Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 77 (8905 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 04-26-2019 10:30 AM
26 online now:
1.61803, kjsimons, PaulK, Stile, Theodoric (5 members, 21 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: WookieeB
Post Volume:
Total: 850,251 Year: 5,288/19,786 Month: 1,410/873 Week: 306/460 Day: 6/52 Hour: 1/2


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
RewPrev1
...
161718
19
2021Next
Author Topic:   Morality Decreasing With Time?
nator
Member (Idle past 281 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 271 of 305 (372267)
12-26-2006 8:32 AM
Reply to: Message 249 by joshua221
12-25-2006 11:52 AM


Prophex, since you are obviously much brighter, better educated, and wiser than us idiots, why don't you explain where we've gone wrong?

Teach us, O Master of All Deep Knowledge! Relieve our ignorance!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 249 by joshua221, posted 12-25-2006 11:52 AM joshua221 has not yet responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 272 of 305 (372275)
12-26-2006 9:55 AM
Reply to: Message 270 by nator
12-26-2006 8:23 AM


Re: Communication and Morality
She's right, Buz. Only someone deeply ignorant of history would make the statement you made. Since time immemorial, there have been matriarchal societies, societies that had no concept of murder or societies that allowed killing, societies that practiced gay unions. Every kind of society, proving that there are no universal morals beyond those that economic actors spontaneously develop. And they've all been talked about on this forum, so it's pretty obvious you haven't been paying attention, I guess.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 270 by nator, posted 12-26-2006 8:23 AM nator has not yet responded

Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3960 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 273 of 305 (372280)
12-26-2006 10:09 AM
Reply to: Message 269 by nator
12-26-2006 8:20 AM


Re: The perfect moral example...
I am trying to learn to stay on topic! Start a new thread.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 269 by nator, posted 12-26-2006 8:20 AM nator has not yet responded

  
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 274 of 305 (372288)
12-26-2006 12:02 PM
Reply to: Message 253 by jar
12-25-2006 12:37 PM


Re: Communication and Morality
How do you propose we measure the actual difference between crime at the various points in history?

Statistics, which works great now, but public records on criminal activity has only been around for a few hundred years.

The point is that the things you mentioned are simply not measurable. There are no accurate statistics.

Statistics is a gauge by giving us mean averages. It isn't going to tell us anything beyond that, but if record keeping is accurate then statistical analysis should paint an accurate picture.

But there is something we can measure to see if Morality is decreasing or increasing.

And what is that?

Do most people consider slavery immoral now?

It doesn't matter what people think about it if there are absolutes. Its either right or wrong. If we had one billion people saying that it was alright and only one person denouncing it, none of that would make any difference. That one person could stand alone.

Do most people consider interracial marriage immoral?

It doesn't matter what most people think. It either is or it isn't.

Do most people consider murder by "Princes" immoral?

Murder by "Princes?"


"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." -C.S. Lewis
This message is a reply to:
 Message 253 by jar, posted 12-25-2006 12:37 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 275 by jar, posted 12-26-2006 12:36 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 30936
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 275 of 305 (372294)
12-26-2006 12:36 PM
Reply to: Message 274 by Hyroglyphx
12-26-2006 12:02 PM


Re: Communication and Morality
Seems you are still just dancing and have totally missed the point.

As you point out statistics are simply not available so we cannot use statistics.

jar writes:

But there is something we can measure to see if Morality is decreasing or increasing.

to which NJ replied:

quote:
And what is that?

NJ I listed a whole series of such tests.

You then went on to say:

It doesn't matter what people think about it if there are absolutes. Its either right or wrong. If we had one billion people saying that it was alright and only one person denouncing it, none of that would make any difference. That one person could stand alone.

Sorry charley but the question is whether or not morality is increasing or decreasing. If there are absolute moral standards, no one has been able to show any such examples. In addition, if there are absolute moral standards they will remain constant and the answer to the topic, "Morality Decreasing With Time?" is by definition, "No, morality is not decreasing."

The question outlined in the topic implies change over time, it is relative to behavior at a given moment.

Based on that we can then measure specific behavior over time and the specific examples I mentioned become tests to see if morality is increasing or decreasing over time.

