Actually, I believe your ONLY duty is towards yourself. Why? Because you only have access to yourself. Insofar as you have access to others, they become yourself.
Charity starts at home. Treat others as you would rather be treated. God, we're a selfish bunch.
This is something people don't understand; if you want to redefine self as to include others it makes the argument moot. So insofar as people (who may need to be persuaded of what is ethical) have an idea of the self that does not include others, then we need to use the same language. Interesting thought though. I agree that separation is an illusion on some level, and empathy makes us aware of this fact by broadening our sphere of what we see as ourselves.
I don't think though that we would not have ethical duties to others if it had been the case that we were not interdependent. Although the antecedent of that statement might require denying the laws of nature.
I disagree. Morals don't exist, period. Only children/silly people need morals.
Morals are merely in the eye of the beholder.
That doesn't mean morals don't exist, it just means they are subjective. And it's a good thing the subjective standard is usually shared across a majority of the members of a given society. Otherwise, civilization would descend back to the stone age.
To me, the ultimate ethics is a question of Yes or No.
You were Willed into existence, and that was good. If you want to will yourself back out of existence, you can, but that would be... BAD
I'm starting to focus more on myself and what I want for myself, hence the bias in my response.
I don't know if I am a selfish Christian or a socialised Satanist.
Enneagram: 6w7 (phobic) > 2w1 > 9w1 Alignment: Neutral Good Holland Code: AIS Date of Birth: March 15, 1996 Gender: Male Political Stance: Libertarian Liberal (Arizona School/Strong BHL) ATHEIST UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST HUMANIST and SCIENCE ENTHUSIAST
I say this as a reminder to myself, but this goes for everyone:
You can achieve anything you set your mind to, and you are limited only by how dedicated you are to succeed!
Morals are subjective. That does not make them of no value or invalid. We're a social species. Morals have value in allowing us to live in close proximity to each other and work together because we don't function well on our own. We have our brains and the ability to work together. We are not fast, our sense of smell is crap, we can't see well in the dark, our pelts are next to useless, our teeth and nails are a joke. We need each other. So we come up with morals so we don't kill each other quite so quickly as we otherwise might, so the species survives. Group interest and self-interest are aligned on a meta level.
You do not always have to comply with the morals/standards of the society in which you live. But it's very foolish and short-sighted to ignore them completely. It's wiser to know the rules, be very familiar with the consequences of breaking them or complying with them and decide what outcome you'd like to see, what price you are willing to pay. And not just short-term. People have long memories about some things, but not about others. Count the costs, IOW.
If you want to be able to someday tell everyone and their morals they can go to hell, you will have to be in a position to never need anyone's goodwill or kindness. One day, chances are pretty good you'll be old and frail and having a little goodwill accrued might be beneficial. Probably it will be beneficial many times before that.
I am in a position where I can tell some people and their morals to go to hell, but there are many I cannot and several I would bend over backwards to simply humor because I want them to love me back.
Reciprocity is important in human interactions. It's a subjective 'moral' but it's really close to being hard-wired into our brains. Even if individually we're selfish bastards, we recognize when someone does not reciprocate what we do for them. It's fairly logical to project that idea onto others and recognize that we have to reciprocate, too. Myself, I recognize the many benefits reciprocal behaviors bring me and I want very much to keep them coming, so I behave accordingly.
“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
I think morality works on a group level because the group takes on an identity of its own. Like, you can take two people and place one over the top of the other (think: Venn diagram). There will be a lot of overlap, and a good deal of non-overlapping portions. Now, take three people and do the same, and there will be a portion where all 3 overlap. Now, take 10, 20, 30, 100, 10000, 100000000 people and do the same. There will still be that overlapping portion, but now it is made up of many people and has all of their strength.
So, we have that generalised humanity to us, and we have our individualism. Different levels of morality. On the one hand you want to foster your individuality, on the other hand you want to do what is beneficial to your family unit, your close and more distant community, your country, your planet, your universe. You can call it the common denominator, which only has negative connotations when we ignore all the other facts.
I say fuck off to your morals, but I'll still help you anyway, and if you wish so, you can help me too.
Good and its opposite (whether you take that to be merely bad or evil) are dichotomies, so it follows that if all sets are not identical at least one element in a person's set of good or bad will cancel out one in another person's.
I think all morality is subjective in the sense that it is human value which is attached to empirical phenomena, and so without human beings to have preferences morality and ethics would not exist (unless there are other beings which have notions of ethics). But one can derive and approximate an objective element of ethics from that which all humans would agree upon should they be in their right mind- this last bit means that anyone who has an ethical opinion is valuing the interest or preservation of another, and so if one has this interest and is moderately successful at it (preserving oneself and others) one is in the right mind for having an ethical opinion.
Yea, I was more or less just trying to get to the root of what Affirmitive Anxiety was saying in his eairlier post. But thanks for your input .
"Re-examine all that you have been told... dismiss that which insults your soul."_Walt Whitman
Morality is highly subjective and is part of the social engineering framework of having a large number of human beings confined in small spaces. If everyone agrees not to eat each other, it creates a sense of safety in numbers.