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Old 04-14-2009, 10:32 AM
 
6,944 posts, read 8,875,359 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leangk View Post
there are a tonne of different beliefs, religions and philosophies that have set out morals. philosophies have a number of "schools", which have numerous beliefs like egoism, hedonism, legal justitifcation (if its legal its moral!( i also cant remember the real name of this).

i seemed to struggle myself with the belief that only a higher being can logically make rules, because if not it becomes the opinion of people. such as muslims believing what they do to woemn completely normal. then again certian rules need to be interpreted in religion to apply to modern scenarios.. what do you guys think?
If a higher being really is taking certain individuals aside and whispering the almighty intentions in their ears, why are there so many different versions of what's right? Right is what the people around you will allow you to get away with. Following certain rules like "don't kill anyone" makes everyone's lives a lot easier, so I think should be followed everywhere even if there is no rule or law against it -- but there's certain to be someone who disagrees with me on that.

And they might even be right, depending on the situation. I mean, in general, killing other peple because you're angry at them causes so much more new pain than the relief from your anger is worth -- but sometimes for the protection of society you need to have everyone choose a board with a nail through it and go in a group after the guy who's been sexually assaulting the children or what have you.

The fact that we can even argue about it means it's NOT carved in stone.
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Old 04-14-2009, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,538,289 times
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Discussion become possible only when there is agreement on the words that are used, and consulting a dictionary can be useful when in doubt.

moral

–adjective
1. of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical: moral attitudes.
2. expressing or conveying truths . . .: a moral novel.
3. founded on the fundamental principles of right conduct rather than on legalities, enactment, or custom: moral obligations.

I've bolded what I believe are the relevant words. The first definition equates "moral" with "ethical", but there is a difference, because ethical IS subjective in its usual sense in our society. It defines, for example, what a lawyer or doctor or accountant is professionally permitted to do in his practice.

The second definition is inappicable, because it is used there in an attributive sense, but I left it in so I wouldn't be accused of cherry-picking definitions.

The third hits the nail. It excludes the virtues that are arbitrarily assigned by legalities, enactments and customs (which include religions) and distills moral down to things that are universally recognized as absolutely right and wrong, at all times and places, upon which there is little or no room for disagreement. In other words, my definition: behavior that avoids unnecessary harm or distress to other people.
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:44 PM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,302 posts, read 3,755,085 times
Reputation: 2524
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickmahorn View Post
Okay. Wow. You clearly did not understand my rhetoric, and I don't know if I can simplify my argument any further than I already have. I am going to try ONE more time to present this as simply as I can at the risk of being completely redundant:

Argument: If you use certain instincts as a basis for them being absolute morals, you can't reject other instincts as a basis for other morals as being absolute. If you do reject other instincts, then you are implicitly admitting that morality is subjective.

You have stated that our survival instinct is a basis for murder/killing(I put both here to avoid an impending semantics question) being considered an example of absolute immorality. Okay.

We also have sexual and aggressive instincts. Why can these not be used as basis for defining absolute morality, if the survival instinct can?

We have a sexual instinct, therefore if absolute morality has any basis in instincts, it would mean that the following is an absolute moral:
"My sexual instinct tells me I should have sex with every attractive woman to spread my seed, irregardless if she agrees or not. Therefore, it is absolutely moral for me to have sex anytime with anyone I like because it is driven by an instinct."


I have underlined my statement. I have put my ONE question to you in bold. All you need to do is answer the question in bold. Everything else is purely supporting rhetoric.
Thanks for the reply and for being patient. I appreciate you putting up with with my spanglish.
Ok, let me see your underlined statement.
I disagree with you on this one because I believe there are differences.
However, if you do not mind let us go this route. Please let me know if you agree. Let us cover maybe some of some basic moral principles and compare them, sounds OK with you?
I first ask, do you agree with my premise that what we may today call morals have origins from our basic instincts?
Example: By instinct we want to protect our lives, defend and reject any action against it. From there somebody along the chonological history wisely saw it to put it in some code like maybe Hammurabi or Moses in the ten Commandment, and some other law bodies around the world.
Before we go further I need to know if you agree with this conclusion I made.

Please let me know. I also tell you I am glad to have this exchange with you because I can see you are patient and respectful.

You have a great day.
El Amigo
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Old 04-14-2009, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,538,289 times
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Among the instincts that humans are furnished with, is the instinct to live in a community. We are not social animals, like ants or bees, with social irganization hard-wired into us. But we are also not evolved to live by ourselves, and trying to make it without a cooperative society nearly always defeats the human capacity to cope with the environment.

Because we must be a part of a community, it is instinctive for us to protect the integrity of that community. This is why "moral" behavior is limited to organisms that are social, and why the concept of morality is so heavily loaded onto the well-being of the other members of the society.

Morality can exist as a concept only with internalized reference to a species that has two characteristics. A) social, and B) capable of reasoning to the degree that it an choose reactions to events.. Humans are the only ones we know about. If human-like organisms ceased to exist in the universe, so would morality. Jupiter does not orbit the sun out of some moralistic decision to do so. At least, we have no evidence that it does.

So, back to instinct. Humans recognize and are inclined to moral behavior, instinctively, because our society and therefore our species survival would break down if moral behavior did not contribute to the well-being of our society. Just as surely as if there was no instinct to eat or engage in behavior that results in procreation---the F word.

Yes, we have an instinct to self preservation. But wa also have an instinct to the well-being of those who also live in our community, because one could not survive without them. We are caught in the balancing act between selfishmess and altruism, and only a blend of those will work.
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Old 04-19-2009, 11:25 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
8,567 posts, read 14,516,394 times
Reputation: 1573
Originally Posted by jtur88
Quote:
Among the instincts that humans are furnished with, is the instinct to live in a community. We are not social animals, like ants or bees, with social irganization hard-wired into us. But we are also not evolved to live by ourselves, and trying to make it without a cooperative society nearly always defeats the human capacity to cope with the environment.
My guess why humanity is exactly like this is because man is the dominant species on Earth.
He has no natural enemy, so nature decided that humanity has to be his own worst enemy, to keep the natural equilibrium intact.
I agree with you that having morals is a product of this process.
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