11
   

Morality is not about behavior.

 
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 08:48 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

ebrown p wrote:
My hypothesis is that the Rules of Morality that you claim to live by don't always dictate your behavior. There are many things that determine human behavior... our sense of morality is only one factor.

I believe that even given an absolute belief in a Universal Morality, that examples where any human acts against this morality are common.

You're kidding, right? That's your position? That people don't always act according to their own sense of morality? That hardly qualifies as even a minor revelation.


Yes, I agree. But he is thinking of much more complicated cases when the matter is not so simple as hypocrisy, like that of the Huck Finn case. Finn was not being a hypocrite when he helped Jim to escape. He was, as I said, torn between what he had always been taught (that it was wrong to do such a thing) and his own conviction that it was the right thing to do. In Finn's case he was acting according to his "new found" sense of morality, and that conflicted with what he had always believed before. Clearly, there are such things as moral conflicts, and there is the question of how they should be resolved. So, it is not just a case of knowing what is right, but doing what is wrong. It is a case of not knowing what is right.
0 Replies
 
Jebediah
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 10:17 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:

Huck Finn was psychologically (but not morally) torn between the morality he had been taught and brought up with, and internal feelings of his own we often call "conscience". That was not hypocrisy. For he no longer believed that the morality he had been taught was the correct morality. It was just difficult for him to reject his customary beliefs even when he now believed they were mistaken. He was not having a moral crisis, but a psychological crisis.


It seems to me that he continues to believe that turning jim over is the moral thing to do:

Quote:
Thinks I, this is what comes of my not thinking. Here was this nigger which I had as good
as helped to run away, coming right out flat-footed and saying he would steal his children - children that belonged to a man I didn’t even know; a man that hadn’t ever done me no
harm. I was sorry to hear Jim say that, it was such a lowering of him. My conscience got
to stirring me up hotter than ever, until at last I says to it: ‘Let up on me - it ain’t too late,
yet - I’ll paddle ashore at first light, and tell.’ I felt easy, and happy, and light as a feather,
right off. All my troubles was gone.


But he is so sympathetic that he can't do it:

Quote:
As I shoved off, [Jim] says: ‘Pooty soon 1’ll be a-shout’n for joy, en 1’ll say, it’s all on
accounts o’ Huck I’s a free man. . . Jim won’t ever forgit you, Huck; you’s de bes’ fren’
Jim ever had; en you’s de only fren’ old Jim’s got now.’
I was paddling off, all in a sweat to tell on him; but when he says this, it seemed to
kind of take the tuck all out of me. I went along slow then, and I warn’t right down
certain whether I was glad I started or whether I warn’t. When I was fifty yards off, Jim
says: ‘Dah you goes, de ole true Huck; de on’y white genlman dat ever kep’ his promise
to ole Jim.’ Well, I just feJt sick. But I says, I got to do it - I can’t get out of it.

I didn’t answer up prompt. I tried to, but the words wouldn’t come. I tried, for a second
or two, to brace up and out with it, but I warn’t man enough - hadn’t the spunk of a
rabbit. I see I was weakening; so I just give up trying, and up and says: ‘He’s white.’


Now in this case his sympathies led him to do the right thing. But he didn't believe it was the right thing. Our sympathies can lead us to do the wrong thing, as in the case of a mother who won't hand a crying child to the doctor for his vaccination.

So I think it is a genuine case of hypocrisy. There are many other causes of hypocrisy obviously. This is kind of trivial. I brought up the huck finn example because ebrown's thesis seemed to be that morality was what we understand it to be. When actually we can go against our beliefs and be acting morally. If we take our understanding of morality to be what is really moral, then we run the risk of making the immoral choice when in huck's place.

Although ironically I think there are many "understandings" of morality that are post facto created because of someones sympathies. People are most sympathetic towards themselves and are certainly good at rationalizing.

I suppose that if it were a real situation and not fiction, huck might very well consciously reject his understanding of morality and believe it is mistaken.

ebrown wrote:
Many of the arguments about morality seem to imply that most people act completely in accordance with their own morals.


I suppose this was the driving force behind the creation of the thread ebrown? But what does it mean?
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 10:40 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
Morality is a darned sight more than not stealing or acting beyond your concepts of good behaviour.
No. Morality is only restraint from violating the rights of others;
e.g. don t steal, nor punch him in the mouth, nor defame him, etc.







xris wrote:
I see self admiring Christians who think they are gods example but their politics stink. The good samaritan, a good example, is the hero who brushes into one poor guy and helps him out..... but then refuses to accept the responsibility he holds to all those in need.
He does NOT owe them anything, tho he can aid them if he feels like it, if he wants to; e.g. I have dropped
dimes n quarters from a passing hot air balloon into the grass below for nearby children, tho I had NO duty to do so.
It CAN be fun, sometimes.





xris wrote:
I can never understand a christian who admires the capitalist ideology
and screams at socialists as if they were the devils child.
Socialists wish to use government to steal property and liberty. I admire pure capitalist ideology.
Socialists r no better than robbers in the streets.
Prisons r the best places for socialists.







xris wrote:
Socialism in its true sense is the politics of Christ. Share without judgement, treat the least as the highest.
Condemn not, lest you be judged..I could go on.
U can do that, if u feel like it, but that shoud not be the result of extortion.





