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  1. #41
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    But is that a case for acting amoral? No intrinsic value to truth...?
    It's more of a case of the lesser of two evils, I'd think. It's bad to lie, but it's worse to cause the parents unnecessary grief.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  2. #42
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    It's more of a case of the lesser of two evils, I'd think. It's bad to lie, but it's worse to cause the parents unnecessary grief.


    I guess I'm asking if you take Park's approach - everything is relative and the value of an action is only in the ramifications. In this case, you have defined grief as entirely negative and truth as irrelevent (or not as important as grief).

    If so, then truth either has no value, except the value it brings as an effect... or truth has some value, meaning you'll tell the truth depending on the scale of grief it would cause.

    (
    Is this a sliding scale? Or should we always lie to prevent suffering? Do you factor in the likelyhood of being caught? Is that ratio based upon likelyhood of personal suffering and the reversal of their suffering? Do you add a bit of suffering to the "found out lie part and made it worse", or is it balanced?
    )

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I guess I'm asking if you take Park's approach - everything is relative and the value of an action is only in the ramifications. In this case, you have defined grief as entirely negative and truth as irrelevent (or not as important as grief).

    If so, then truth either has no value, except the value it brings as an effect... or truth has some value, meaning you'll tell the truth depending on the scale of grief it would cause.

    (
    Is this a sliding scale? Or should we always lie to prevent suffering? Do you factor in the likelyhood of being caught? Is that ratio based upon likelyhood of personal suffering and the reversal of their suffering? Do you add a bit of suffering to the "found out lie part and made it worse", or is it balanced?
    )
    How about you? You would lie and violate your basic perceptions of honesty=good dishonesty=bad - right?
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  4. #44
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Park View Post
    How about you? You would lie and violate your basic perceptions of honesty=good dishonesty=bad - right?
    In this story, I'd say the child died and I buried the remains, which I likely would of after eating. I'd simply omit transient information that serves no purpose. The truth they want to hear is what happened their child - dead by starvation, and that is true, so I would tell them.

    The problem in these situations is that they are constructs - do you do the worst possible thing or the best possible thing... there are no intermediate steps. In my eyes, everything has infinite possibilities... we work out which will be the best. If I was in that situation, I would do neither. I would present the truth as best I could to ease their grief.

    I would likely, however, lie about the details if pushed. Those details aren't relevant to the outcome and only have personal meaning - I would rather that meaning isn't negative for all involved.

  5. #45
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    2) You have a very subjective view of morality which isn't all that accepted. You believe that the choices you make are about balancing costs versus benefits... Utilitarian views measure both sides (for example, if it will help the other person lots vs hurt you a little, you'll still hurt yourself a little to help them a lot).
    Would I be right in understanding that a sociopath would not hurt themselves a little to help others a lot, and would hurt others a lot in order to help themselves a little?

  6. #46
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    Would I be right in understanding that a sociopath would not hurt themselves a little to help others a lot, and would hurt others a lot in order to help themselves a little?
    Hmm.. well, it depends on the sociopath, and it depends on exactly what is being talked about. When we talk about sociopaths, there is a line of deviant behaviour - that is, a lack of caring/empathy... in short, a lack of "golden rules" (tell the truth because you'd want to hear it, treat others like you would want to be treated). In that case, yes, absolutely. In cases where other descriptions (impuslse control, aggression, lack of foresight, responsibility issues) are dominant, I'd say that isn't exactly the case.

    But regardless I'd say yes, that's correct, although there may be narrow exceptions. You need all of the traits to some degree, so logically that'd be the case. (The problem here is that the definition begs the question - so you can't diagnose someone as a sociopath then ask if they'd do this... it all just depends on what questions are used to define sociopathy!)

  7. #47
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Regarding questions like "is it wrong to steal if you are starving", these speak to the heart of suffering. A great deal of what one faces when they suffer is being presented with two wrong choices. There is a difference between: identifying that a pure system of moral absolutes does not overlay sufficiently with reality, and disregarding the entire concept of ethical/moral choice and behavior.

    Ethical behavior has a lot to do with having the capacity to consider a context outside of self. When all motivations are focused on serving self alone, and to then reckless endangerment of others, then we have a clear lack of morality. When we have the capacity to place ourselves in the context of family and society and calculate the cost/benefits in this larger context, we are then dealing with morality, even if in relative terms.

