Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 63 (9072 total)
71 online now:
dwise1, jar, Tanypteryx (3 members, 68 visitors)
Newest Member: FossilDiscovery
Post Volume: Total: 893,176 Year: 4,288/6,534 Month: 502/900 Week: 26/182 Day: 14/12 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   A morality discussion (Neutralmind, Crashfrog, and Chiroptera only)
Neutralmind
Member (Idle past 5359 days)
Posts: 183
From: Finland
Joined: 06-08-2006


Message 1 of 41 (396726)
04-21-2007 9:05 PM


This will be a great debate with me, crashfrog and Chiroptera (assuming he accepts)

I'd like to start from about nil, meaning that we assume we didn't yet arrive to many conclusion in the thread A personal morality but start fresh on here.

I'll go back and quote some of your replies I feel are important from the above link. I didn't include reference to the posts in any way because it would cause a lot of work, if it is against the forum guidelines or you want to know in which post you said what I quoted I can go back and find it.

All my replies and questions are intended for both so comment on everything you want.

Crashfrog
Moral relativism is simply the recognition that morality depends on the situation

So, does it exclude the possibility that morality is also absolute?

Don't get hung up on "good" and "bad." Moral relativism doesn't mean that good and bad don't exist. It means that determining which actions are good and which are bad depends on the situation, and it's not something that you can make universal rules about.

Okay, so that answers my question above. Good and bad can exist even outside the rules of a society. Just leaves me asking, how?
Crashfrog
You do what you feel is right. Almost everybody does what they feel is right. I don't see why that's something you would refuse to believe in.

But sometime's people do stuff that they think is only good or fun, not right. I would think taking drugs is "fun" but it's not "right".
Crashfrog
I honestly don't see what you're confused about. Recognizing relative morality isn't going to make you do things you don't want to do

It's that I want to do them but feel that I shouldn't.
Crashfrog
No. It just means you're wrong about what "good" and "bad" mean.
Look at it this way. Is it bad to eat peanuts? I don't think most people would say so, in fact, they might point to the numerous nutrients and health benefits of peanuts to suggest that peanuts are good to eat. -----
Or don't we conclude that the morality of peanut-eating depends greatly on who's to do the eating? That it's relative, in other words?
---------

If you were punished for not dotting your i's and crossing your t's, even though you thought you were doing what was right to the best of your knowledge, then is that objective moral code a code of Good or a code of Evil?
The latter, I should think. And how could following a morally evil code be something that you would want to do?


Seriously though, I think this is only a baiting tactic to get me to say "But eating peanuts/ dotting i's is neutral when it comes to morality" to which you reply " Oh, so morality can also be neutral, so much for objective morality".
If those are sincere analogies and a questions I apologise.

Neutralmind
But if stealing in certain situations is ultimately good and sometimes bad that would mean that there actually is an objective morality. Just a harder one to define.
Stealing is only good in these situations blablabla , killing is only good in these situations blablabla.

Crashfrog
But you could never list every single situation where stealing was OK; you could never identify a set of shared characteristics that encompassed every single situation where it was moral to steal. So clearly we're still not dealing with "objective morality" that's universally true for all people in all situations. We're still at the point where, ultimately, it comes down to your individual conscience.
(emphasis mine)
You could list every single situation where stealing was OK hypothetically. You could not write them down in a lifetime but in a thousand years or more, sure. Not grass root specifically but in general.
Crashfrog
Nonetheless you've confused moral relativism with nihilism. They're not the same thing.

I don't think I've confused them. I don't think there's any "meaning" to life anyway, just that it matters to me that I'm alive and what I do with it.
Neutralmind
That if I was to break these responsibilities or went outside my given freedoms I would have violated my "birth rights" and wouldn't no longer be considered worthy of living.

Crashfrog
You were born. It happens. Get over it. You are the one that has to live your life. If you feel you have responsibilities, you're the one that has to meet them.

My mysticism doesn't straight concern the topic. So let's leave it aside if possible, though it might be necessary to bring it into discussion later on.
Crashfrog
You're worried that, if you embrace a certain philosophical position on the nature of morality, you'll take actions that, currently, you consider immoral.

Yes, that's true to an extent. I'd never go as far as hurting anyone.

Neutralmind talking about one night stands
But that's just one thing, I think there's something I'd want to do but won't because I think it's wrong in my view of morality.

Crashfrog
But you don't know what it is? It sounds like you're worried about nothing.

