Would social manners fall under the umbrella of morals and/or ethics?
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14-05-2012, 03:48 PM
RE: Would social manners fall under the umbrella of morals and/or ethics?
How much do you want to bet that they were too busy thanking God to thank you? Come on, it's a fair bet...


This is a pet peeve of mine. I get irked when someone doesn't even so much as acknowledge my holding the door open for them. Perhaps I'm vain and looking for approval or an ego-booster by acting nice. I personally don't think so, so if that's the case, it's subconscious.

I'm just saying, it makes me feel like an ass when I hold a door open and the person walks by without so much as a nod. Actually, I guess that proves that I am not searching for an ego-booster. Getting completely ignored is the majority case, not the exception when it comes to being thoughtful to strangers. Yet, I continue to do it.

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14-05-2012, 10:05 PM
RE: Would social manners fall under the umbrella of morals and/or ethics?
(14-05-2012 03:25 PM)TrulyX Wrote:  
(14-05-2012 01:32 PM)lightninlives Wrote:  Do you have any supporting evidence other than "because I say so?"

I'm not saying "because I say so" won't suffice, well yes, actually I am saying that.

Just curious, mainly about the connection to ethics (e.g. behavior that improves society as a whole). I don't think this falls into the moral category in any real sense (but would love to hear any arguments suggesting it does).
I'm not saying you can't throw it into the conversion, but it would kind of be like me throwing myself into a conversation about the best basketball players of all time.

I also wouldn't consider manners "behavior that improves society as a whole" either, and that is even if I considered ethics to be behavior to improve society. I don't know if that is how you were attempting to define ethics or just how you were trying to draw the connection. I assume that is just how you were trying to draw the connection, and though, like I already pointed out, I think the connection can be valid, I don't find it very fitting within the conversation.

Basically, it's as bad as, or maybe even worse, than throwing religion into the conversation.

Would anyone seriously raise an argument that would lead to someone who didn't cover their mouth when they coughed to be considered to have committed an immoral act? Or the type of people who don't agree with you culturally to be deemed immoral and acts that don't agree with you culturally to be deemed unethical?

My main point is that manners are relativistic and subjective. Morality can't be relativistic; it has to be absolute and universal.

As far as it being brought into ethics, it could not be brought into the main discipline of ethics as it pertains to society in general, as I pointed out. If the question just meant manners as they apply to other specific ethics (e.g. of journalism, law, business, etc), I guess it could be suited for that, but then again, there is no way to draw an absolute conclusion (i.e. an absolute conclusion wouldn't exist or better yet, it would be all preference), so you'd have to debate the practicality of it; anything that could be considered absolute, or just a hell of a lot less subjective, would fall under morality/ethics in general.

To explain that last point further, take journalism. You might argue that a journalist should practice good manners by wearing certain clothing or talking a certain way, but then how would you argue your way past an alternative view, without bring in a personal preference, such as you liking them to wear a suit and tie, because that's how you would like to see them dress. Anything regarding the important parts, such as how the journalist obtains information, would fall under the ethics of journalism in general. One could argue that really it would fall under ethics/morality in general, and that the same could be said for any other field.


Quote: "Not all human behavior is classified
as moral, however; some of it is nonmoral and some of it social, having
to do with manners, or etiquette, which is essentially a matter of taste
rather that of right and wrong
".
Damn. That kind of made me trying to explain it pointless. I should have been paying attention to what was already posted.

Quote: However, Hume argued that all morals are simply a matter of taste.
It's hard to argue against that point of view without blatantly begging the question, but that point of view, besides requiring quite a set of balls, also requires quite a bit of skepticism too.
That's better!

I'm still not convinced that there's no link between certain social manners and ethics in general (again, I'm leaning on what little I know about the role that manners like grooming play in primate society).

If opening doors for others, picking ticks off one another's backs, etc. benefits the broader societal group even indirectly, then it can be said to have ethical ramifications, no?

P.S. Thanks for all of the thoughtful feedback. It's much appreciated.

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14-05-2012, 10:25 PM (This post was last modified: 14-05-2012 11:05 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Would social manners fall under the umbrella of morals and/or ethics?
(14-05-2012 10:33 AM)lightninlives Wrote:  comical, is that these "unthankful" folks had just come out of a church that was adjacent to the play ground!


"Some people's kids" ...

These things usually happen so fast it's hard to react...

I would have said "hey, you're welcome", and walk away.

