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mererdog

Open Question About Morals

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Any action that violates the freewill and rights of another adult, or would harm an innocent defined as a child or someone not capable of adult volition.

Simply put I could care less what adults do its their business.

This best fits my own view. I'd interject "without their consent" after "another adult". Since children and those incapable of adult volition cannot consent, they'd be covered too.

I noticed some said doing oneself harm was immoral. Anyone want to take a stab at explaining this? I can see how some might consider suicide immoral, I do not believe it to be immoral. Silly maybe, but not immoral. Would getting a tattoo or piercing be considered immoral? Spending beyond one's means? Gluttony?

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Any action can be, and probably is, both moral and immoral at the same time... just depends on who you ask.

Suicide can be considered immoral if you believe that your life belongs to God and "Thou shalt not kill" applies not just to other people, but yourself as well. Or maybe it's just silly. Depends who you ask. ;)

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Don't know.. Some things seem pretty obvious, but I am not sure that makes em true..

Not certain morality isn't an invention..

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Not certain morality isn't an invention..

Do you mean it's an artificial and arbitrary construct? Some "rules" are, but basic social morality seems to be more of an evolutionary development in order to maximize the survivability of the human tribe. After all, if everyone was killing each other over firewood and berries, the entire tribe would eventually die out. "Tribes" where people get along due to an innate social behavior such as respect for others, have a better chance of survival.

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Do you mean it's an artificial and arbitrary construct? Some "rules" are, but basic social morality seems to be more of an evolutionary development in order to maximize the survivability of the human tribe. After all, if everyone was killing each other over firewood and berries, the entire tribe would eventually die out. "Tribes" where people get along due to an innate social behavior such as respect for others, have a better chance of survival.

I like this..... especially the firewood and berries thing.... :)

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Do you mean it's an artificial and arbitrary construct? Some "rules" are, but basic social morality seems to be more of an evolutionary development in order to maximize the survivability of the human tribe. After all, if everyone was killing each other over firewood and berries, the entire tribe would eventually die out. "Tribes" where people get along due to an innate social behavior such as respect for others, have a better chance of survival.

i disagree. history is written by the victors, and it is thier morality that is considered valid. back when we were killing each other over firewood and berries, it was'nt the peaceful that evolved----they died and gave up thier firewood and such. possibly why the world is such a violent place?

Darwinism does'nt generally favor the peaceful, unfortunately.

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Do you mean it's an artificial and arbitrary construct? Some "rules" are, but basic social morality seems to be more of an evolutionary development in order to maximize the survivability of the human tribe. After all, if everyone was killing each other over firewood and berries, the entire tribe would eventually die out. "Tribes" where people get along due to an innate social behavior such as respect for others, have a better chance of survival.

In as much as I tend to think anything is "artificial", I suppose. As I tend towards determinism these days, I can certainly agree with the idea of evolutionary development of morality, or at least our understanding of what the concept means. Much of that understanding has been shaped by convenience. Being murdered is inconvenient, and thus murder is deemed morally wrong. But, killing some "other" people has proven quite convenient, and been given a moral blessing. And certainly, killing animals is generally morally acceptable, not because it is necessarily moral but because it is convenient and tasty..

Perhaps we could define moral actions as taking a less convenient action over a more convenient action, because the less convenient action promotes the welfare of others.

Debate?

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The existance of such a concept, in my opinion, implies there IS an innate affinity for constructive behavior " built-in " the human ... we are bound to see a range of thought on any topic... this affinity is going to express itself in a range of thought as well... Morality makes sense, if for no other reason then the common sense it makes to cooperate with one another... cooperation = progress... there must be a consensus to have rules... the consensus is the Moral Standard...

sound plausable??

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i disagree. history is written by the victors, and it is thier morality that is considered valid. back when we were killing each other over firewood and berries, it was'nt the peaceful that evolved----they died and gave up thier firewood and such. possibly why the world is such a violent place?

Darwinism does'nt generally favor the peaceful, unfortunately.

You are confusing a pacifist society with one where the members work peaceably with one another out of a need for survival. There is nothing stopping them from defending themselves if attacked.

You describe a society where might makes right and the biggest dog gets all the meat. While that model will indeed result in the strongest and most wily individual surviving, as a society it would eventually fail. A more survivable society follows the Dalton rule of "be nice until it's time to not be nice."

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The existance of such a concept, in my opinion, implies there IS an innate affinity for constructive behavior " built-in " the human ... we are bound to see a range of thought on any topic... this affinity is going to express itself in a range of thought as well... Morality makes sense, if for no other reason then the common sense it makes to cooperate with one another... cooperation = progress... there must be a consensus to have rules... the consensus is the Moral Standard...

sound plausable??

