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Thread: Morality

  1. #11
    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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  2. #12
    now! in shell form INA's Avatar
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    A mix of social contract theory, utilitarianism and virtue ethics, though I wonder how much of virtue ethics is a form of egocentrism.
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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by animenagai View Post
    argh, i spent so much time writing this up, something different from the standard evolution vs creationism theology camp and 2 people have responded?
    Considering you posted at 12:30am or so and only gave 4 hours for responses, well, what did you expect?

    And what is the ethical basis of throwing around the term "amateur" in regards to discussions you don't like, while crediting your own discussions as non-amateur?

    ... aside from that, it's a fascinating topic.

    All I have time to say right now is that, since everything has a twinge (if not far more) of subjectivity, it seems to me that every choice has some level of moral component to it since it's based on personal preference. Even the decision to not base one's decisions on overt moral principles is a moral decision, isn't it?
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  4. #14
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    probably egocentrism for me... I need to survive
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  5. #15
    Arcesso pulli gingerios! Eldanen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    probably egocentrism for me... I need to survive
    You're a survivor? :P
    You never give up? :P
    You're not gon' stop? :P

  6. #16
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    No... I've been through my share of shit and I'm going through more than I'd prefer to have on my plate at the moment. I would prefer to be concerned with society at large, but it's not really an option at the moment, so I'm egocentric
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

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    Ethics discussion. Interesting... (It's 1:35am here and I should go to bed, but what the hell). I'll just write my thoughts about each individual "ethical ideology".

    Quote Originally Posted by animenagai View Post
    1. egocentricism:
    as previously mentioned, it's doing everything with the goal of personal gain. make no mistake though, it's not that this person is necessarily a jackass. they could still help people out or whatever, they just think that people confuse helping yourself in the long run with a more romantic moral theory.
    There are two factors that determine whether something is ethical or not - its consequences and the reasoning for doing things. An egocentric person might act with consequences that benefit people, but if his original aim was to benefit himself, it's not ethical.

    Quote Originally Posted by animenagai View Post
    2. duty ethics
    kantian duty ethics (ie. created by Kant) believes that all that you do should done in accordance to and because of duty. say two people gives a homeless man a dollar. the first man did it because he wanted to look charitable in front of his lady friend. the second guy did it because he believes it's the right thing to do and that he has a moral obligation. one thing that this theory does pick up on is the importance of intent. there's something important in that.
    Yes, reference what I said about egocentrism. I am a fan of Kant and his philosophy, but you can't apply it widely because it requires a similar set of rules for everyone - which obviously can't be implemented. Some people see it as their "duty" to beat gayness out of homosexuals. Is that ethical? The intent is there, but insofar as personal empathy goes, Kant doesn't help much.

    Quote Originally Posted by animenagai View Post
    3. utilitarianism
    probably the wonder boy of moral theories. it's the most popular amongst philosophers. there is only one mandate in utilitarianism: to do whatever maximizes happiness and reduces pain. before anyone pounces prematurely, the happiness of all that could possibly be affected is calculated and not just the happiness of yourself. furthermore, happiness isn't just simple stuff like eating cake and having sex (as good as that is). there's long term happiness in things such as learning and building friendships. if you go through life thinking 'what what benefit the most people?', you are utilitarian.
    Yes, the wonder-boy that is completely stupid and inapplicable in reality. Who decides what "benefits the most people"? There is no one who's truly objective and/or long-sighted enough to make the decision. Utilitarianism assumes omniscience. Everyone thought that it would be utilitarian to introduce cane toads in Australia.

    Quote Originally Posted by animenagai View Post
    4. virtue ethics.
    this could be a bit harder to explain, but basically, there are certain 'virtues' that have an innate good of themselves. it is beyond instrumental value. these include things such as love, courage, honesty etc. at first, i thought this theory is a bit shallow, but it has really grown on me. we do say things such as "i don't like him, he's dishonest", or "he needs more love in his heart" without being too metaphorical.
    Nice, simple and elegant again, but can't be applied outside of a personal context. It's an intuitive concept (born from the Fi cognitive function), and obviously means different things to different people.


    Quote Originally Posted by animenagai View Post
    5. human rights
    ah... human rights. definitely a popular theory amongst the general public. in fact, people take it as fact. human rights says that every person has these inalienable rights within them. these rights are intrinsically good, much like virtue ethics. however, the difference is that with virtue ethics, it's something for one to attain. in human rights theory, it is something within us that people should not cross or take away. personally, i think this theory is WAY too popular without too much justification.
    Limiting and silly. What happens when one person's "rights" opposes another person's? Shouldn't they both be inalienable?

    Quote Originally Posted by animenagai View Post
    6. contractarianism/social contract theory
    morals are a an artificial construct in contractarianism. the only moral wrong in social contract theory is not obeying a covenant. what is a covenant? if me and john have agreed upon a deal and john has fulfilled his end of the bargain, i am under a covenant to do whatever we have agreed upon. the difference between a covenant and a deal is that john really had no moral obligation to do anything if i haven't acted in accordance with our deal yet. something like justice could be a good example of a social contract functioning. we have all agreed that we should not murder because we want society to be without unnecessary fear. you have broken the rules, therefore we punish you.
    Required for modern society to function. However, sometimes social rules and laws can be unethical or unjust (especially in a functioning democracy, where tyranny of the majority tends to prevail). John Rawl's A Theory of Justice is a philosophy of social ethics that I agree with. His philosophies with regards to the law, justice and democracy are particularly attractive.

    Quote Originally Posted by animenagai View Post
    7. divine command theory
    do what god says.
    Only works if everyone believes in the same God with the same interpretation of God's will. Hence "separation of church and state". Perfectly ok on a personal level, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by animenagai View Post
    *8. ethical relativism
    i *ed this one, because it's known to be shit. sadly enough though, many people think it's justified. what ethical relativism preaches is simply "i'll live under my rules and you'll live under yours". it's the "let's just get along" theory. this theory looks good but falls apart as soon as someone starts doing something like killing every child they see on wednesdays. you live with your rules and they live with theirs right? well, his moral system can be 'i must kill kids every wednesday', yet i think we'll be very slow to accept a belief system like that.
    No, this is silly because to live in society is to participate in a social contract.

    I think part of the problem exists with outlining the "moral philosophies" (actually the ethics branch of philosophy) above in this manner. We should sub-divide them into "social ethics" and "personal ethics"... Because it's highly unlikely that a philosophy will effectively encompass both social and personal ethics. The theory that (in my mind) approaches this the closest is Rawls' ethics of justice... and it makes sense because it's born from forcing people to take an empathetic stance towards other people.

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