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15-05-2012, 06:55 AM
RE: Would social manners fall under the umbrella of morals and/or ethics?
(14-05-2012 10:25 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(14-05-2012 10:33 AM)lightninlives Wrote:  comical, is that these "unthankful" folks had just come out of a church that was adjacent to the play ground!


"Some people's kids" ...

These things usually happen so fast it's hard to react...

I would have said "hey, you're welcome", and walk away.
They stood right next to my wife and I for another 5 minutes chatting away like nothing had happened. This definitely wasn't a situation of "it happened so fast it's hard to react."

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15-05-2012, 08:25 AM
RE: Would social manners fall under the umbrella of morals and/or ethics?
In every normative system there are degrees of importance for actions, if that importance is to little, then it falls out the system and into some other system if there is. For instance, if you steal 5 bucks, technically is a crime, but almost everywhere it won't be prosecuted, here it's called the "insignificance principle", because the penal system is aimed to control harmful behaviour, not just any quarrel that may sprout now and then.
In that case, the action will fall into the ethical system, stealing is bad, no matter how little you steal.

As for manners, I think those things are too small even for ethics

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15-05-2012, 08:35 AM
RE: Would social manners fall under the umbrella of morals and/or ethics?
(15-05-2012 08:25 AM)nach_in Wrote:  In every normative system there are degrees of importance for actions, if that importance is to little, then it falls out the system and into some other system if there is. For instance, if you steal 5 bucks, technically is a crime, but almost everywhere it won't be prosecuted, here it's called the "insignificance principle", because the penal system is aimed to control harmful behaviour, not just any quarrel that may sprout now and then.
In that case, the action will fall into the ethical system, stealing is bad, no matter how little you steal.

As for manners, I think those things are too small even for ethics
That's an interesting though, and one I hadn't thought of, so thank you for sharing it.

However, what is the basis for your comparative assertion that manners are "too small even for ethics" as opposed to stealing five bucks.

I used to steal candy from the corner store with my friends when I was like 8 years old, and while that was morally and ethically wrong, the act, in isolation, had little impact on society. However, if every 8 year old (or most 8 year olds) were to do it, it would have a major impact on society.

Couldn't one argue that the same is true of certain types of manners (like saying thank you)?

I was also thinking that certain manners fall under the "golden rule" mantra which is often looked at as the basis for human morality.

In any case, I'm probably going to hold off on writing about this topic (unless I can find some scientific evidence that manners are indeed moral and/or ethical). Thanks for all of the input!

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15-05-2012, 08:51 AM
RE: Would social manners fall under the umbrella of morals and/or ethics?
(15-05-2012 08:35 AM)lightninlives Wrote:  
(15-05-2012 08:25 AM)nach_in Wrote:  In every normative system there are degrees of importance for actions, if that importance is to little, then it falls out the system and into some other system if there is. For instance, if you steal 5 bucks, technically is a crime, but almost everywhere it won't be prosecuted, here it's called the "insignificance principle", because the penal system is aimed to control harmful behaviour, not just any quarrel that may sprout now and then.
In that case, the action will fall into the ethical system, stealing is bad, no matter how little you steal.

As for manners, I think those things are too small even for ethics
That's an interesting though, and one I hadn't thought of, so thank you for sharing it.

However, what is the basis for your comparative assertion that manners are "too small even for ethics" as opposed to stealing five bucks.

I used to steal candy from the corner store with my friends when I was like 8 years old, and while that was morally and ethically wrong, the act, in isolation, had little impact on society. However, if every 8 year old (or most 8 year olds) were to do it, it would have a major impact on society.

Couldn't one argue that the same is true of certain types of manners (like saying thank you)?

I was also thinking that certain manners fall under the "golden rule" mantra which is often looked at as the basis for human morality.

In any case, I'm probably going to hold off on writing about this topic (unless I can find some scientific evidence that manners are indeed moral and/or ethical). Thanks for all of the input!
I think you answered your question, if an 8 yo steals some candy is not an issue, but if everyone does, then it becomes an issue and raises in importance thus making it an object of social control (in the candy example it would be somehow controlled by the state). If nobody say thanks or starts to fart in public it would either become something acceptable or people will start to react to it in a stronger way, as a social way to control it (pretty much like we react to someone hitting to somebody) because it will become an ethical issue.
As I said, is all a matter of degrees, if something is not problematic then we just let it pass, if it becomes an issue (for any reason) we either fight it or assimilate it, whatever is more convenient.