Could be. But then again...
Crashfrog
If you knew that morality was subjective, how would what you were doing be immoral?

If there's an absolute right and wrong I would be doing something immoral. Is that dodging the question? I don't know.
Chiroptera
Now Neutralmind is claiming that if there is no objective standard for morality, he would do things that he would not want to do. As crashfrog points out, this makes no sense. What would he do things that he doesn't want to do depending on whether there is or is not an objective standard?

Pfft, whether you want it or not we're going to have to play a little semantics games (I don't like them either) before I can answer that. Is absolute morality the same as objective morality?
Chiroptera
Again, this makes no sense. Neutralmind is asking whether he should continue "believing" in something that he knows is not true, just to avoid doing stuff he doesn't want to do.

Yeah well, that's the question. Sounds stupid, maybe is :p

Chiroptera
But how does an objective standard help you? You still have to try and figure out just what it is, and so you end up "making it up" as you go along anyway. So you're still in the same boat.

I guess so. The difference is that... Well, I'll figure it out.
Just as a side note, why do I keep confusing relative morality with no morality?
Chiroptera
If there are objective standards of morality, then there will be consequences for not obeying them.
If there are objective standards and I disobey them, then I will suffer consequences.
Therefore, there might be objective standards of morality.
If this is what you are saying, then I hope that you see where it fails.

That is what I'm saying. Only to make clearer, that the consequences I would suffer would come back as me being a lesser human in terms of life (guess we'll have to deal with my mysticism as I said). Not like any disciplinary acts.
If you're saying that I'm presuming morality may be objective and that's where it fails it's just creating a loophole in my mind going like a broken record " If I disobeyed the...". Actually, it's the same thing you said.
So to answer the question. No, I have no idea where my logic fails me on that.
Chiroptera
As you have already asked yourself, how would you know whether this would be against some alleged "absolute moral code" to begin with?

I wouldn't. This is getting too absurd to answer.
Chiroptera
If morality is subjective and you wouldn't be any worse of a human for behaving in some manner, then what is the problem with behaving in that manner?

Again, I feel this is a bait. Just to get me to say " 'Cause I feel that way", to which you reply " How do you know what you feel is the same as the absolute moral code?", and I'm left to say " I have no idea". Hey, looks like I don't need you guys after all :d

Chiroptera
Now this is getting confusing.
I thought your problem in accepting that morality is subjective is that you would then behave immorally.
Your answer in this posts assumes that there is an objective morality. We already know what the problem would be if you behaved immorally while there were an objective morality. I thought your original question was that you were on the verge of accepting that morality is not objective, and you were distressed about the implications if morality was subjective.

Yeah, but I'm shifting my goal posts as need be. Makes it a lot more fun right?
If I seem to contradict my opening post or my initial problem it may be just hasty thinking on my part, if so, just point it out. I might not always realise it :frazzled:
Chiroptera
By the way, I think that I am going to reask a question that I asked before.
Namely, you seem worried that if morality were subjective you would stop listening to you inner conscience and behave in a way that you would feel is immoral.
But what about the implications of an absolute standard of morality? Why aren't you worried about the conflicts between your inner conscience and this absolute standard, that you might have to choose between behaving in a way that is absolutely immoral or behaving in a way that you feel is immoral?

Hmm... Never occured to me. That would be a bigger problem yeah.
Chiroptera
If you truly are worried about violating your inner conscience, I would think that you would be relieved if morality were subjective.

I'm not sure about my take on that yet. It's confusing :eek:

I hope some great enlightening answers are on their way.

Edited by Neutralmind, : No reason given.

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Added the "(Neutralmind, Crashfrog, and Chiroptera only)" part to the topic title.


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by crashfrog, posted 04-24-2007 1:08 PM Neutralmind has replied
 Message 12 by Chiroptera, posted 05-16-2007 3:52 PM Neutralmind has taken no action

  
Neutralmind
Member (Idle past 5359 days)
Posts: 183
From: Finland
Joined: 06-08-2006


Message 4 of 41 (397383)
04-25-2007 6:48 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by crashfrog
04-24-2007 1:08 PM


No, it's actually begging the question. If you think there's an absolute right and wrong, then why would you believe in a relative morality? And if you believe in a relative morality, what would possibly lead you to think there was an absolute morality?