Agreed. Although we aren't born with the 10 Commandments burned into our brains, we are born with social abilities. Most people are, but not all. Some animals, like horses and dogs, are more social and travel in herds or packs. Others are more solitary and spend their time alone except during mating season. Humans can be loners, but most often they are social creatures.

In a social setting, those human beings with the highest level of social skills, specifically things like communication and leadership, will achieve the highest level of success in a society.

In a violent dog-eat-dog world as boteomm describes, a society of 10 human beings working together has a better chance of survival against predators than a solitary human being who has no use for his fellow man.

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An action becomes immoral when the actor know that the action will do harm to another but does it anyway. I my view morality is intrinsically and inseparatively linked with knowledge and understanding. Giving food to a hungry child is good, because it is intended to be beneficial to them. Giving food which one knows the child is allergic to is immoral, because the consequences are known and it is assumed that when the consequences are known the intent is to do harm. Giving food to a hungry child and accidentally giving them something one did not know they were allergic to is not immoral.

In China, when all the babies got sick because of the poisoned milk. The parents that bought the milk and fed it to their children were not immoral, because they didn't know that it was harmful They were doing the moral thing in providing for their children. The company did know the harmful effects of what they chose to do, and thus the company actions were immoral.

The area becomes a bit more grey when a single action will both benefit one person and harm another person. I tend to think that this is almost always also immoral, because the benefit which one person or group of people can expect is financial while the harm that the other person or group of people can expect is physical. But for the sake of argument let's say that a natural disaster is going to hit. Your government has the power to avert that natural disaster but if they do the consequence will be devastation on a mass scale in your neighbouring country. What's the moral thing to do?

Or, in the case of Winston Churchill - in order to keep secret the knowledge that the German codes had been broken so that it could be used more strategically at a later time he allowed Coventry to be bombed. He knew the bombing was coming and could have warned the people but that would have tipped off the Germans that they'd better start using another code. Churchill was and still is applauded for the decision by both his fellow politicians and by the people. His actions, or inaction, did harm and yet in the balance of things it is considered to have been the right decision and to have done more good than harm.

So it just goes to show that concepts of good and harm are also dependent on personal ethics, situation, and often a matter of opinion. As such those who practice harmful medical experimentation on populations, or manipulate world finances to the benefit of the few, need only look to their ethical responsibility to investors, to home lands, to future health benefits, and such. What benefits one country but harms another is moral to the citizens of the country that benefits, and immoral to the citizens of the country it harms. Of course, then we have to concider propoganda - making actions morally acceptable to the citizenry and cloaking consequences. And then there's the question of responsibility, economics uses words like 'invisible elbow' and 'externalities' to describe some of the consequences of the functions of entities within the Global Economy. In war if bombs drop and chemicals spread throughout civilian populations then that's 'collateral'. Somehow these elbows, externalities, and collaterals are concidered acceptable and natural consequences of necessary systems which do more good than harm. But do they do more good than harm or is that just propoganda for the benefit of the populations that benefit most from the destruction? Certainly the corporations have knowledge of the consequences of many of their actions, and when new knowledge comes to light the first instinct is not to confess or make things right - it's to cover their asses against litigation. Likewise, governments are quite concerned with maintaining a positive image of their armies and war efforts at home, so much so that a great deal of effort is put into controlling what information about the damage is getting back to the people. But we all know that everybody knows what happens when bombs laced with radioactive materials, and burning chemicals, are rained down indiscriminately over civilian populations.

I guess ultimately morality is in the eye of the beholder.

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tell tell tell!

I'm pretty vocal and i assume folks remember my previous posts..... prolly that whole pesky arrogance thing again.... :wacko:

However, I believe we are all on individual paths leading towards the same place in the end...

These paths take souls through shadow and light, based on choices...

No path is more important, or intrinsicly more appropriate than any other...

As far as the development of the souls in progression around this planet goes.... morality is an abstract concept... a method of ensuring a certain type of incarnation, in the effort to experience a specific set of experiences.... for the edification of your higher self..

In physical embodiment it is just what it seems... the gathered consensus of opinion... a framework to judge reactions before the fact... and punishment after... a method to employ law...

and I honestly see no grand plan involving the qualities encouraged by anyones version of morality... when we shed the physical, we will shed any idea of morality, to follow an individual path onwards... our only concern being how to get closer to our creator... :inno:

This is why, I feel, there is such a disparity between the morality of ages.... between the morality of generations really.... why i see morality as a fluid concept, my own personal morality is more cerebral... it is my personal opinion as to what is correct, in the most senses of the word, in any one instance... it is not necessarily what society as a whole would approve of... quite obviously, i would think..... :shift:

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