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Thread: Morality

  1. #1
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Default Morality

    Morality is beneficial to society, but harmful to the individual. Agree? Disagree? Think I'm just an ass?
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Whether I agree or disagree depends on how you're defining morality (though I think you're probably somewhat of an ass either way).

    Morality, I'd argue, generally serves the people, but by serving the people, serves the individual. Moral rules are fashioned to protect and care for others, and caring for others brings piece of mind to the doer. If you're simply not running through stop signs, eh, the benefit to individual might be negligible, because the benefit to society is negligible. However, if you choose to give charity, or counsel a friend, or are mindful of your energy consumption, you'll feel better about yourself.

    This of course rests on the assumption that "benefit" must be construed liberally. Giving charity might result in the giver having less money (seems to be a detriment) but the payoff is internal, in piece of mind.

    Summary: disagree, think you're an ass

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    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    I think the more simplified and generalized people try to make morality, the more harmful it becomes to individuals, and perhaps even the people themselves.

    For example, when people argue that anything that causes harm to another person is immoral, with no exceptions, then you have a highly simplified version of morality. Simply because what you may percieve as harmful, may not actually be harmful in every single case. For example, it is usually harmful to inflict pain on others but what of consensual sadomasochists? Are they inherently immoral because the willfully inflict and receive pain? It is also harmful to kill yourself but what about euthanasia for those who choose to end their lives because they are in chronic pain? Are they inherently immoral because they no longer wish to live?

    Morality is great because it allows people to establish standards and rules for behavior that coincide with their values, but when simplified to the point that it is "black and white" then I believe it can become inherently harmful.

    Laws have always been based on arbitrary morality. If you saw a couple of 14 year olds drinking in the US then it would probably be a big deal because we have a drinking age set at 21. However, in Italy, where they have no drinking age, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. An American might argue that Italy is inherently immoral because it doesn't have a drinking age, but Italy boasts one of the lowest alcoholism rates in the world, far lower than America. One of the reasons for that is because it isn't taboo, since kids can easily do it if they want, and also because of the cultural influence which leads people there to look down upon those who overdrink. However, I don't think I would want to dissolve the drinking age here in America because we don't have that cultural influence.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  4. #4
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Morality is beneficial to society, but harmful to the individual. Agree? Disagree? Think I'm just an ass?
    Try to make your question even more general please. But hey what the hell do I know, its just details, who needs details?

    In response to what you wrote, I think the end to morality is making the individual happy. It is strictly subjective because happiness could only be determined by your internal measurements that noone but the individual himself is aware of.

    So what makes you happy is moral, what doesnt is immoral.

    Obviously we all want to be left alone to conduct our pursuit of happiness, so we need a code of behavior to grant us all the peace to do so. This is where we come by the conventional behavioral prescriptions. Such a system shall have little to do with morality itself, its only tie to ethics is one in support of our value concerning personal peace.

    So what this means is, there is a law concerning not running through a red light, I follow this not because my personal values tell me there is something good about not running a red light, but because my personal values tell me I like my peace. In order to have my peace, I need to ensure that others do so as well. Hence, I abide by laws that strive to create order in society.

    Such laws are indespensable to morality as without order in society the individual's pursuit of peace shall be difficult if not impossible. However, when such stipulations are connected to personal values peace by peace, namely when we say that we have a rule that eating meat or killing dear is moral or immoral in itself, conventional 'morality' becomes tyrannous and imposing. This is because we all have different ideas of what makes us happy and what does not. Since our inner beings are more archetypal than ectypal, or in other words, there is more to who we are based on our inner unconscious tendencies than our external influences. In other words, it is difficult to shape the individual into what the external protocol may wish for him to be without expecting the protestation from his inner life. Hence, since there are so many kinds of inner beings, the chances are if we try to make an external code of ethic which is fitting for all, this shall be detrimental to most. Our code of ethic may apply to one set of individuals, yet shall be thoroughly disagreeable to many others. Secondly, even to that aforementioned group it is unlikely to be favorable as the inner life cannot be translated externally with exactitude. In other words, externally we can lay down but a few rigid maxims in regards to how we should behave, however, this is much too impoverished to depict the many elements of the inner life which are essential to soundness of one's inner being.

