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Absolute Morality Vs. Subjective Morality


Deadly_Nightshade

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I actually liked the discussion that was going on before the topic was locked, so I have decided to resurrect it to see if anyone else is interested in continuing from where we left the last topic. Here are some selected posts from the previous topic:

 

Good and evil are labels we put on things based on the beliefs shaped by our society and our own individual experiences. Nothing is inherently good or evil, and to claim some issues are black and white whilst others are gray is to arrogantly assume your views are the right ones.

 

When does an issue because black or white, when the majority agrees? Jews believe the soul enters the body at birth and so abortion is allowable (though not encouraged) and this is obviously not something Christians agree on. So who is right? Abortion is a black issue and Jews are wrong, or is abortion really a gray issue and Christians are wrong?

 

To put so simple an idiot could understand it, "if you don't want it done to you don't do it to others" which is an extremely broad statement, I know. They're "evil" by both my religion and my moral beliefs.

 

The same side of a coin viewed for two seperae angles... There is no good or evil, only perspective.

 

Personally, I believe that all morals, be they personal or societal, are prejudiced towards the various worldviews of the culture in witch they evolved

"Geez. It's like we lost some sort of bet and ended up saddled with a bunch of terrible new posters on this forum."

-Hurlshot

 

 

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This is very different than the God topic, so I'm glad to see a separate thread. The other is really science versus God, but morality really doesn't need religion or science. Sure, morality is an important part of major religions, but obviously being religious doesn't make you a moral person, and being an atheist doesn't make you amoral.

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My own _feeling_ is that the majority of things which exist as common to most societies are based on what benefits those societies. Some acts/stances are beneficial in limited context, viz the acceptability of killing and pacifism during wartime. However, a large swathe of acts/stances are beneficial all the time. An example of this would be defence of infants. It is almost invariable going to benefit society if its infants are well looked after, fostered, and not damaged.

 

Please note that while I am arguing that some things always benefit society this does not mean such codes are always adhered to by those societies. This is because generally speaking doing the 'right' thing is a huge pain in the behind.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I must say, it strikes me odd when humans claim great absolute truths from subjective grounds. These people are not very humble by way of knowledge gathering.

 

On one hand there are subjective statistics based on nature. On the other hand there is a absolute veridical text based on something other then nature, what that is I can not know because I only work in nature.

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However there are many cultures that share what is known as "universal taboos." These are behaviors that nearly all the various cultures share the same view as being bad or "evil." One such taboo is incest. Now, varying cultures have a degree of separation that varies when it comes to incest but nearly every culture shares that direct sexual intimacy between parent and child or between siblings is wrong. The degree of incest begins to vary when it comes to cousins.

Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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Posit:

 

While walking along the beach, happy and content, you see a man standing beneath a coconut tree. A coconut falls on his head and knocks him unconscious. You walk over. Two options occur to you:

 

1) Torture him by flaying him alive.

2) Help him to medical attention.

 

He can do nothing to stop you.

 

I would argue that in as much as anything human can be absolute the former is evil.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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3) Get his wallet and take all his money, then use his cellphone to anonymously call for an ambulance. Leave before it arrives.

Edited by Sand

Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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Acting entirely selfish without concern for the group or, for the way you would be wish to be treated is considered evil, while doing something selfless, for the benefit of the group, even if such a group situation is entirely hypothetical would be good.

 

I would argue that these broad definitions are universal, except maybe at a satanist convention.

Na na  na na  na na  ...

greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

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I'm traveling around the world and happens upon a village. The village has a tradition - the first child born in the seventh month of the seventh year without a flood is to be sacrificed in order to thank the water gods. As a guest, I am invited to the occasion and asked to take part. I throw the baby in the river. She drowns. The village is happy. I've done a selfless deed for the benefit of the group - am I good?

There are doors

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Yeah, that would depend on whether there actually was a water god, and whether he would drown everyone in a terrible storm of vengeance if not appeased.

 

Religion can be a negative group dynamic, there are plenty of examples of this, I think you have to decide whether the religion is inherently humanistic and respecting of both individual and group at the same time.

 

There aren't that many world religions that live up to that maxim, Christianity is homophobic, almost any religion is dismissive of other religions, etc.

 

If forced to pick one, I would probably go with Buddhism, because of it's traditional acceptance of many and diverse sects,and traditional Japanese Kami worship, because of its acceptance of other gods.

Edited by Gorgon

Na na  na na  na na  ...

greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

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Ah, so perception matters. Well, then, try this one:

 

The people around me believe that female genital mutilation is a good thing, and they have indoctrinated the children such that they believe so, too. I don't agree. In fact, I think it's nothing but superstition. I attempt to force my view on the people around me by force of arms. In doing so, I have committed a selfish act without any regard for the concerns of the group; in fact, I have upset them - both the adults and the children - because I forced them to accept my beliefs. Am I evil?

There are doors

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I think there are no morals beyond the personal sphere. Morality is always an individual issue.

"My hovercraft is full of eels!" - Hungarian tourist
I am Dan Quayle of the Romans.
I want to tattoo a map of the Netherlands on my nether lands.
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The perpetration of genital mutilation through generations is a perfect example of religion as an entrenched negative group dynamic. It does not respect the individual.

 

You can't write or perceive anything without perspective, of course perception matters, that doesn't mean you have to completely reduce the concept of good and evil to relatives, they are abstract constructs, but ones fundamentally based on the ideas of selfishness or selflessness, of how you yourself would wish to be treated by those around you.

