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Author Topic:   Who's More Moral?
ringo
Member
Posts: 16621
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 31 of 125 (391433)
03-25-2007 12:28 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by anastasia
03-24-2007 11:58 PM


anastasia writes:

... if the survival of the entire human race came down to the extermination of one group or sub-sect, would you consider it moral to destroy them? Or what if it was an alien colony out to get us?

There's your proof that there's no absolute morality. It's exterminate or don't exterminate on a case-by-case basis.

Since we can't see into the future, we don't know what action will produce what outcome. Morality consists in doing what seems best now.


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This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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anastasia
Member (Idle past 4116 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 32 of 125 (391434)
03-25-2007 12:28 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by tudwell
03-25-2007 12:22 AM


tudwell writes:

We already did - in fact, you did. Good is survival.

So Utilitarianism is doing that which begets survival for the most people?


This message is a reply to:
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Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4012 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 33 of 125 (391435)
03-25-2007 12:29 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by tudwell
03-25-2007 12:22 AM


We already did - in fact, you did. Good is survival.

No No... I was playing the devil's advocate in response to his apprentice (parenthetically, I unfortunately called him my own apprentice by mistake, but he corrected me).

But thank you for confirming that for me. You do realize then, that Christians such as myself are a direct threat to the survival of humanity as defined by a naturalistic philosophical worldview, because we are stupid enough to believe in the ressurection of the dead and are therefore seeking survival not in the present but the next life?

So... what are you gonna do about it?

I only ask because we all know that morally superior, atheistic cultures and their leaders... are not capable of genocide for the sake of humanities true greatness and potential.

Glory to man in the highest!

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.


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tudwell
Member (Idle past 4142 days)
Posts: 172
From: KCMO
Joined: 08-20-2006


Message 34 of 125 (391437)
03-25-2007 12:30 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by anastasia
03-25-2007 12:28 AM


anastasia writes:

So Utilitarianism is doing that which begets survival for the most people?

At the most basic level, yes, I suppose it is.


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anastasia
Member (Idle past 4116 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 35 of 125 (391438)
03-25-2007 12:44 AM
Reply to: Message 31 by ringo
03-25-2007 12:28 AM


Ringo writes:

There's your proof that there's no absolute morality. It's exterminate or don't exterminate on a case-by-case basis

Well it sure looks like it, but then again.

What would you tell a martyr?

They obviously believe that there is an absolute in turning the other cheek. Even a person who refuses to lie to save themselves does this.

But they will go back on this absolute when it comes to saving the lives of others by lying. So, you get back to the 'greatest amount of good' for the most people thing.

And then you still have that issue of genocidal maniacs who think they are doing just that. Creating a better world for the majority. What is the problem here anyway?


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ringo
Member
Posts: 16621
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 36 of 125 (391441)
03-25-2007 12:54 AM
Reply to: Message 35 by anastasia
03-25-2007 12:44 AM


anastasia writes:

What would you tell a martyr?

They obviously believe that there is an absolute in turning the other cheek. Even a person who refuses to lie to save themselves does this.

As General Patton said:

quote:
No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.

You can turn your cheek and be a martyr or you can make the other guy a martyr.
It's all situational.

So, you get back to the 'greatest amount of good' for the most people thing.

And the accounting is done by each person in each situation.

And then you still have that issue of genocidal maniacs who think they are doing just that. Creating a better world for the majority. What is the problem here anyway?

A genocidal maniac has his morals and a homicidal maniac has his. The collective morality frowns on both.

Nobody said there's no competition between moralities.


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anastasia
Member (Idle past 4116 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 37 of 125 (391442)
03-25-2007 12:57 AM
Reply to: Message 31 by ringo
03-25-2007 12:28 AM


Ringo writes:

There's your proof that there's no absolute morality

I gave that up long ago. While there may be no absolute moral, there can be an absolute morality. This is precisely, doing the best we can at every moment given what we know now, and I do still believe that there are always better or even perfect things which we may attain to some day.


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kuresu
Member (Idle past 676 days)
Posts: 2544
From: boulder, colorado
Joined: 03-24-2006


Message 38 of 125 (391443)
03-25-2007 1:00 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by anastasia
03-25-2007 12:57 AM


funny definition of absolute. most i've seen involve it being unchanging (which in some way yours is). but i digress. before you head off for the night, i've some new devepolements that I would like to talk about (if you don't mind).
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anastasia
Member (Idle past 4116 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 39 of 125 (391445)
03-25-2007 1:06 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by ringo
03-25-2007 12:54 AM


Ribgo writes:

The collective morality frowns on both.

In theory, a Utilitarian principle of gaining the most good for the most people would possibly result in some genocides that are not frowned upon. The reason they are so far is because of the innocence of the victims. Now, it is possible to distort things to the point that the innocent look guilty, or even to the point that we say 'they are using our resources, and therefore guilty of something'. When you start viewing people this way, rather than all as equal, that is the problem. But for the pure survival of the species, there could be times when we would have to view each other this way.

Ah, I still feel like I am distracted and missing something. Perhaps later I will try to head this puppy back to where I meant it to go.


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ringo
Member
Posts: 16621
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 40 of 125 (391448)
03-25-2007 1:22 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by anastasia
03-25-2007 1:06 AM


anastasia writes:

In theory, a Utilitarian principle of gaining the most good for the most people would possibly result in some genocides that are not frowned upon.

You make it sound like there's a World Utilitarian Committee that decides what is moral and what isn't.

It's really more like a democracy: "the voters" don't make a collective decision. Each individual voter makes an individual decision and the sum becomes the collective decision.

So "gaining the most good for the most people" is the sum of what each person thinks is the "most good for the most people".

