not see that we treat humans on a different level than other animals, then I think I don't think we are going to get very far in this. Sure but people also treat members of other communities on a different level. Do I need to show you some war images? It does nothing to point out what is when we're discussing what should be.

(20-06-2016 07:43 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Animals were supposed to benefit? You've got to be kidding...You're just making stuff up.

Again, something I've heard repeatedly, especially in regards to zoos. It's certainly not the strongest point in the post, however I've heard repeatedly how much better draft/working animals have it better than those in the wild. Longer life spans, etc.
I think it's absurd to assume that any animal prefers to live in captivity. Granted, I recognize the symbiotic relationship many people have with their pets, that's different. I'm talking specifically about live stock and draft animals. If you're going to say that draft horses prefer to be enslaved, couldn't someone make the same argument about a human? Either way, it's absurd for you to say that you know what the animals prefer.

(20-06-2016 07:43 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  So one could make a similar justification by the differentiation of races, right.


Yes, that point has been tried many times in the past and even in the present.

However since DNA has revealed all humans to be one, genetically identical species, that argument is no longer valid.
Yes, but DNA has also revealed all living things on earth to be of the same origin. I don't see any real implications on morality from DNA research. And, are you implying that there are not genetic differences between races?

(20-06-2016 07:43 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Plenty of PETA members would disagree with you here, how would I go about finding out who is correct?

Different species again, see above. Plus, I usually take viewpoints expressed by such extremist organizations with a healthy grain of salt.
So effectively, you're a speciesist.

(20-06-2016 07:43 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Obliged to care for them humanely? Where did you learn this? A lot of people seem to think that we have no obligations to them, how would i go about finding out who is right?

That statement was based on above statement about benefits of animals living in captivity. If you own an animal and justify it by claiming to treat it well, then you are obligated to do so. Otherwise, your justification is invalid.
Why would one need justification in owning an animal (including humans)?

(20-06-2016 07:43 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  You're just flat out wrong here, have you not heard of vegetarianism?

eh. Necessary was not the right word. However we are omnivores and eating plants and animals is the "default" choice for our species.

However this all goes back to speciation. We treat different species differently from how we treat our own.
Again, you're only describing what is not what should be. When discussing morality, we are discussing what should be.

(20-06-2016 07:43 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Ok, killing pigs and eating their flesh is bad for the pig and makes it less able to survive, does this mean that killing pigs should be avoided?

Are you going to address the question in regards to people or do you consider pigs to be a member of your own species?
I'm just saying that we have no more obligation to people than we do pigs, or anything else, which is exactly none.

(20-06-2016 07:43 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I don't see the relevance of this at all, unless you are suggesting that slavery is perfectly moral so long as the master feels no remorse?

You don't see the negative effects that guilt and remorse can have on a person?

(20-06-2016 07:43 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  So slavery is bad if it results in a net loss economically, but if there was a way to perform slavery that resulted in a net gain economically, then it would be good?

Economical slavery would only eliminate one negative point. All of the other negative points would still remain.
Ok, so if a particular person feels no remorse for his slave, and it is economical for him to have slaves, then it is moral for him to possess slaves?
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20-06-2016, 11:06 AM
RE: What IS morality, really?
(20-06-2016 10:31 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  So effectively, you're a speciesist.

Oh for fucks sake.

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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