... I thought you said somewhere before (in the before thread) that a relative morality doesn't mean that right and wrong don't exist. So, can right and wrong exist in the view of relative morality?
You're all twisted up in circles about this, and I don't understand what the big deal is. It seems like you're worried that there's an objective absolute reality inherent in the universe that you simply can't perceive. But how could such a thing be worth worrying about? If the morality is "invisible", then what power does the universe have to hold you to it? Or punish you for infractions? (None whatsoever.)

I disagree. Even if something doesn't have consequences to you doesn't mean it's immoral.
I'll borrow an analogy I remember from another morality thread in this board.

If you'd get rich by just pushing a button, but some poor chap on the other side of the world would die because of that, would you push the button? If you were absolutely sure that it beared you no consequences for pushing the button, except you getting rich, would you push it?
Or, if you don't care about getting rich, switch it to being anything you desire.


You don't need enlightenment; you just need to stop twisting yourself up in word games and figure out what your mental block is. If you're having obsessive thoughts, or you feel like you're under compulsions, or you have an unshakable sense that you're being "judged" or watched at all times, then maybe you should seek professional counseling about that, because those are all signs of mental disorders.

You're always such a joy crash :d

Edited by Neutralmind, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by crashfrog, posted 04-24-2007 1:08 PM crashfrog has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by crashfrog, posted 04-25-2007 10:29 PM Neutralmind has replied

  
Neutralmind
Member (Idle past 5359 days)
Posts: 183
From: Finland
Joined: 06-08-2006


Message 6 of 41 (397462)
04-26-2007 1:46 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by crashfrog
04-25-2007 10:29 PM


Go back to the peanut example. An absolute morality would say that feeding peanuts to people was either wrong or right. But the relavtive morality recognizes that whether its right or wrong depends a lot on whether or not the person is allergic to peanuts.

But how can we know what's good and what's not? Isn't it all personal? Someone might think differently and say it's good to give him/her one peanut if he really likes them as it won't kill him/her yet.
I guess that's the deal with absolute morality too, you can't know if what you're doing is actually good or bad. Or can you?

Ok, look. Is this just going to be a "debate" where I make statements and you respond with complete non sequiters? Because if so I'm going to bow out right now. If there's no guarantee that you're actually going to respond to what I'm saying then I don't see the point.

Don't get so hasty, this is how I read your statement.

Going to quote you again


You're all twisted up in circles about this, and I don't understand what the big deal is. It seems like you're worried that there's an objective absolute reality inherent in the universe that you simply can't perceive. But how could such a thing be worth worrying about? If the morality is "invisible", then what power does the universe have to hold you to it? Or punish you for infractions? (None whatsoever.)

So, how I read that statement is that you're saying because there is no force to hold me onto my actions it means I shouldn't worry about morality, just do as I see fit?

Then, how is it bad for me to push the button and get rich if the universe doesn't hold me to it? It has no consequences to me.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by crashfrog, posted 04-25-2007 10:29 PM crashfrog has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by crashfrog, posted 04-29-2007 9:31 PM Neutralmind has taken no action

  
Neutralmind
Member (Idle past 5359 days)
Posts: 183
From: Finland
Joined: 06-08-2006


Message 8 of 41 (400730)
05-16-2007 1:30 PM


Okay, we came off with the wrong foot. Let me try take another stab at this.

Assuming morality is relative, how could good and bad ever exist?

PS. I'd also like to point out that this is not supposed to be a debate in the formal sense of the word. I'm not holding a counter position to yours, I'm just trying to understand.


Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by crashfrog, posted 05-16-2007 1:39 PM Neutralmind has replied

  
Neutralmind
Member (Idle past 5359 days)
Posts: 183
From: Finland
Joined: 06-08-2006


Message 10 of 41 (400737)
05-16-2007 1:56 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by crashfrog
05-16-2007 1:39 PM


But then, when morality is relative. What keeps me from doing something "immoral"? Why would I want to be moral anyway?
Of course there are obvious circumstances where being moral has benefits, but say I meet a very rich, total stranger in the middle of nowhere. Why would I not just take his money and leave him to die?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by crashfrog, posted 05-16-2007 1:39 PM crashfrog has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by crashfrog, posted 05-16-2007 4:13 PM Neutralmind has taken no action

  
Neutralmind
Member (Idle past 5359 days)
Posts: 183
From: Finland
Joined: 06-08-2006


Message 11 of 41 (400738)
05-16-2007 2:02 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by crashfrog
05-16-2007 1:39 PM


Presumably, you don't want me to hit you in the foot with a hammer. Does there really need to be some absolute, unchanging, eternal universal law for you to not want me to do that?