I still feel like I am distracted and missing something.

I feel like that in every thread. At least you have the advantage of knowing where you meant this one to go. :)


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mick
Member (Idle past 3149 days)
Posts: 913
Joined: 02-17-2005


Message 41 of 125 (391457)
03-25-2007 4:30 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by anastasia
03-24-2007 10:39 PM


Re: anastasia, what is morality?
Hi Anastasia,

Anastasia writes:

The most basic definition is that moral behaviour is following of one's conscience

Consider the taped statement of Mohammad Sidique Khan, one of the perpetrators of the bomb attacks in London in July, 2005:

Mohammad Sidique Khan writes:


I and thousands like me are forsaking everything for what we believe. Our drive and motivation doesn't come from tangible commodities that this world has to offer. Our religion is Islam, obedience to the one true God and following the footsteps of the final prophet messenger.

Or from one of the other conspirators:

Shehzad Tanweer writes:

For the non-Muslims in Britain, you may wonder what you have done to deserve this. You are those who have voted in your government who in turn have and still continue to this day continue to oppress our mothers and children, brothers and sisters from the east to the west in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and Chechnya. Your government has openly supported the genocide of more than 150,000 innocent Muslims in Fallujah.

The consciences of Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer appear to be clean, since their acts are justified in religious and practical terms. By your view of morality, they are behaving in a moral way.

The description of morality you have described is not a very useful conception when we want to choose a moral course of action.

First of all, there are many contradictory visions of what is good. I think it is good to carry out stem cell research to help patients suffering from brain and nervous disorders; others think it is good to criminalize the practice in order to protect the embryo; still others think it is good to murder abortionist or stem cell researchers. Without any more objective account of what is good, how are we meant to apply our moral reasoning to such problems? The abortionist and the abortionists murderer are equally moral if all that matters is "following one's conscience".

Second, we can never have access to the conscience of another so we can never determine whether they are doing what they believe to be good. Hence it is impossible to state that somebody is behaving in a moral (or immoral) way.

Finally, I am not confident that we can trust in our own assessment of the morality of our behaviour on the basis of our conscience. Cognitive dissonance may allow us to interpret our immoral or amoral behaviour as moral behavior. For example, we may well feel that "I bought a small car because I want to help the environment" instead of "I bought a small car because I'm too poor for the SUV I really want". Or "I go to church because it really helps the world" instead of "I go to church because it improves my standing within my peer group and because I can meet my friends there". I'm sure we all have experiences of this kind of self-justifying behavior. That's we need a more objective view of what is moral.

I'm a bit surprised at your view of morality - usually it is the Christians who claim that atheists have a relativistic morality while religion gives one morality with a solid basis. Yet here you are saying the opposite.

Mick

PS. As for the benefits of praying, a report from Harvard found the following: (source)

quote:
For those facing surgery or battling disease, the prayers of others can be a comfort. Researchers in the Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP), the largest study to examine the effects of intercessory prayer-prayer provided by others-evaluated the impact of such prayer on patients recovering from coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.

The STEP team, composed of investigators at six academic medical centers, including Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts; Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota; St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, Florida; Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C; and the Mind/Body Medical Institute, found that intercessory prayer had no effect on recovery from surgery without complications. The study also found that patients who knew they were receiving intercessory prayer fared worse. The paper appears in the April issue of American Heart Journal.


Now that you know prayer doesn't actually help anybody, can I assume you will find it immoral to continue the self-indulgent practice?


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Larni
Member
Posts: 3976
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 42 of 125 (391475)
03-25-2007 8:28 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by anastasia
03-24-2007 10:39 PM


Re: anastasia, what is morality?
Ana writes:

First off, if I don't follow the commands of the church, I feel guilty. This is because at one time in my life I had to use some reasoning to discover if these rules were worthy of my respect, useful, efficacious. Eventually, they became more than rules, and a part of what I believe is 'good'.

So, morality is learnt!


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Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4012 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 43 of 125 (391492)
03-25-2007 11:05 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by kuresu
03-25-2007 12:10 AM


Well, I concede that I cannot 'imagine' as well as you. I deal less and less with imagintation and fairly tales, and more with reality each day. But you can wish it away... just 'imagine there's no heaven. It's easy if you try. Imagine all the people, living life in peace'...

Just wish it into being. Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in your imagination. Think positive Kuresu. Don't let the facts stand in your way.

OFF TOPIC - Please Do Not Respond to this message or continue in this vein.
Take comments to the Moderation Thread.
AdminPD

Edited by AdminPD, : Warning


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Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12414
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 44 of 125 (391497)
03-25-2007 12:06 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by Rob
03-25-2007 11:05 AM


Topic : Contrast Morality
The main focus of this topic should be to contrast the morality from a faith perspective and a pragmatic perspective.

Remember that we are arguing the positions and not attempting necessarily to change others views.

Perhaps you can explain to us your perspective on the difference between your vision and societies vision. We should stick to vision and not imagination.

I appreciate your concern for Kuresu. I care about him as well. Our focus would be on defending our positions by showing an understanding of how the other side thinks. Or...perhaps there are no sides.


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ringo
Member
Posts: 16621
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 45 of 125 (391500)
03-25-2007 12:21 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by Thugpreacha
03-25-2007 12:06 PM


Re: Topic : Contrast Morality
Phat writes:

Or...perhaps there are no sides.

The question "Who's more moral?" seems to imply a competition, but is one competitor clearly "superior" to another? Maybe sometimes one is ahead and maybe at other times another is ahead.

In a competition, we don't just dwell on the weaknesses of our "opponent". For the long term, we look at his strengths to see how we can improve our own.


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