0
   

Is Obesity (or Gluttony) Immoral?

 
 
Caroline
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 08:42 pm
@Pythagorean,
Ok so what so you propose? Rhinogrey
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 08:46 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;90810 wrote:
These levels of obesity on such a vast scale as we are witnessing in America today are a sure sign of societal decay.
Is that true in the rest of the world too? Because the obesity epidemic is affecting Europe, Japan, and the developing world as well.

Pythagorean;90810 wrote:
Our society is collapsing, in my opinion, and no one seems to be very much concerned.
Perhaps because we don't agree.

Pythagorean;90810 wrote:
And how can empathy be a good thing to you Paul, if it is a virtue? You are contradicting yourself.
I think that empathy is innate -- and although I dispute the moral importance of "virtue" unto itself, I would argue that those who DO hold virtue to be a priority should see empathy as the highest good.

Pythagorean;90810 wrote:
You are full of your snide comments but the way I see it you don't really care whether people are obese or not
Spend a day with me in the office, smart guy, you don't have a bleeding clue what I care about or what I do. I've gotten people to lose weight and to give up other self-destructive behaviors many times -- have you?

Oh, and I did so by listening to them and not judging them as gluttons.

---------- Post added 09-17-2009 at 10:51 PM ----------

Didymos Thomas;90975 wrote:
I mean, well, for example - let us say I am reading the Nichomachean Ethics, reading through Aristotle's explanation of the various virtues and I notice that I have some to a degree, but ultimately fail - this recognition might spur efforts to be a better person...
You know, Aristotle in my opinion was a lot wiser than his philosophies. He was a great proponent of personal moderation. It's common sense whether or not "virtue" per se is the organizing concept.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 10:13 pm
@Aedes,
Yeah, I see what you're saying - aside from his constant harping on reason, the core of his philosophy seems to be moderation in living, and who can doubt the wisdom of that advise? His attention to reason was that reason is the means to understanding and the way by which we practice moderation, and that message seems to get lost far too often... at least, it seems to have been lost in my Ethical Philosophy course.
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 10:23 pm
@Pythagorean,
Didn't Confucius come to the same conclusion? Both were wise men who noticed that either extreme brings risk of personal failure.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 10:25 pm
@Aedes,
It has been at least two years since I have read the Analects, but according to my vague and notably unreliable memory, yes.

It's not far from the Buddhist suggestion of the middle path, either, as I understand things.
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Sep, 2009 10:36 pm
@Pythagorean,
The traditional "sins" in my mind are not really sinful in a modern understanding -- wrath, gluttony, greed, sloth, lust, envy, and pride, they're all natural phenomena that need to be understood as a layer of human psychology.
0 Replies
 
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 12:28 am
@Pythagorean,
I find it funny that a majority here seem to think that eating or lack there of is considered a virtue. If that were the case then I should be obese but I am not. I don't over eat because I give my body what it needs. When your body is getting what it needs you are not hungry for more. I don't eat cakes, ice cream, pies, cookies, potato chips, candy. I don't drink any soda, fruit drinks, or sport drinks. I don't eat bread, frenchfries, burritos, or any fast food.

I eat once a day with three servings of a variety of fruit. I have vegetables with some form of protein. I am not hungry for any more, content and my body doesn't crave anything more.

As far as virtue goes, I am probably the least virtuous person in the US. I wouldn't consider my diet making me virtuous in any way. It is silly to say someone is virtuous from what amount of food they consume.
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 05:39 am
@Pythagorean,
In the sense that Gluttony/Obesity can be considered self-destructive, depending on the reasons and the situation, in that way alone (universal maxim) I suppose it could be construed as having a moral repercussion.

... this feels like a stretch though; especially since the reasons behind obesity are many and varied - it'd amount to a categorical judgment that ignores the specifics of each situation.

Thanks
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 01:22 pm
@Khethil,
Aedes;91171 wrote:
The traditional "sins" in my mind are not really sinful in a modern understanding -- wrath, gluttony, greed, sloth, lust, envy, and pride, they're all natural phenomena that need to be understood as a layer of human psychology.


Isn't that what sin was in the first place? An explanation for a layer of human psychology? Sure, it's arcane, and probably not the best terminology to use, but don't we have to view these explanations as early attempts to understanding human psychology?
0 Replies
 
Caroline
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 01:41 pm
@Pythagorean,
Yes DT. it is arcane but man has been thinking this time began which is why a lot of these old things make sense. I told you I take a little bit of everything from everywhere as I go along and use it when the need arises.
0 Replies
 
Joe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 03:33 pm
@Pythagorean,
With Gluttony, Im making the assumption that its a representation of possessing or the need to have order and control. Of course the lesson in Gluttony is that our fixations end up as a crutch that we lean on instead of using it the idea of gluttony for....... a driving philosophy? Anyways, thats my take on what gluttony is in my mind.

