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Developing a moral code
Posted: 22 December 2016 09:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I don’t know who should decide morality. What makes one more qualified to pass moral judgments over someone else? What makes their judgment right over any other individual?

The only way I can truly see a mora code working is to create real punishment for transgressing it. Perhaps threatening the survival of those who disobey. Might seems to make right here. Hard to argue against the guy with the biggest stick.

Morality has no starting point, it’s just a list of things people believe ought to be important but when pressed we can’t define why they are important or why we should follow them.

The fourth question is moot.

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Posted: 23 December 2016 04:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Gary Whittenberger - 22 December 2016 01:28 PM

Response to Loist

L:  Morality is part of the survival instinct. If you want to live as long and as well as possible and have your loved ones live as long and as well as possible, develop a moral code that organizes society to help each other survive. But I don’t think it’s a conscious decision to do this. It’s survival instinct.

GW: I agree with you halfway.  We seem to have some moral instincts, but they do not constitute a morality.  Our instincts can lead us astray.  If we “develop a moral code,” as you say, then it is a conscious decision to do this.  Morality is not instinct although it will draw on instinct.  I think we should use reason to develop a viable morality.

You can call morality a conscious decision.I disagree. All human actions and thoughts are derivative. Anything anyone might call morality is a product of the society one lives in.

[ Edited: 24 December 2016 05:05 AM by LoisL ]
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Posted: 23 December 2016 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Titanomachina - 22 December 2016 09:20 PM

Hard to argue against the guy with the biggest stick.

?

We kinda have the biggest stick. They are called nuclear weapons. The only time they were used was the few months when only one nation had them. Using them now posses two moral dilemmas. 1) They are most effective when used to knock out a major city, so you are dropping any pretense of avoiding civilian deaths. 2) You are guaranteeing the sacrifice of equal or even more civilian deaths on your side.

These have always been the moral dilemmas of fighting of any kind, we’ve just made it to the point where we’ve frightened ourselves into dealing with the real issue.

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Posted: 23 December 2016 09:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Lausten - 23 December 2016 07:17 AM
Titanomachina - 22 December 2016 09:20 PM

Hard to argue against the guy with the biggest stick.

?

We kinda have the biggest stick. They are called nuclear weapons. The only time they were used was the few months when only one nation had them. Using them now posses two moral dilemmas. 1) They are most effective when used to knock out a major city, so you are dropping any pretense of avoiding civilian deaths. 2) You are guaranteeing the sacrifice of equal or even more civilian deaths on your side.

These have always been the moral dilemmas of fighting of any kind, we’ve just made it to the point where we’ve frightened ourselves into dealing with the real issue.

But don’t other countries also possess such sticks in that if we used ours we would face damage in turn?

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Posted: 23 December 2016 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Titanomachina - 23 December 2016 09:18 AM

But don’t other countries also possess such sticks in that if we used ours we would face damage in turn?

Yes, I said that. That’s the entire point. One person or one nation is rarely the toughest or biggest for more than a few years. Look at any dictatorship in history, they don’t survive beyond the charismatic leader. Occasionally someone figures a complex system, like the Holy Roman Empire, but it’s by accident, and there is fighting within that system.

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Posted: 23 December 2016 01:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Lausten - 23 December 2016 11:35 AM
Titanomachina - 23 December 2016 09:18 AM

But don’t other countries also possess such sticks in that if we used ours we would face damage in turn?

Yes, I said that. That’s the entire point. One person or one nation is rarely the toughest or biggest for more than a few years. Look at any dictatorship in history, they don’t survive beyond the charismatic leader. Occasionally someone figures a complex system, like the Holy Roman Empire, but it’s by accident, and there is fighting within that system.

I guess the issue with being powerful is that everyone wants a piece of you and having to constantly enforce using that power would be very exhausting.

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Posted: 24 December 2016 06:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Titanomachina - 23 December 2016 01:01 PM
Lausten - 23 December 2016 11:35 AM
Titanomachina - 23 December 2016 09:18 AM

But don’t other countries also possess such sticks in that if we used ours we would face damage in turn?