    We can readdress questions like: Is it alright to steal to keep someone else from starving? vs. Is it alright to steal to keep oneself from starving? If the processes for answering these two questions are remarkably different, then the question of amorality is what we could be dealing with. If a person's cost/benefit equations are easily extended to others, than we are dealing with relative moral systems. What do you think?

    edit: Pure honest-to-goodness sociopathy is not a rational system of thought. Valuing self at the expense of others and operating in a parasitic manner does not actually turn out a positive cost/benefit outcome. Just as parasites often kill their hosts, so does the sociopath. The truth is that we exist in a context of others. Refusing to identify that context and how it benefits self will not lead to accurate assessments and choices. Others benefit us in ways that go beyond immediate gratification and use. They provide deeper, less tangible benefits as well. Anytime significant, relevant information is disregarded from analysis, we get skewed results. This is the problem with true sociopathic reasoning.
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  8. #48
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    It's more of a case of the lesser of two evils, I'd think. It's bad to lie, but it's worse to cause the parents unnecessary grief.
    In addition, the emotion attached by the parents to your eating the child [omg, I can't believe I actually had to say that in a post!] is not related to your motivation to doing so.

    What I mean is that your intentions were always positive towards the child, and you hated eating the body in order to live, the act was repulsive to you; but what parent could not help but hate you for what you've done?

    In this case, you're just compensating to counter residual emotions that would not accurately describe your true feelings of remorse at having to commit this action. If you had killed the child to eat it, then you might have had more personal reasons to lie; but it would have been a more immoral act to do so, because you are obfuscating your true intentions.

    You might be sparing yourself some trouble as well as the parents some unnecessary grief, but honestly, it's also a burden to have to carry a secret like that. So it's not really all self-interest at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    Regarding questions like "is it wrong to steal if you are starving", these speak to the heart of suffering. A great deal of what one faces when they suffer is being presented with two wrong choices. There is a difference between: identifying that a pure system of moral absolutes does not overlay sufficiently with reality, and disregarding the entire concept of ethical/moral choice and behavior.
    Mmmm hmmm. I particularly resonate with having to deal with two choices (or more), none of which address in the most ideal way all of the needs inherent in a situation. Those are the hard questions of life, and the more typical situations one will encounter; things are rarely a choice between a good and an evil (or perhaps we do not agonize as much over those sorts of dilemmas).
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    When we have the capacity to place ourselves in the context of family and society and calculate the cost/benefits in this larger context, we are then dealing with morality
    Yes, it's just that people who have a predetermined negative value for an act often finds it upsetting when you state that to you, the act has a neutral value until carried out in a certain context. It is the context which decides whether the act has a positive or negative value.

    It's like they don't hear the last part but only focus on the part where you say, I'm indifferent to e.g. stealing. That statement standing alone makes you a bad character pr. default.

    Jennifer Quote:
    You might be sparing yourself some trouble as well as the parents some unnecessary grief, but honestly, it's also a burden to have to carry a secret like that. So it's not really all self-interest at all.
    Exactly.
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    You appear to have a very limited vocabulary and lack the ability to identify the correct responses for a variety of different questions. A deficient vocabulary can hinder you in many ways; you may struggle to find the correct words when speaking, fail to understand what others are communicating to you, or come across as inarticulate to others.

  10. #50
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I guess I'm asking if you take Park's approach - everything is relative and the value of an action is only in the ramifications. In this case, you have defined grief as entirely negative and truth as irrelevent (or not as important as grief).

    If so, then truth either has no value, except the value it brings as an effect... or truth has some value, meaning you'll tell the truth depending on the scale of grief it would cause.

    (
    Is this a sliding scale? Or should we always lie to prevent suffering? Do you factor in the likelyhood of being caught? Is that ratio based upon likelyhood of personal suffering and the reversal of their suffering? Do you add a bit of suffering to the "found out lie part and made it worse", or is it balanced?
    )
    I'm not sure I have a set system for hard cases like that. I think most of my morality radiates from the principle of not causing harm. Truth has value primarily because lies cause harm. If a lie can cause no harm and might reduce harm, then the smallest possible lie should be told. I would absolutely factor in the likelihood of getting caught because the lie would compound the suffering of the parents if it was discovered.

    The hard part is balancing the need for the parents to have their child's remains so they could have some closure against the pain of knowing what happened to their child and their child's body. Oh man, now I'm feeling guilty for letting the kids starve I should have at least poked myself with sticks or rocks until I bled and given the child my blood to drink like the Mongols drank the blood of their horses. How can the adult be alive and let the child starve?
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

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