I like to look at the characterization of how these values might look in a positive light:

ex. A bodybuilder is a good representation of consumption. This is more calculated and used to improve the self. While most of this is for the body, its well understood the relation of health for the mind and the body.

vs.

ex. A Person who fasts, does so, so that they can empty out their bodies and in turn also sense their selves in a complete way. Mind and body.
Then there is the negative gluttony covers:

ex. Very fat people. Mass Consumers. Tendencies of drug addicts.

vs.

ex. Anorexic and Bulimic people. Extreme Novelty. The reason is for others and not themselves.

To me, the issue is the middle ground like most other ideas on self service and outside influence. But I agree with the idea that Gluttony is not What you would call clear and cut Negative outlook.
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 07:00 pm
@Joe,
I think many ancient rules have practical underpinnings. Gluttony is just plain unhealthy. In the Judaic religion, pork was (is) prohibited, probably for the same reason. Lots of ancient thoughts were related to passing along good healthy habits. I guess over time they were interpreted as moral or immoral, but I don't think that was the original intent.

Rich
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 07:21 pm
@richrf,
Passing on good habits, reducing bad habits - how is this not in the realm of morality? It sure seems to fit under JS Mill's Utilitarianism, for example.
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 07:28 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;91574 wrote:
Passing on good habits, reducing bad habits - how is this not in the realm of morality? It sure seems to fit under JS Mill's Utilitarianism, for example.


If one defines morality as suggested habits then I would agree.

Rich
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 07:59 pm
@richrf,
Or if one defines morality as Utilitarianism defines morality....
0 Replies
 
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 11:29 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;91574 wrote:
Passing on good habits, reducing bad habits - how is this not in the realm of morality? It sure seems to fit under JS Mill's Utilitarianism, for example.


I think that's an excellent example. It's a very constructive example because Utilitarianism is a specific moral philosophy. I've noticed that most of the posters here take an overly expansive view of morality. They seem to think that morality only exists as a kind of permanent cosmic fixture, but this is too abstract They are idealizing something that is in reality a very small human thing.

To me morality is always handed down historically. Shared language and shared nationality are of ultimate importance. There can be no absolute, universal morality on earth. Aristotle speaks of the practices of moral excellence and human practices are always localized affairs. It's something very simple, practical and small.
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Sep, 2009 11:35 pm
@Pythagorean,
The key for me is that it is suggested. In other words, if a person decides not to embrace the suggestion then it is still OK. It would not be immoral. So, I might suggest to someone that it is unhealthy to eat so much. However, if the person decides to keep chomping it down, then that is OK. It is his/her body. I was simply making a suggestion.

Rich
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Sep, 2009 02:07 pm
@richrf,
Maybe it is worth noting that, while I have immense respect for Mill's subtle and brilliant system, I also almost completely disagree with him.
Teena phil
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Sep, 2009 03:25 pm
@Pythagorean,
I personally do see over consumption as a moral problem. Not only does one harm himself and consume resources he also promotes this lifestyle and behavior in other people (for example children).
Over consumption (over eating included) is in my opinion what is driving the world down the path to destruction.
Obesity however in my opinion is a combination of several things, mostly the quality of food and sedentary lifestyle. I think all of these things are related.
Though certain instincts we have evolved are probably at fault, I always understood virtue as also having to do with controling some of these instincts. Saying that it is a born in quality and letting it all go will certainly not help us in the world we're living in now.
0 Replies
 
RDanneskjld
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Sep, 2009 05:19 pm
@Pythagorean,
I think there are certainly moral problems raised by obesity. We are faced with a world with scarce resources and infinite wants. Both tough economic and moral questions need to be raised on how we should allocate these resources. Obesity also has large social costs (More time of work, less productivity & with Socialised medicine greater medical costs), a lot of the time obese are not accountable for these costs and moral dilemmas certainly exist within in this framework. (For example in the UK there has been a suggestion of a 'Fat Tax', on particularly unhealthy foods)

For example the average American has a calorie surplus while those in third World countrys have a deficit, a case could be made that resources which are used for the production of food for the developed world could be diverted or directed at improving agriculture in the third world. (Just diverting Food Supplys has been shown to have a crippling effect to developing countries). I dont think that a person by being obese is immoral, as many people turn to food for comfort due to the diffucult lives that many people face.
 

Related Topics

How can we be sure? - Discussion by Raishu-tensho
Proof of nonexistence of free will - Discussion by litewave
Destroy My Belief System, Please! - Discussion by Thomas
Star Wars in Philosophy. - Discussion by Logicus
Existence of Everything. - Discussion by Logicus
Is it better to be feared or loved? - Discussion by Black King
Paradigm shifts - Question by Cyracuz
 
Copyright © 2024 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 07/19/2024 at 02:46:13