Yes, I said that. That’s the entire point. One person or one nation is rarely the toughest or biggest for more than a few years. Look at any dictatorship in history, they don’t survive beyond the charismatic leader. Occasionally someone figures a complex system, like the Holy Roman Empire, but it’s by accident, and there is fighting within that system.

I guess the issue with being powerful is that everyone wants a piece of you and having to constantly enforce using that power would be very exhausting.

Yes. Keeping power is harder than getting power. The currently powerful will get old at some point, or complacent, and someone takes over. Then they have to keep spending more to maintain their place. What we’re seeing now is the powerful doing things like cutting education. A short term strategy with obvious long term problems.

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Posted: 28 December 2016 07:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Gary Whittenberger - 22 December 2016 04:11 PM

Reply to Titanomachina

T:  The punishments you describe actually embolden those who break the code.

GW: No, punishments lower the probability of violations.  Also, you are the one who called for enforcement.  What do you suggest as an alternative to punishments?

T:  Also writing it down doesn’t make it concrete, it’s just ink on paper.

GW: No, writing it down does make it concrete (tangible).  Also, you are the one who called for concrete.  What do you suggest as an alternative?

GW: I asked you four questions about morality and you didn’t answer them.  Are you going to just ask questions, or are you going to make this a true discussion and answer some?

I think you guys are confusing Morality with Law.  They are completely separate things, which is why it’s not easy to legislate morality.

Granted, Laws have to be either handed down by edict or passed by legislature.  They have to be specifically defined so that there’s no confusion.  And they have to have punishments.  But no one “decides” Morality.  It generally emerges by the consensus of the culture you live in.  And there is no punishment except your own conscience.  Many things can be legal and yet immoral at the same time.  I’ve always been told that Morality is the way you behave when no one is looking.

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Posted: 28 December 2016 09:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Advocatus - 28 December 2016 07:57 AM

I’ve always been told that Morality is the way you behave when no one is looking.

That’s a funny thing about the faith-based, or is that faith-blinded? 
They don’t trust their own morality - they need that eye in the sky constantly watching them, for them to behave.
Weird.

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Posted: 28 December 2016 04:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Advocatus - 28 December 2016 07:57 AM
Gary Whittenberger - 22 December 2016 04:11 PM

Reply to Titanomachina

T:  The punishments you describe actually embolden those who break the code.

GW: No, punishments lower the probability of violations.  Also, you are the one who called for enforcement.  What do you suggest as an alternative to punishments?

T:  Also writing it down doesn’t make it concrete, it’s just ink on paper.

GW: No, writing it down does make it concrete (tangible).  Also, you are the one who called for concrete.  What do you suggest as an alternative?

GW: I asked you four questions about morality and you didn’t answer them.  Are you going to just ask questions, or are you going to make this a true discussion and answer some?

I think you guys are confusing Morality with Law.  They are completely separate things, which is why it’s not easy to legislate morality.

Granted, Laws have to be either handed down by edict or passed by legislature.  They have to be specifically defined so that there’s no confusion.  And they have to have punishments.  But no one “decides” Morality.  It generally emerges by the consensus of the culture you live in.  And there is no punishment except your own conscience.  Many things can be legal and yet immoral at the same time.  I’ve always been told that Morality is the way you behave when no one is looking.

Morality and law are not really separate. Morality informs law. Laws are the result of common ideas about “right” and “wrong” and trying force those ideas on society. . That’s not to say it’s all bad, but laws derive from people’s ideas about what’s “right” and “wrong”. You can’t really separate the two concepts.