The list as it now stands is:

Do most people consider slavery immoral now?

Do most people consider interracial marriage immoral?

Do most people consider murder by "Princes" immoral?

Do you consider having the right to a fair trial moral?

Do you consider a government imposed by force moral?

Do you consider punishments designed to provide slow painful deaths like stoning or the stocks as moral?

Do you consider lynching moral?

Do you consider denying people basic human rights based on color or sex as moral?


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 274 by Hyroglyphx, posted 12-26-2006 12:02 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 276 by Hyroglyphx, posted 12-26-2006 1:42 PM jar has responded

Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 276 of 305 (372305)
12-26-2006 1:42 PM
Reply to: Message 275 by jar
12-26-2006 12:36 PM


Re: Communication and Morality
But there is something we can measure to see if Morality is decreasing or increasing.

quote:
quote:And what is that?

NJ I listed a whole series of such tests.

How is that a test? You are asking everyone their opinion on the matter. In order to make it a test, you'd have to ask people from the past what their beliefs were and compare it to how people of today would respond. But even if the results showed a marked difference, that wouldn't tell us anything other than people's perceptions and opinions have changed from those of the past.

Sorry charley but the question is whether or not morality is increasing or decreasing.

We'd have to first reach a consensus on what is moral, immoral, and amoral.

If there are absolute moral standards, no one has been able to show any such examples.

We can't really quantify something like that. When somebody says that morality is decreasing with time, what they are really saying is that what was once taboo is perfectly acceptable now. What was once held as virtuous seems to be looked down upon by today's standards. But we can't really measure that. When we look at the condition of the populace in the 1950's and juxtapose them by 1960's standards, we see a marked difference in mentality. But we can't really measure that if we don't first agree on what is moral, immoral, or amoral prior to conducting the test and compare them to the results of today's standards.

In addition, if there are absolute moral standards they will remain constant and the answer to the topic, "Morality Decreasing With Time?" is by definition, "No, morality is not decreasing."

This seems to be the fundamental misunderstanding of absolute morality. The criteria for absolute morality isn't that we all innately know when something is wrong, though it helps to support the inference when a general consensus is met. Absolute morality speaks more of a moral code to follow given by a higher authority-- actually, given by the highest authority. In this case, we generally think of God.

Do most people consider slavery immoral now?

I would say, yes. But first we need to understand what slavery meant and if it was considered right or wrong. In biblical times, slavery was not necessarily an immoral act. What made it immoral was the misapplication of it. Its the same premise that sex is not immoral in any way, unless, its misapplied.

For instance, in Israel, there were three main types of standards as it relates to economic status. And largely that still remains today with rich, middle class, and poor. In Israel we had the wealthy, we had slaves, and we had day laborers. Slaves were indentured servants who were purchased. They were considered the middle class of society. They had job security and a steady income. The idea was that your slave was your helper. They lived with you, they took care of the basic needs of the household. The master generally loved his slaves and their families. It was a reciprocal and symbiotic relationship. Because if the slaves weren't bought, they would have to fend for themselves and get whatever menial jobs they could take.

That brings us to the lower class in biblical times, who were day laborers. These were the bottom of the barrel during that time. They were drifters and peddlers with no job security who had to plead for work. It was an unstable life, as opposed to the slaves who were taken care of.

However, history is replete with instances of the maltreatment of slaves. In more current times, the British, like most people that time, bartered for human life. The African slaves come to mind. These people were sold by their own people into slavery and were horribly treated by many. When America was established, there was a lot of mistreatment as well as good relationships between slaves and masters. History only remembers the bad instances. The point is, slavery was designed to be a relationship between a master and slave, not what we envision slavery to mean today in the popular culture. So, it isn't slavery that is immoral, or ever was, but rather, is the mistreatment of human life has always been immoral even if people never spoke out against. Therefore, I would say that slavery is neither moral or immoral, but amoral. Its the behavior that makes an action either moral or immoral, not necessarily the act itself.

Do most people consider interracial marriage immoral?