I doubt you'll find any kind of evidence in this matters as it's not something that can be measured :/

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15-05-2012, 09:44 AM
RE: Would social manners fall under the umbrella of morals and/or ethics?
(15-05-2012 08:51 AM)nach_in Wrote:  
(15-05-2012 08:35 AM)lightninlives Wrote:  That's an interesting though, and one I hadn't thought of, so thank you for sharing it.

However, what is the basis for your comparative assertion that manners are "too small even for ethics" as opposed to stealing five bucks.

I used to steal candy from the corner store with my friends when I was like 8 years old, and while that was morally and ethically wrong, the act, in isolation, had little impact on society. However, if every 8 year old (or most 8 year olds) were to do it, it would have a major impact on society.

Couldn't one argue that the same is true of certain types of manners (like saying thank you)?

I was also thinking that certain manners fall under the "golden rule" mantra which is often looked at as the basis for human morality.

In any case, I'm probably going to hold off on writing about this topic (unless I can find some scientific evidence that manners are indeed moral and/or ethical). Thanks for all of the input!
I think you answered your question, if an 8 yo steals some candy is not an issue, but if everyone does, then it becomes an issue and raises in importance thus making it an object of social control (in the candy example it would be somehow controlled by the state). If nobody say thanks or starts to fart in public it would either become something acceptable or people will start to react to it in a stronger way, as a social way to control it (pretty much like we react to someone hitting to somebody) because it will become an ethical issue.
As I said, is all a matter of degrees, if something is not problematic then we just let it pass, if it becomes an issue (for any reason) we either fight it or assimilate it, whatever is more convenient.

I doubt you'll find any kind of evidence in this matters as it's not something that can be measured :/
But what if you react strongly to people behaving like assholes (e.g. not thanking someone when they hold the door open for them, etc.)?


Thumbsup

P.S. Are you suggesting that there is no way to empirically measure the impact that behaviors associated with "good manners" can have on individuals or societal groups?

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15-05-2012, 10:01 AM
RE: Would social manners fall under the umbrella of morals and/or ethics?
(15-05-2012 09:44 AM)lightninlives Wrote:  
(15-05-2012 08:51 AM)nach_in Wrote:  I think you answered your question, if an 8 yo steals some candy is not an issue, but if everyone does, then it becomes an issue and raises in importance thus making it an object of social control (in the candy example it would be somehow controlled by the state). If nobody say thanks or starts to fart in public it would either become something acceptable or people will start to react to it in a stronger way, as a social way to control it (pretty much like we react to someone hitting to somebody) because it will become an ethical issue.
As I said, is all a matter of degrees, if something is not problematic then we just let it pass, if it becomes an issue (for any reason) we either fight it or assimilate it, whatever is more convenient.

I doubt you'll find any kind of evidence in this matters as it's not something that can be measured :/
But what if you react strongly to people behaving like assholes (e.g. not thanking someone when they hold the door open for them, etc.)?


Thumbsup

P.S. Are you suggesting that there is no way to empirically measure the impact that behaviors associated with "good manners" can have on individuals or societal groups?
There are rules for how far we can react also, if you yell and insult someone for not thanking you, then you're doing something wrong, it's the same idea behind not giving the death penalty for possession.

About the measurement thing, sociology and every social science struggle with that, for the impact in individuals it should be fairly simple I guess, but for societal groups it get too complicated, too many variables. That's why those kind of sciences aren't very good at being sciency Tongue

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15-05-2012, 12:34 PM
RE: Would social manners fall under the umbrella of morals and/or ethics?
(15-05-2012 10:01 AM)nach_in Wrote:  
(15-05-2012 09:44 AM)lightninlives Wrote:  But what if you react strongly to people behaving like assholes (e.g. not thanking someone when they hold the door open for them, etc.)?


Thumbsup

P.S. Are you suggesting that there is no way to empirically measure the impact that behaviors associated with "good manners" can have on individuals or societal groups?
There are rules for how far we can react also, if you yell and insult someone for not thanking you, then you're doing something wrong, it's the same idea behind not giving the death penalty for possession.

About the measurement thing, sociology and every social science struggle with that, for the impact in individuals it should be fairly simple I guess, but for societal groups it get too complicated, too many variables. That's why those kind of sciences aren't very good at being sciency Tongue
Good point on rules for reacting (that would be epic douchebaggery).

Agree that sociology and social science are some of the weaker sciences, but what about some of the fascinating neurological study that's being done on allegedly subjective emotional states like happiness and love?

I wouldn't be surprised if we eventually get to a point where we can evaluate the objective neurological states associated with being the giver and receiver of both good and bad manners.

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