LL

[ Edited: 28 December 2016 04:05 PM by LoisL ]
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Posted: 05 January 2017 11:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Titanomachina - 27 November 2016 08:38 PM

Something that has been gnawing at me is how subjective morality and human rights are. As a child I found such things to be self evident because I came from a religious background and as such didn’t have to question the whole “be good and get to heaven”. Thought now that am older and that doesn’t hold much sway anymore it makes me wonder why everyone follows the code we put forth. Why is it the right thing? According to whom? Why should we pay their ideas any mind? Why not do as we wish and damn who says otherwise? I get it that it’s to avoid the punishment from society but why does society have to follow their own code? Couldn’t they make up one that enourcages discrimination and get away with it? What makes it wrong? Why care about others and the future of humanity? Who deemed that important?

Does morality essentially boil down to someone’s “say so”? Because it seems to me without a threat of cosmic punishment, our morality doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on.

It comes from empathy;

Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s condition from their perspective. You place yourself in their shoes and feel what they are feeling. Empathy is known to increase prosocial (helping) behaviors. While American culture might be socializing people into becoming more individualistic rather than empathic, research has uncovered the existence of “mirror neurons,” which react to emotions expressed by others and then reproduce them.

Something you are clearly devoid of or you wouldn’t advocate treating other humans on the level of cattle and advocating the culling of most of the rest of us in your interests. Otherwise why would you go on for three pages defending your plan to murder most other people on Earth.

Here’s a hint - that’s the definition of immoral. If you don’t get that already as an adult I find it profoundly doubtful you ever will.

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Posted: 06 January 2017 12:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Irrelevance not to mention false

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Posted: 06 January 2017 02:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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I’m guessing that society collapses when there are enough people who have lost the ability to detect homicidal psychopaths in their midst.

http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/18689/

The recurring proposal of culling a great amount of the human population for the survival of the planet and our species, or even wiping ourselves out to save it. In short I would like to know, why not?

This “person” was advocating mass murder on a scale that would make the final solution look like a Saturday night drive by shooting and the thread went on for 12 pages and was never closed. And continues to argue that human life is meaningless.

What the hell do you have to do get banned here?

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Posted: 06 January 2017 09:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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DougC - 06 January 2017 02:09 AM

I’m guessing that society collapses when there are enough people who have lost the ability to detect homicidal psychopaths in their midst.

http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/18689/

The recurring proposal of culling a great amount of the human population for the survival of the planet and our species, or even wiping ourselves out to save it. In short I would like to know, why not?

This “person” was advocating mass murder on a scale that would make the final solution look like a Saturday night drive by shooting and the thread went on for 12 pages and was never closed. And continues to argue that human life is meaningless.

What the hell do you have to do get banned here?

Apparently your wild assumptions and complete lack of understanding of context should be enough for a ban.

Not my fault you don’t want to discuss “scary” subjects like the fact that maybe your life isn’t worth what you believe it to be, but that’s the point of this place. To ask those questions, no matter how “forbidden” because then it would just be another echo chamber on the internet.

You seem to believe human value is self evident when the reality is that it isn’t.

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Posted: 06 January 2017 08:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Titanomachina - 27 November 2016 08:38 PM

Something that has been gnawing at me is how subjective morality and human rights are. As a child I found such things to be self evident because I came from a religious background and as such didn’t have to question the whole “be good and get to heaven”. Thought now that am older and that doesn’t hold much sway anymore it makes me wonder why everyone follows the code we put forth. Why is it the right thing? According to whom? Why should we pay their ideas any mind? Why not do as we wish and damn who says otherwise? I get it that it’s to avoid the punishment from society but why does society have to follow their own code? Couldn’t they make up one that enourcages discrimination and get away with it? What makes it wrong? Why care about others and the future of humanity? Who deemed that important?

Does morality essentially boil down to someone’s “say so”? Because it seems to me without a threat of cosmic punishment, our morality doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on.

I dosn’t have a leg to stand on with a threat of cosmic punishment either. All that means is “You’d better believe what I say or you’ll be in big trouble.” That’s how you frighten children and mentally challenged people to accept what you claim without proof.


“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

It is as true now as it was in Seneca’s time and as it was at the dawn of man. Humans are gullible.

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