What IS morality, really?
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21-06-2016, 04:09 PM
RE: What IS morality, really?
(19-06-2016 07:30 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  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."
Flex
... or, of course vice versa.

Yours is an interesting essay but it still tries to judge moral value, right and wrong, using a system of morals. Westerners think Islamic fundamentalists are immoral and vice versa. You have no standard for judging moral except tour own moral standard. You can't say "your morals are wrong because they don't fit my moral value system". Well! You can, and most attempts at evaluating moral values rapidly degenerate into that, if they don't actually start there. They don't mean anything. Can't in fact.

Looking at morals as a support mechanism which allows an individual to support a community without regard for self interest appears to conform to reality and gives us a framework for evaluating moral codes that doesn't rapidly become hopelessly self referential.
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21-06-2016, 04:15 PM
RE: What IS morality, really?
(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).

A god code gives you a framework for judging good or bad but it only works for one god code and only if all are believers. Every god code is different and they are all majory wrong when judged by the others.
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21-06-2016, 04:27 PM
RE: What IS morality, really?
Much like pornography, I can't define it but I know it when I see it.

#sigh
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21-06-2016, 04:33 PM
RE: What IS morality, really?
(20-06-2016 07:16 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  
(20-06-2016 06:30 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  ...it would be silly for someone to claim "i like x, therefore x is good".

This is the "Is morality objective or subjective" argument.
THAT's the phrase I was looking for yesterday. Thank you. Morality can only be subjective because there is nothing you can judge it by objectively without reference to a chosen moral code. "behaviour A is immoral because ...." can only ever be followed by a different moral choice as a comparator.

(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.
It can't be done in this universe.

(20-06-2016 07:16 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  The justification for domesticating animals is first and foremost that it benefits the domesticator.
But is it? Most domesticated animals have far higher poplations than they would have in the wild so there is at least one sense where it could be said that domestication is objectively good for the animals
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21-06-2016, 05:08 PM
RE: What IS morality, really?
(21-06-2016 04:33 PM)neilxt Wrote:  
(20-06-2016 07:16 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  This is the "Is morality objective or subjective" argument.
THAT's the phrase I was looking for yesterday. Thank you. Morality can only be subjective because there is nothing you can judge it by objectively without reference to a chosen moral code. "behaviour A is immoral because ...." can only ever be followed by a different moral choice as a comparator.
It's a personal construction. A fundamentally flawed personal construction (IMO). It takes the vague concepts of moral rights and moral wrong (however the beholder defines those), It takes the vague concepts of free will vs coercion or determinism (however the beholder defines those). And potentially the concept of moral obligation (however the beholder defines that.)
It's a personal belief system, constructed by the individual (beholder), most likely not clearly defined even to themselves hence very prone to change and twist. The beholder isn't following any set of rules (not even personal rules) they are making judgement call however they see fit at the time. There aren't any real ways to even keep this consistent to themselves.

In my opinion, people put unnecessary pressure on themselves when trying to make decisions (is this ethical, is this the right decision), they unnecessarily beat themselves up with guilt if they later believe that they made the morally wrong decision. But that's fine, people can do that to themselves if they want.
I get real issue with it when people understand that morality is subjective, personal and made up, but then make public claims as to something being "immoral". They don't tend to bound the claim by prefacing it with "I believe" e.g. "eating animals is immoral" rather than "I believe eating animals is wrong". They tend to think that other people are bound to their own personal moral beliefs and hence judge other people and put pressure on them, i.e. ostracise them or demand punishment on them for transgressing these moral beliefs.
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24-06-2016, 07:25 AM
RE: What IS morality, really?
(21-06-2016 05:08 PM)Stevil Wrote:  It's a personal construction.
I really don't think that is is. Morality is ubiquitously judged by community standards.
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25-06-2016, 12:40 AM
RE: What IS morality, really?
(24-06-2016 07:25 AM)neilxt Wrote:  
(21-06-2016 05:08 PM)Stevil Wrote:  It's a personal construction.
I really don't think that is is. Morality is ubiquitously judged by community standards.
Are you able to provide (document) the definitive definition of good, bad, of moral obligation, of coercion etc?

Are you able to provide (document) a definitive list of all wrongs based on each community that you belong to?
Who is the authority? who is it that gives ultimate sign-off and puts these moral wrongs in concrete?

Let's say you belong to a community where homosexuality is promoted as being morally wrong. Does that mean, as a member of this community, that you must believe that homosexuality is wrong? OR do you still have the ability to hold your own belief on the matter?

Within a club, an organisation etc, you may have a list of rules, documented and enforced. But these aren't morality. Within a country you have laws, but these aren't morality. If you claim to know what the unwritten rules are, what the implied social contract is within your community, then you are either fooling yourself or you are outright lying.
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25-06-2016, 08:51 AM
RE: What IS morality, really?
(21-06-2016 04:27 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Much like pornography, I can't define it but I know it when I see it.
Much like pornography it gives some people a hardon to like something they think they're supposed to hate.
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25-06-2016, 11:46 AM
RE: What IS morality, really?
[quote='Stevil' pid='1020102' dateline='1466836824']
Are you able to provide (document) the definitive definition of good, bad, of moral obligation, of coercion etc?
[/quote]
Of course not, nobody is but there are things we can tell about it. I can tell you it's not e small bowl of strawberry puddings for instance (except possibly in some ridiculously complex metaphor). But the people most insistent on knowing what it is claim it's come from god and is therefore undeniable, unalterable, and inarguable. And that's obviously as nonsensical as the strawberry pudding metaphor.

And yet they exist. moral imperatives are quite often in broad agreement over large swaths of a community will agree and use non governmental means to enforce them if governmental means don't work.

[quote='Stevil' pid='1020102' dateline='1466836824']
Are you able to provide (document) a definitive list of all wrongs based on each community that you belong to?
[/quote]
I'm not claiming to judge specific moral choices. That's not part of my hypothesis.

[quote='Stevil' pid='1020102' dateline='1466836824']
Let's say you belong to a community where homosexuality is promoted as being morally wrong. Does that mean, as a member of this community, that you must believe that homosexuality is wrong? OR do you still have the ability to hold your own belief on the matter?
[/quote

Interesting thought. There is a considerable body of thought, which includes me, who think that's at the root of the pedophile priests problem.

No man has only one community. family, friends, city, state, nation, church, religion. Your personal experience and intelligence will influence which of those carries more weight but all moral values however big or small or petty, I out it to you, can be shown to come from and be a community of some sort. thay don't tell us anything about what's right but they tell us a lot about what communities a person identifies with and how strong they are in his psyche.
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25-06-2016, 12:13 PM
RE: What IS morality, really?
(25-06-2016 08:51 AM)neilxt Wrote:  
(21-06-2016 04:27 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Much like pornography, I can't define it but I know it when I see it.
Much like pornography it gives some people a hardon to like something they think they're supposed to hate.

This sounds like a personal issue you should address with your shrink.

#sigh
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