 

Religious or ideological wars between two kinds of 'right' usually end up perpetrating countless more kinds of 'wrong'. You can't change generations of social strictures by force of arms, and you should know better than to try.

 

The answer to your hypothetical posit I guess is that you are both evil.

Na na  na na  na na  ...

greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

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Personally, I believe that everything in this world is debatable - there are no absolutes, no inherently good, and no inherently evil."
Just because we can debate something doesn't mean there isn't a correct stance on it. I mean, we could theoretically debate the color of my X-Box for hours. That doesn't mean it isn't black.
When does an issue because black or white, when the majority agrees? Jews believe the soul enters the body at birth and so abortion is allowable (though not encouraged) and this is obviously not something Christians agree on. So who is right? Abortion is a black issue and Jews are wrong, or is abortion really a gray issue and Christians are wrong?
They're both wrong. Abortion becomes immoral (unless done to protect the life/health of the mother) when the fetus' neocortex becomes functional, since then the fetus has the mental functions of a human.
Ah, so perception matters. Well, then, try this one:

 

The people around me believe that female genital mutilation is a good thing, and they have indoctrinated the children such that they believe so, too. I don't agree. In fact, I think it's nothing but superstition. I attempt to force my view on the people around me by force of arms. In doing so, I have committed a selfish act without any regard for the concerns of the group; in fact, I have upset them - both the adults and the children - because I forced them to accept my beliefs. Am I evil?

Depends. Did your "force of arms" kill people/create more suffering than genital mutilation does?
I don't post if I don't have anything to say, which I guess makes me better than the rest of your so-called "community." 8)
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How the hell do you quantify suffering?

"My hovercraft is full of eels!" - Hungarian tourist
I am Dan Quayle of the Romans.
I want to tattoo a map of the Netherlands on my nether lands.
Heja Sverige!!
Everyone should cuffawkle more.
The wrench is your friend. :bat:

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Interesting. How about this one?

 

I am hungry, but I have no money. I see a merchant selling bread. I ask him: "Mister, can I have some bread?" He looks at me, sniffs, and replies, "No. Go away." He's obviously pretty well to do, and I'm starving to death, so while he's not looking, I steal half of the bread loaves. I have committed an utterly selfish act, but my life is saved. Am I evil?

There are doors

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Personally, I believe that everything in this world is debatable - there are no absolutes, no inherently good, and no inherently evil."
Just because we can debate something doesn't mean there isn't a correct stance on it. I mean, we could theoretically debate the color of my X-Box for hours. That doesn't mean it isn't black.

 

I've been trying since this thread started to say just that. Well put.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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How the hell do you quantify suffering?
Well, first you need to make a few judgments on the comparative values of freedom, pleasure, lack of pain, life and social inclusion. Then you estimate/observe the total amount of freedom, pleasure, lack of pain and social inclusion which were taken away by one system and compare it to how much was taken away by another. Bam. Quantified suffering.

 

The way you know that (early) labor unions were doing good when they helped workers gain better wages, working condition and shorter hours.

 

Interesting. How about this one?

 

I am hungry, but I have no money. I see a merchant selling bread. I ask him: "Mister, can I have some bread?" He looks at me, sniffs, and replies, "No. Go away." He's obviously pretty well to do, and I'm starving to death, so while he's not looking, I steal half of the bread loaves. I have committed an utterly selfish act, but my life is saved. Am I evil?

No. You saved a life at a cost of only a slight business inconvenience to a successful merchant. The fact that it was your own is completely irrelevant. Edited by Cycloneman
I don't post if I don't have anything to say, which I guess makes me better than the rest of your so-called "community." 8)
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How the hell do you quantify suffering?
Well, first you need to make a few judgments on the comparative values of freedom, pleasure, lack of pain, life and social inclusion. Then you estimate/observe the total amount of freedom, pleasure, lack of pain and social inclusion which were taken away by one system and compare it to how much was taken away by another. Bam. Quantified suffering.

 

The way you know that (early) labor unions were doing good when they helped workers gain better wages, working condition and shorter hours.

 

 

Unless you tell me objectively what are the comparative values of all those things, you've got nothing.

"My hovercraft is full of eels!" - Hungarian tourist
I am Dan Quayle of the Romans.
I want to tattoo a map of the Netherlands on my nether lands.
Heja Sverige!!
Everyone should cuffawkle more.
The wrench is your friend. :bat:

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No. You saved a life at a cost of only a slight business inconvenience to a successful merchant. The fact that it was your own is completely irrelevant.

In the example the action does not appear evil, not predetermined to cause harm, but rather to save life.

 

Nevertheless I prefer to measure evil with the negative impact your actions have on others, because the 'you' in the equation is tied to the notions of selfishness and selflessness, you can't always presume to know why people do what they do, which is why it's important to keep an eye on the ball ; on the negative effect your actions have on those around you.

 

Notwithstanding these unlikely hypothetical moral dilemmas that attempt to wiggle out of either a good or an evil response.

Na na  na na  na na  ...

greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

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How the hell do you quantify suffering?
Well, first you need to make a few judgments on the comparative values of freedom, pleasure, lack of pain, life and social inclusion. Then you estimate/observe the total amount of freedom, pleasure, lack of pain and social inclusion which were taken away by one system and compare it to how much was taken away by another. Bam. Quantified suffering.

 

The way you know that (early) labor unions were doing good when they helped workers gain better wages, working condition and shorter hours.

Unless you tell me objectively what are the comparative values of all those things, you've got nothing.

Alright then, here you go.

 

Edited by Cycloneman
I don't post if I don't have anything to say, which I guess makes me better than the rest of your so-called "community." 8)
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