Okay, I think we have different ideas about "absolute" or "objective" morality. To me, it means that some actions on certain circumstances are ultimately either good or bad.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by crashfrog, posted 05-16-2007 1:39 PM crashfrog has taken no action

  
Neutralmind
Member (Idle past 5359 days)
Posts: 183
From: Finland
Joined: 06-08-2006


Message 14 of 41 (400795)
05-16-2007 6:22 PM


Chiroptera
Wow! I've been invited to a Great Debate! Cool. Thanks, Neut, I'm honored

Glad to have you. I've always had particular interest on your posts in other discussions as well.
crashfrog
And honestly? In most situations where it's against self-interest to be moral, people act immorally. They steal pens from work. They take a penny from the tray but never put one in. People don't always follow their self-interest, and there are situations where society conditions us to act against self-interest for the good of all. Some say that's even in our genetics.

I can see this now. Thanks for a few good examples.

I knew it was always due to my bad logic but these two posts have really cleared things up. I think I understand now that I always thought I believed in absolute morality when in fact I believed in relative morality.
It sounds stupid but this relative morality thing had really kept bugging me, mostly because I had a faulty picture of it.

There's still one thing though


Chiroptera
If there are objective standards of morality, then there will be consequences for not obeying them.
If there are objective standards and I disobey them, then I will suffer consequences.
Therefore, there might be objective standards of morality.
If this is what you are saying, then I hope that you see where it fails.

I have no idea where this fails :(

Edited by Neutralmind, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Chiroptera, posted 05-16-2007 6:42 PM Neutralmind has taken no action
 Message 16 by crashfrog, posted 05-16-2007 7:25 PM Neutralmind has taken no action

  
Neutralmind
Member (Idle past 5359 days)
Posts: 183
From: Finland
Joined: 06-08-2006


Message 17 of 41 (402918)
05-30-2007 5:49 PM


Back again
Well, it's been a while. I hope you still have the patience to continue you with me on this thread. I'll be bumping it up on random times because I have other things to do also, I'm sure you understand.

Anyway, before continuing with other questions about morality I'd to talk about a related matter. Empathy.
What is empathy? Is it just a trait with which we can "put ourselves in another's position and so imagine to feel how they feel".

And before you even agreeing on the definition I continue on that to ask, what's the use of empathy? Now I'm not talking about the obvious use for it in terms of civlizations or populations. Also, I don't want to be talking about it's evolutionary aspects at all.
But moreover what's the benefit of having empathy, for me?

I can see that on some certain situations it's helpful for me to feel empathy for others as to keep my friendship intact with people. But how and why do I feel empathy for total strangers which will never have much effect on me? Sure, I wouldn't want to have my home and family destroyed in a war but I didn't, so why should I care?

I'm sorry if this has been confusing but I think I can sum it all up in one line.

It's something I feel naturally but why should I?


Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by crashfrog, posted 05-30-2007 7:50 PM Neutralmind has replied
 Message 19 by Chiroptera, posted 05-30-2007 8:03 PM Neutralmind has taken no action

  
Neutralmind
Member (Idle past 5359 days)
Posts: 183
From: Finland
Joined: 06-08-2006


Message 20 of 41 (402949)
05-30-2007 8:37 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by crashfrog
05-30-2007 7:50 PM


Re: Back again
That other people will continue to have it for you?

Maybe it's just me but I don't really need empathy from others. Very rarely anyway.
Chiroptera
Well, you just do. Why worry about why you should?

Because I waste time doing it and feel bad for a while. Would be much better for me if I could just ignore it and do something that helps me.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by crashfrog, posted 05-30-2007 7:50 PM crashfrog has taken no action

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Chiroptera, posted 05-30-2007 10:39 PM Neutralmind has replied

  
Neutralmind
Member (Idle past 5359 days)
Posts: 183
From: Finland
Joined: 06-08-2006


Message 22 of 41 (402975)
05-31-2007 6:44 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by Chiroptera
05-30-2007 10:39 PM


Re: Back again
It's that I feel I've lived a lot of my life helping others. And what have I gained in it? Nothing, at least that's how I see it. So, in the future, why should I help anyone else to get by when it helps me in no way?

Why not just ignore others most of the time and help only when it's convenient or there's something for me to gain? (Life threatening situations aside of course) That's what everyone else is doing and they don't seem to be carrying any "emotional baggage". So I'd say they're having life a lot easier not caring about others so much.