I don't know how most people view it. I can say that for the majority of human history did not view it negatively, however, there was a time in the not-so-distant past when Victorian mentality maintained that interracial marriage was taboo. And this was directly influenced by the societal acceptance of mistreating slaves. Society has been getting away from the Victorian mentality that was once widely prevalent in snobbish soiceties. Therefore, I would say that interracial marriage is neither moral or immoral.

Do most people consider murder by "Princes" immoral?

I don't know what this means.

Do you consider having the right to a fair trial moral?

Yes.

Do you consider a government imposed by force moral?

If left to such an open interpretation, I would say that it is neither moral or immoral. I would have to have specifics in order to answer that candidly. I say that because it could either be that the government is maltreating its constituents or that the society is maltreating the government set to protect its constituents.

Do you consider punishments designed to provide slow painful deaths like stoning or the stocks as moral?

No, in the sense that if the punishment fits the crime. However, in accordance with that view, we are all prescribed to die in a similar vein according to the law. It then is immoral to take such a hypocritical stance on the matter. By stoning someone, we really should first stone ourselves.

Do you consider lynching moral?

No. An execution without a trial is immoral.

Do you consider denying people basic human rights based on color or sex as moral?

No.


"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." -C.S. Lewis
This message is a reply to:
 Message 275 by jar, posted 12-26-2006 12:36 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 277 by jar, posted 12-26-2006 1:52 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 30936
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 277 of 305 (372307)
12-26-2006 1:52 PM
Reply to: Message 276 by Hyroglyphx
12-26-2006 1:42 PM


NJ says morality is increasing.
Good. Based on your answers you agree that morality is increasing.

The rest of your post was just typical tap dancing and goalpost moving.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 276 by Hyroglyphx, posted 12-26-2006 1:42 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 278 by Hyroglyphx, posted 12-26-2006 2:14 PM jar has responded

Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 278 of 305 (372311)
12-26-2006 2:14 PM
Reply to: Message 277 by jar
12-26-2006 1:52 PM


Re: NJ says morality is increasing.
Good. Based on your answers you agree that morality is increasing.

By what standard? Your own? How can something increase or decrease that can't even be quantified to begin with?

The rest of your post was just typical tap dancing and goalpost moving.

An explanation as to how I have arrived at the rationale is tap dancing?


"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." -C.S. Lewis
This message is a reply to:
 Message 277 by jar, posted 12-26-2006 1:52 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 279 by jar, posted 12-26-2006 2:27 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 30936
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 279 of 305 (372314)
12-26-2006 2:27 PM
Reply to: Message 278 by Hyroglyphx
12-26-2006 2:14 PM


Re: NJ says morality is increasing.
By what standard? Your own? How can something increase or decrease that can't even be quantified to begin with?

Sorry Charlie but you did quantify them. I asked question. You responded to those questions. The weight of your responses shows that morality is increasing.

Worry not NJ, the record is here and everyone can see your responses, as well as the non-responses.

For those who may not remember the list:

Do most people consider slavery immoral now?

Do most people consider interracial marriage immoral?

Do most people consider murder by "Princes" immoral?

Do you consider having the right to a fair trial moral?

Do you consider a government imposed by force moral?

Do you consider punishments designed to provide slow painful deaths like stoning or the stocks as moral?

Do you consider lynching moral?

Do you consider denying people basic human rights based on color or sex as moral?

It is a simple list one that makes it possible to quantify whether morality is increasing or decreasing.

If the answer to the first three is "No" while the answer to the last five is "yes', then morality is increasing.

The rest of your non-response simply proved my point.

You said:

NJ writes:

{yada yada yada}In biblical times, slavery was not necessarily an immoral act. {more yada yada yada}

Right. Today it is seen to be immoral. Morality has increased with time.

It is actually quite clear and easily documented.

Morality has increased over time. It is NOT decreasing over time.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 278 by Hyroglyphx, posted 12-26-2006 2:14 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 280 by Hyroglyphx, posted 12-26-2006 2:54 PM jar has responded
 Message 283 by anastasia, posted 12-26-2006 3:47 PM jar has responded

Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 280 of 305 (372317)
12-26-2006 2:54 PM
Reply to: Message 279 by jar
12-26-2006 2:27 PM


Re: NJ says morality is increasing.
Sorry Charlie but you did quantify them. I asked question. You responded to those questions. The weight of your responses shows that morality is increasing.

