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JadussD 08-03-2008 05:12 AM

Morality!
 
Many people claim that there is some absolute basis for morality, that the attempt to discard or form one's own, relative moral values is tantamount to narcissism and arrogance. However, could it not be said that those who ascribe to traditional moral values are simply parroting the views of people who could be said to be equally narcissistic and arrogant, but whose views over time have come to be adopted by a large portion of the populace? Since any knowledge as to the nature of reality I may have may be merely an illusion, and it is possible that the nature of knowledge is such that it may merely manifest and give form to what is "known", with the knower not realizing that it is the knowledge itself, and the process of obtaining it which gives it influence over an illusory reality, and that a real reality is beyond knowledge and the forms created by it, I will accept the possibility that transcendent power may illuminate a mind and give it access to a form of morality which is beyond my comprehension and is absolute. However, in this case I will address the issue of morality from a more down-to-earth standpoint.

If one were to examine "traditional morality", they could always trace back the system of morality to someone who was a moral innovator. Now, if one is a moral innovator, does not this put him in the same boat as the person who creates his own system of morality? The person who says that we must ascribe to traditional morality is saying exactly this: "We must not create our own system of morality; we must adhere to the moral principles created by someone who created their own system of morality."

How exactly does this make any sense?

Ugly Joe 08-03-2008 02:38 PM

Been reading Nietzsche again?

Umiliphus 08-03-2008 04:38 PM

As "morality" has been left vague, I will simply say mine isn't traditional, I just try not to hurt people. That doesn't seem worth questioning.

Reaper man 08-03-2008 05:59 PM

did anyone else think of Mortal Kombat with they saw the topic title?

Just think of it....

SUB-ZERO WINS!

Morality!

JadussD 08-05-2008 10:06 AM

Putting Nietzsche aside for a second...Now, on the other hand, Kant's idea of the Categorical Imperative, that one should act only by that maxim which one would will to be universal law is interesting. However, his idea that one should act morally out of duty, and that any other action is not truly moral, is puzzling. I advance the perhaps baseless speculation that Kant discovered something about reality that he did not find fit to explain, perhaps because it was beyond explanation, or when explained would cause a misunderstanding, or perhaps ridicule, and thus saw fit to prescribe the categorical imperative based on "duty", when from a higher standpoint the categorical imperative would be seen as something which one may do out of self-interest.

Going beyond mere binary oppositions like good and evil, acting by that maxim which one would will to be universal law is a flexible moral system which does not rely on good and evil: If one would will universal selfishness and amorality, then one would act selfishly and amorally. If one would will selflessness and concern for others before oneself, one would act by that principle. Perhaps, if we have a subjective view of reality, or if we divide the universe into subjective and objective components, subjectively reality behaves in such a way that ones actions place oneself in positions where ones actions do seem to universal law, from a first person standpoint. These are not arguments, just speculations.

D-- 08-05-2008 10:23 AM

Help people who need help. Hurt people who hurt people who need help. Exact vengeance on anyone who hurts you.

Simple enough for me.

Ugly Joe 08-05-2008 11:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JadussD (Post 81142)
Going beyond mere binary oppositions like good and evil, acting by that maxim which one would will to be universal law is a flexible moral system which does not rely on good and evil: If one would will universal selfishness and amorality, then one would act selfishly and amorally. If one would will selflessness and concern for others before oneself, one would act by that principle. Perhaps, if we have a subjective view of reality, or if we divide the universe into subjective and objective components, subjectively reality behaves in such a way that ones actions place oneself in positions where ones actions do seem to universal law, from a first person standpoint. These are not arguments, just speculations.

Once you add in subjectivity, are we really talking about morals anymore? I can accept that people will draw their own moral code from any number of sources (religion, universal imperative, whatever), but if what is moral changes from situation to situation, how is that even morality? It's saying, "I'm going to do whatever is right in any given situation", but not giving any kind of basis for these decisions.

Suppose you simply "do what is right". At some given moment, you make a decision you decide is right. If you regret later making this decision, wouldn't that imply you made an incorrect decision -- that you acted immorally? What is the source of this regret if morality is subjective?

GeminiMan 08-05-2008 05:44 PM

One must make the best decision they can based on what information is available at the time. In hindsight it may appear to have been the wrong decision, but that does not necessarily mean that it was an "immoral" one. Because of this informational aspect, I find it impossible to say that morality is anything but subjective; what our brain processes is unique to ourselves (and changes every time to some degree) and will vary even more from person to person. There are too many variables for universality to be possible (culture, biology, personal experience, emotion, etc) and all decisions must be made given a new and unique set of circumstances.

We can try to lump the world into "right" and "wrong", but the fact is that most of the world is not so very simple, and the many complexities involved in decisionmaking further complicate any attempt to always do what is "moral".

Ugly Joe 08-05-2008 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GeminiMan (Post 81154)
We can try to lump the world into "right" and "wrong", but the fact is that most of the world is not so very simple, and the many complexities involved in decisionmaking further complicate any attempt to always do what is "moral".

Is it? I can agree that every situation we face is unique, since our minds are unique. If I enter into a situation blindly, it is not unlikely that I will make a different decision than if I had been better informed (since my mind is not in the same state in both cases, so the two situations would be unique). What we know definitely alters the choices we make.

Morals, in a sense, would be a set of information that applies to all situations that we face. If you walk into a situation with absolutely no context, your decision making isn't going to be random. It will be based on something. These somethings are your morals.

Mental Midget Slayer 08-06-2008 03:29 PM

Free Will
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ugly Joe (Post 81156)
Is it? I can agree that every situation we face is unique, since our minds are unique. If I enter into a situation blindly, it is not unlikely that I will make a different decision than if I had been better informed (since my mind is not in the same state in both cases, so the two situations would be unique). What we know definitely alters the choices we make.

Morals, in a sense, would be a set of information that applies to all situations that we face. If you walk into a situation with absolutely no context, your decision making isn't going to be random. It will be based on something. These somethings are your morals.

A lack of morals. the amoral the immoral, they all make decisions, but not always on what is right, but sometimes based on temptations all man kind in some way struggles with. Infomed concent is important, but somewhat amoral not to question the lack of information, but dangerous to judge at the risk of being immoral and persecutorial.
None the less, if I put you under the influence of hypnotics or charm or something psychotropic it may increase your ability to be misguided and redirected to not make a decision on correct information.

Now as for voting for a Candidate, sometimes uninfomed or maliciously voting, voting for a new law on an issue they never ran on or told you, leaves your vote for them or their vote on your behalf as an uninformed concent as well.

Scum suckers.

"Moral Matters" although not perfect, is a pretty good book on the subject, even better, books like Being and Time by Martin Heiddegger; some Kant and Maslow and all that Jazz Club crap.


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