What IS morality, really?
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17-06-2016, 08:11 PM
RE: What IS morality, really?
(17-06-2016 07:22 PM)Dark Wanderer Wrote:  so why do christians claim their god is the authority on morality?

Because it makes them better than the heathens?

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17-06-2016, 08:13 PM
RE: What IS morality, really?
(17-06-2016 07:22 PM)Dark Wanderer Wrote:  so why do christians claim their god is the authority on morality?
Because it suits their narrative.
They don't like the source of things to be nature or common sense and most definitely they don't want the idea that it is a subjective held by an individual.

They want something concrete, they assume personal subjective belief means "on a whim", leaving people to base right on their own personal desires.

They want people to be flawed, and yet they want a solid answer on what is right and wrong. So they refer to a perfect and loving god as the source of morality.
Of course the god is invisible and non interactive, hence they have claims as to why it is that their own church is in the special privilege of knowing the will of god.

They then become the proxy authority.
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17-06-2016, 08:14 PM
RE: What IS morality, really?
I did a deconstruction of the moral argument a couple of years back, and I think it will copy-pasta into this thread with only a tiny bit of editing. Here it goes.

Quote:Morality, at its most abstract, is a rule system for classification or interpretation of decisions, beliefs, status, or actions on a spectrum of contemptible versus laudable. For example, it might classify one decision as highly contemptible, mildly contemptible, neutral, somewhat laudable, et cetera, whereas another decision might be classified differently. (Alternatively, the word can be used as a person's tendency to conform to some such rule system.) We should be able to agree on this much, even if we will disagree on important details like the particular rules.

Does morality exist? Well, we have rules systems, as described, that seem to fit the bill. We have a great many of them, many of which will agree on a great many points but differ in small or major ways on some details. Nearly everyone employs such a system....

[The question is] if any of these rules systems are CORRECT in some objective manner. This question must be thoroughly deconstructed before it can be answered. What would it even mean for such a system to be objectively correct? The proposition must be clearly defined before it can be asserted or considered. This is an essential step. If the assertion has no meaning, then it cannot mean anything. It can represent nothing and it can imply nothing and it can signify nothing. On the other hand, if it does have a meaning, it is possible that its implications will allow us to test its veracity. A clear understanding of what would constitute an objective morality might give us a way of identifying what was objective morality and what wasn't.

...

Two common definitions of an objective morality are (1) a rules system (as above) that applies equally regardless of some factors such as person, place, time, race, class, sex, knowledge, et al, and (2) a rules system (as above) that is not merely the moral framework of one or more people, but is in some way exercised by some higher power or force. The distinction between these is clear. It is conceivable for a personal moral framework to condemn all acts of rape regardless of other factors, even if it is just a personal moral framework and there is no higher power enforcing this rules system. This is objective morality under definition (1), but not definition (2). It is also possible to conceive of some higher power preferentially enforcing a moral framework for, say, a particular sex, holding the same acts performed by women as contemptuous while at the same time holding them virtuous when the actor is male. This would be an objective morality by definition (2), but not definition (1).

With this in mind, what does it even mean to propose that working for the betterment of the community is the essence of morality? Are you simply defining or identifying a new or existing moral framework, or are you somehow proposing it as correct in some objective manner? And if the latter, what is the nature of this objective correctness?
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17-06-2016, 08:22 PM
RE: What IS morality, really?
(17-06-2016 05:38 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(17-06-2016 03:32 PM)neilxt Wrote:  Morality, and the whole edifice of moral right and wrong, is the community's idea of what individual behaviour will help or harm that community.
I don't agree with this. In my opinion Morality is a personal belief. Any rules in a community or society are just that, laws and rules, they aren't morality. If you enforce rules they you are coercing, and taking action under coercion means that you are not free to make moral choices.
Also, just because the majority of people in your society or group things something is wrong, that doesn't mean that it is in fact wrong, you are still free to believe that it isn't wrong. Each person has their own beliefs, their own morality or not.