How does my personal response or anyone's, for that matter, reflect that morality is increasing, especially when we're operating under your definition of morality?

Worry not NJ, the record is here and everyone can see your responses, as well as the non-responses.

I'm not sure why or how you think you've arrived at some profound point, but maybe you explain why you've proven anything other than a baseless assertion.

It is a simple list one that makes it possible to quantify whether morality is increasing or decreasing.

What!? Jar, the size of your experiment extends to the few people answering your questions, not the majority of the public or even a tiniest fraction of it. Aside from which, this all boils to down our personal opinion of what we think is or isn't moral. What you're doing is making it so that the buck stops with your opinions. And as long as everyone agrees with your morals, you assume that we're all copacetic. That in no way determines what is absolute, nor does it in anyway reflect whether morality is increasing or decreasing, because we'd first have to know what is moral in absolute terms and not what your "test" is currently designed to do-- which is ascertain our personal opinions.

If the answer to the first three is "No" while the answer to the last five is "yes', then morality is increasing.

The rest of your non-response simply proved my point.

You said:

NJ writes:

{yada yada yada}In biblical times, slavery was not necessarily an immoral act. {more yada yada yada}

Right. Today it is seen to be immoral. Morality has increased with time.

Wasn't my post clear? Its not the act of slavery that was ever in question, but the treatment of people. Your understanding or your perception of what slavery entails is the only thing that has changed, which makes my "yada, yada, yada" more than applicable in order to distinguish the difference. You perceive slavery, apparently all slavery, to be tantamount to Kunte Kinte, when in reality, slavery was mostly meant to be workers performing their duties in order to receive money or benefits or both. Sounds kind of like what we do five days a week.

So, your experiment doesn't mean a thing other than getting our personal perspectives on the matter. It doesn't prove or disprove that morality is increasing or decreasing because such a thing can't be quantified. To reiterate, it can't be quantified because:

1. The three people that took your test don't speak on behalf of everyone.

2. Your views on morality are not the be-all, end-all.

3. Since your views are not the be-all, end-all, you'd have to ascertain what morality really is.

4. If you espouse moral relativism, then, truly, morals can't increase or decrease for the sole fact that they are completely open to interpretation.


"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell." -C.S. Lewis
This message is a reply to:
 Message 279 by jar, posted 12-26-2006 2:27 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 281 by jar, posted 12-26-2006 3:02 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 30936
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 281 of 305 (372318)
12-26-2006 3:02 PM
Reply to: Message 280 by Hyroglyphx
12-26-2006 2:54 PM


Re: NJ says morality is increasing.
Whatever NJ. The record is here. Others can read and make up their own minds.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 280 by Hyroglyphx, posted 12-26-2006 2:54 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 282 by NosyNed, posted 12-26-2006 3:14 PM jar has responded

NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8842
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 6.7


Message 282 of 305 (372319)
12-26-2006 3:14 PM
Reply to: Message 281 by jar
12-26-2006 3:02 PM


not really done, Jar
But you didn't answer NJ's question about the what the increase or decrese is relative to. You also didn't answer the question of how such a small "poll" can be meaningful.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 281 by jar, posted 12-26-2006 3:02 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 284 by jar, posted 12-26-2006 3:56 PM NosyNed has not yet responded

anastasia
Member (Idle past 4064 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 283 of 305 (372321)
12-26-2006 3:47 PM
Reply to: Message 279 by jar
12-26-2006 2:27 PM


Re: NJ says morality is increasing.
First of all, does your list only apply to the United States?

If so, then please define why in your opinion the morals of the USA are going through this increase, while those of other countires may be status quo.

Please explain also, how, if there are no absolutes, we may be sure that these examples do indeed symbolize improvement, and not just a relative set of ideals that US citizens happen to have been programmed into seeking.

Most people consider slavery immoral. We can't hold a person against their will or buy and sell each other. But we've still got child labour, taking jobs overseas, paying immigrants next to nothing off the record to avoid taxation, firing employees to avoid paying the unemployment due to a person who is laid off, and countless other unfair employment practices. We still have buying and selling of prostitutes and children, and I think we probably feel just the same way about that as people felt about enslavery of Africans. Most of us don't like it, but we won't fix it, and we sure don't want to sit on the bus next to a prostitute.