    So, as for conventional 'morals' whatever conduces to maximization of maximization of autonomy of the individual is desirable.

    As for the subjective essence of morality, I shall not comment on, as only the examination of the individual's inner being could put us in the position to start an inquiry into the matter. I only have access to my own, very little of which we could talk about meaningfully in definite terms of communication, as for that of others, the less said the better.
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    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    Try to make your question even more general please. But hey what the hell do I know, its just details, who needs details?
    Yes, I agree that it is far too general. But you took it so badly. Some people's minds just can't cope with any level of complexity or detail, as hard as that can be to accept.
    In response to what you wrote, I think the end to morality is making the individual happy. It is strictly subjective because happiness could only be determined by your internal measurements that noone but the individual himself is aware of.

    So what makes you happy is moral, what doesnt is immoral.

    Obviously we all want to be left alone to conduct our pursuit of happiness, so we need a code of behavior to grant us all the peace to do so. This is where we come by the conventional behavioral prescriptions. Such a system shall have little to do with morality itself, its only tie to ethics is one in support of our value concerning personal peace.

    So what this means is, there is a law concerning not running through a red light, I follow this not because my personal values tell me there is something good about not running a red light, but because my personal values tell me I like my peace. In order to have my peace, I need to ensure that others do so as well. Hence, I abide by laws that strive to create order in society.

    Such laws are indespensable to morality as without order in society the individual's pursuit of peace shall be difficult if not impossible. However, when such stipulations are connected to personal values peace by peace, namely when we say that we have a rule that eating meat or killing dear is moral or immoral in itself, conventional 'morality' becomes tyrannous and imposing. This is because we all have different ideas of what makes us happy and what does not. Since our inner beings are more archetypal than ectypal, or in other words, there is more to who we are based on our inner unconscious tendencies than our external influences. In other words, it is difficult to shape the individual into what the external protocol may wish for him to be without expecting the protestation from his inner life. Hence, since there are so many kinds of inner beings, the chances are if we try to make an external code of ethic which is fitting for all, this shall be detrimental to most. Our code of ethic may apply to one set of individuals, yet shall be thoroughly disagreeable to many others. Secondly, even to that aforementioned group it is unlikely to be favorable as the inner life cannot be translated externally with exactitude. In other words, externally we can lay down but a few rigid maxims in regards to how we should behave, however, this is much too impoverished to depict the many elements of the inner life which are essential to soundness of one's inner being.

    So, as for conventional 'morals' whatever conduces to maximization of maximization of autonomy of the individual is desirable.

    As for the subjective essence of morality, I shall not comment on, as only the examination of the individual's inner being could put us in the position to start an inquiry into the matter.
    That does seem like a fitting prescription for the proper place of enforced morals in society... use as many of them as you need to keep society together and communicate basic things, while avoiding infringing on other's moral choices as much as possible in this context. Very interesting.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    I was deliberately vague.

    I'll post some more on the subject when I get around to it.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    So what makes you happy is moral, what doesnt is immoral.
    The whole, "the ultimate end to every means is happiness" argument eh?

    I suppose you are doomed to perpetual unhappiness if what makes you happy is what would violate the laws, because then you could never attain what would make you happy without it resulting in disturbing your peace.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    The whole, "the ultimate end to every means is happiness" argument eh?

    I suppose you are doomed to perpetual unhappiness if what makes you happy is what would violate the laws, because then you could never attain what would make you happy without it resulting in disturbing your peace.
    I follow the laws so society shall leave me alone and I may enjoy my solitary freedom. And of course, I like my peace, so I want other people to have it too, that is why I wish to do all I can to keep order in society. The best I can do is follow the laws, only propose to change or overthrow them if they do not give the individual the peace he requires.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
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    Default Slavery, Sexism and Child Rape

    Until 1833 slavery was moral.

    And until the 20th Century, sexism was moral.

    And until recently child rape was moral.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    And until recently child rape was moral.
    When has child rape ever been moral?
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

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