(17-06-2016 03:32 PM)neilxt Wrote:  Morality is a community's view of what individual behaviour is good or bad for the community.
The concept of morality naturally comes up because we live in a society of other people. In order to do that successfully we naturally understand that it wouldn't be safe if people could go around killing each other and stealing, so we consider those to be immoral, then we create laws which means they become illegal rather than immoral.

But anyway, each person has their own view of what is acceptable or unacceptable and they label those as moral or immoral. It is rare for two people to completely agree on everything, so morality is a personal belief. It isn't a community thing, however we do influence each other.

You're claiming morality without defining it. We accept that sometimes killing people is not morally wrong. Those times and circumstances vary depending on which communities you're considering. Like war and capital punishment.

And if you examine those differences in detail the major differences will depend on which communities those behaviors are seen to be hurting and how they prioritize their community affiliations. Remember, I'm talking about a much broader concept than when people say "the community". Family is a community. Friends are a community. Nation is a community. Church is a community. Most people belong to several communities and must prioritize how important the community is to them and how important that value is to that community. Just look at the abortion rights debate. People are struggling to reconcile the Nation's community value of deference to women's needs against deference to their religious community's needs. And political parties are communities too and their needs and people's loyalties get wrapped up in that, too - just on that one issue.
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17-06-2016, 08:28 PM
RE: What IS morality, really?
(17-06-2016 06:07 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(17-06-2016 06:03 PM)Dom Wrote:  Yes, but that doesn't mean that the individual does not instinctually preserve others of the same species.

In fact, social animals behave altruistically quite often. Preservation of the community enhances survivorship of the individual.

Except that's not always the case. One extreme example of moral behavior is to lay down your life for your country.
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17-06-2016, 08:34 PM
RE: What IS morality, really?
(17-06-2016 07:22 PM)Dark Wanderer Wrote:  so why do christians claim their god is the authority on morality?

Because it enables them to define and codify the behavior that supports the community of "Christian" (or more likely their specific sub sect of...)
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17-06-2016, 08:35 PM
RE: What IS morality, really?
(17-06-2016 06:03 PM)Dom Wrote:  
(17-06-2016 05:54 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Except a species does not have the survival instinct... that's at the level of the individual ... kinda like St.Evil just said.

Tongue

Yes, but that doesn't mean that the individual does not instinctually preserve others of the same species.

Typically only close kin. Only humans, and very few of them, care about their species.

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17-06-2016, 08:36 PM
RE: What IS morality, really?
(17-06-2016 06:07 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(17-06-2016 06:03 PM)Dom Wrote:  Yes, but that doesn't mean that the individual does not instinctually preserve others of the same species.

In fact, social animals behave altruistically quite often. Preservation of the community enhances survivorship of the individual.

But it is not 'for the good of the species'.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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17-06-2016, 08:55 PM
RE: What IS morality, really?
(17-06-2016 08:13 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(17-06-2016 07:22 PM)Dark Wanderer Wrote:  so why do christians claim their god is the authority on morality?
Because it suits their narrative.
They don't like the source of things to be nature or common sense and most definitely they don't want the idea that it is a subjective held by an individual.

They want something concrete, they assume personal subjective belief means "on a whim", leaving people to base right on their own personal desires.

They want people to be flawed, and yet they want a solid answer on what is right and wrong. So they refer to a perfect and loving god as the source of morality.
Of course the god is invisible and non interactive, hence they have claims as to why it is that their own church is in the special privilege of knowing the will of god.

They then become the proxy authority.

sounds like theyre trying to use it as a crutch because they dont believe that their own opinions on what is moral are reliable. seems cowardly to me. i guess that would make sense, if the bible didnt have so many contradictions and had clear cut descriptions on what is moral.
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17-06-2016, 09:08 PM
RE: What IS morality, really?
(17-06-2016 08:36 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(17-06-2016 06:07 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  In fact, social animals behave altruistically quite often. Preservation of the community enhances survivorship of the individual.

But it is not 'for the good of the species'.

I didn't say "for the good of the species" but for the good of the community because of the good for the individual.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
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