Interracial marriage is not immoral of itself. The morality of it is relative to the situation. Just like bearing children it is a right; it is not always the best choice. Just thank God we don't forbid it anymore since we are so busy putting limits on how many children someone can have.

Murder by princes? Has it ever been moral, from Herod, to Henry? Haven't we just changed the faces of the princes?

We have the right to a fair trial. Whether or not we get one depends on the moral standards of the lawyers and judges; same as it ever was.

If having a government imposed by force includes having a king, I'd like one of them. In the meantime, 'force' is in the eye of the beholder.

I'll let you have the other three. Just don't spend too much time dwelling on modern torture practices.

Edited by anastasia, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 279 by jar, posted 12-26-2006 2:27 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 285 by jar, posted 12-26-2006 4:13 PM anastasia has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 30936
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 284 of 305 (372323)
12-26-2006 3:56 PM
Reply to: Message 282 by NosyNed
12-26-2006 3:14 PM


Re: not really done, Jar
But you didn't answer NJ's question about the what the increase or decrese is relative to. You also didn't answer the question of how such a small "poll" can be meaningful.

Because those two are irrelevant.

The questions I asked are simple. The are just yes/no questions.

You can only point to changes in morality over time as I have pointed out in this thread. At the time of the Bible, slavery was considered moral, and that view continued well into the 19th. Century. The same factors are shown in each of the examples I posted.

The measurement can only be made by those responding at this moment. The readers of this thread, based on their understanding of morality as it stands today, will answer each of those questions.

The audience then will decide whether the moral standard in effect today has increased or decreased relative to morality at some other era and culture.

Nemesis_Juggernaut loves to bring in irrelevancies when faced with a really simple position or question. That has been the tactic of choice throughout this thread and others. The issues you bring up are typical.

First, "what the increase or decrease is relative to".

Throughout the thread it has been pointed out that "relative" refers to what was considered moral in the past but immoral today.

The size of the poll is also irrelevant since it is limited to those reading and responding in this thread. Further all I said was that NJ agreed that morality is increasing. Since my position is only related to what NJ said, the size of the poll has NOTHING to do with the position.

The questions I asked were answered by Nemesis. In each case he indicated that he thought the current position was more moral than the position held in the past.

Further there have been assertions that there is some absolute morality, yet NO ONE has been able to provide an example of that which held up to examination.

Nemesis is simply playing moving goal posts.

Edited by jar, : appalin spallin


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 282 by NosyNed, posted 12-26-2006 3:14 PM NosyNed has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 286 by Hyroglyphx, posted 12-26-2006 4:40 PM jar has responded

jar
Member
Posts: 30936
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 285 of 305 (372324)
12-26-2006 4:13 PM
Reply to: Message 283 by anastasia
12-26-2006 3:47 PM


Re: NJ says morality is increasing.
First of all, does your list only apply to the United States?

If so, then please define why in your opinion the morals of the USA are going through this increase, while those of other countires may be status quo.

No. Not limited to just the US. And if someone wants, they could apply the particular questions to any other era or culture and the answer will depend on how YOU judge that Morality relative to YOUR moral standard.

Please explain also, how, if there are no absolutes, we may be sure that these examples do indeed symbolize improvement, and not just a relative set of ideals that US citizens happen to have been programmed into seeking.

We can ONLY judge based on our standards. There may well absolutes, who knows, even absolute morals, but so far no one has presented one.

Murder by princes? Has it ever been moral, from Herod, to Henry? Haven't we just changed the faces of the princes?

Of course it was moral, given the morals at the time. No one at the time questioned the moral rights of a Prince, in fact it was called "Divine Right of Kings".

The facts are that what we consider moral today is far different that what was considered moral in the past. The odds are that in the future much that we consider moral will be seen as immoral.

Guess what?

Folks at that time will also say that morality has increased.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 283 by anastasia, posted 12-26-2006 3:47 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 287 by anastasia, posted 12-26-2006 4:42 PM jar has responded

RewPrev1
...
161718
19
2021Next
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019