And no, I'm not having or going through emotional problems at this time. I'm just figuring out how I should teach myself to react to certain situations in the future to make my life easier.

Edited by Neutralmind, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Chiroptera, posted 05-30-2007 10:39 PM Chiroptera has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by crashfrog, posted 05-31-2007 10:18 AM Neutralmind has replied
 Message 24 by Chiroptera, posted 05-31-2007 11:51 AM Neutralmind has replied

  
Neutralmind
Member (Idle past 5359 days)
Posts: 183
From: Finland
Joined: 06-08-2006


Message 25 of 41 (403108)
05-31-2007 8:37 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by crashfrog
05-31-2007 10:18 AM


Re: Back again
You're just being ridiculous. That's not at all how most people are.

So you're saying most people will help others even when it's very unconvenient, and there's nothing to gain for themselves?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by crashfrog, posted 05-31-2007 10:18 AM crashfrog has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by crashfrog, posted 05-31-2007 9:15 PM Neutralmind has replied

  
Neutralmind
Member (Idle past 5359 days)
Posts: 183
From: Finland
Joined: 06-08-2006


Message 26 of 41 (403115)
05-31-2007 8:53 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Chiroptera
05-31-2007 11:51 AM


I don't know. Why don't you do that?

Personally, I think you'll find a life like that to be less emotionally satisfying, but maybe I'm wrong. Maybe that is the best way for you to live your life, and that is the way you'll find happiness.


Why should I (or you) not find it emotionally satisfying to live more selfishly? The obvious point why I'm not living like that is because I listen to my ability of empathy. But really, why should I? What's the gain?
It's an ability, not a motive to do something (to cite CS from another thread).

Sure, it's great ability to have sometimes but why not ignore it when it's not helping my survival chances? That's the purpose it evolved to right?

What's the gain to me for helping out some random people I know I will never get help back from?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Chiroptera, posted 05-31-2007 11:51 AM Chiroptera has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by Chiroptera, posted 05-31-2007 9:35 PM Neutralmind has replied

  
Neutralmind
Member (Idle past 5359 days)
Posts: 183
From: Finland
Joined: 06-08-2006


Message 29 of 41 (403315)
06-01-2007 8:39 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by crashfrog
05-31-2007 9:15 PM


Re: Back again
They do it all the time here in the Midwest USA. Maybe it's a culture thing? I was led to believe that the Finns are a very generous people.

Okay, say your asking directions. You start asking people who walk by you in a crowded area, to ask where things are. How many out of ten will stop?

Or say, you've just got out of work, the work day has ended. You ask a fellow worker, who is just a guy/girl who you work with but never really hang out with. You ask him/her if he could help you to move some heavy stuff in at your new apartment. Will he say yes or come up with some lame excuse?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by crashfrog, posted 05-31-2007 9:15 PM crashfrog has taken no action

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by Chiroptera, posted 06-01-2007 8:43 PM Neutralmind has replied

  
Neutralmind
Member (Idle past 5359 days)
Posts: 183
From: Finland
Joined: 06-08-2006


Message 31 of 41 (403320)
06-01-2007 9:01 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by Chiroptera
05-31-2007 9:35 PM


Well, I can't speak for most people, but I do this. So do most of the people that I know personally.

Well, so do most of the people I know personally. That's because I don't hang out with people I think are irresponsible idiots. Which is most of the people.

For me, it's just knowing that I've helped someone is it's own reward. If you don't feel the same way, then I guess that there is no gain for you.

Look, can we please stop playing games? I already said I feel exactly the same way. The point is, if I train myself to not care about others so much it will help me. I wouldn't have to think about "oh, I hope she wasn't offended about what I said" " I wonder how he's doing now after that surgery" " damn, it was too bad he didn't get that work he wanted"
Also, I wouldn't be wasting time helping others whenever it's not convenient.

I'd just care about me and think about my own situation and decisions more.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Chiroptera, posted 05-31-2007 9:35 PM Chiroptera has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by Chiroptera, posted 06-01-2007 9:10 PM Neutralmind has replied

  
Neutralmind
Member (Idle past 5359 days)
Posts: 183
From: Finland
Joined: 06-08-2006


Message 32 of 41 (403321)
06-01-2007 9:04 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Chiroptera
06-01-2007 8:43 PM


Re: Back again
You know I wasn't asking would you help him. I was asking if people in general would help you.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by Chiroptera, posted 06-01-2007 8:43 PM Chiroptera has taken no action

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.1
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2022