David
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 11:44 am
@Jebediah,
Jebediah wrote:

kennethamy wrote:


It seems to me that he continues to believe that turning jim over is the moral thing to do:



Now in this case his sympathies led him to do the right thing. But he didn't believe it was the right thing. Our sympathies can lead us to do the wrong thing, as in the case of a mother who won't hand a crying child to the doctor for his vaccination.

So I think it is a genuine case of hypocrisy. There are many other causes of hypocrisy obviously. This is kind of trivial. I brought up the huck finn example because ebrown's thesis seemed to be that morality was what we understand it to be. When actually we can go against our beliefs and be acting morally. If we take our understanding of morality to be what is really moral, then we run the risk of making the immoral choice when in huck's place.

Although ironically I think there are many "understandings" of morality that are post facto created because of someones sympathies. People are most sympathetic towards themselves and are certainly good at rationalizing.

I suppose that if it were a real situation and not fiction, huck might very well consciously reject his understanding of morality and believe it is mistaken.

ebrown wrote:
Many of the arguments about morality seem to imply that most people act completely in accordance with their own morals.


I suppose this was the driving force behind the creation of the thread ebrown? But what does it mean?


I think this turns on how you read Twain. I think that Twain is being ironic (there is a lot of irony in this novel). Twain is putting Huck's trained morality into Huck's mouth, not how Huck really thinks at this point. And Twain is lampooning that trained morality.

[quote=ebrown]Many of the arguments about morality seem to imply that most people act completely in accordance with their own morals.[/quote]

I suppose this was the driving force behind the creation of the thread ebrown? But what does it mean?


I am not quite sure, but I (just guess) that he is saying that most people believe they think one way about morality, but often do not follow. They think about morality as they think they should think about morality. But that most people are "trimmers". They bend the rules they think they believe in to accommodate circumstances, they "compromise".
0 Replies
 
xris
 
  2  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 11:46 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Democratic socialism has more christian values than any twat who thinks that throwing a few bucks out of balloon is fun and has better moral fortitude than a responsibility in law to help those less able. Keep it up friend your expressions are describing the arrogance and self motivated greed that capitalist are normally so scared to admit to. As for your silly rhetoric about socialism , Ive heard the lies before it has no value or impact on me.
fast
 
  2  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 12:35 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:
The question is phrased... "Would you sleep with that attractive movie star?"

This question has nothing to do with my sense of morality.


I think it does. It's not explicit. It's implicit. The context in which that question is likely to be asks screams it. It's like an argument with a hidden premise. We can't see it, but it's there. It's not mentioned in the question itself, but close by it lurks.

Ask yourself, what point is being made by a person asking the question? Does the question follow a story about the ethics of someone else? Are your ethics being brought into question with that question serving as an example?

It reminds me of those questions that end with "would you (?)." The question may indeed assume something that is not true (that you would behave in accordance with your good morals), but because the assumption (false or not) is being made, it has at least something to do with the question--if we're considering context ... which I think we should.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 12:59 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
Democratic socialism has more christian values
R u a religious fanatic ??
U keep hammering away about Christianity.




xris wrote:
than any twat who thinks that throwing a few bucks out of balloon is fun
It IS fun; try it and see for yourself and report back.
I like to see the dimes n quarters flashing silver
in the sunlight as thay fall to the grass.

The surprize contributes to their pleasure.
Thay probably were not expecting that to happen.




xris wrote:
and has better moral fortitude than a responsibility in law to help those less able.
When I do it, I don 't give a damn about morality nor those less able; I care about HEDONISM.
For all I know, thay may be very well off financially.
I have heard the poor shriek complaints of:
"the rich are giving to the rich!" as tho we have no right to do so.






xris wrote:
Keep it up friend
OK; I kinda like it.


xris wrote:
your expressions are describing the arrogance and self motivated greed
that capitalist are normally so scared to admit to.
I told u b4 that I fly my own colors.
Yeah; I LOVE greed; I don 't think much of stinginess, but I LOVE greed.
I encourage it.





David

xris
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 01:18 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
For all I know they may be better off than they say..O my is that your excuse not to pay them attention ...Now does it matter to you if their disadvantage prohibits them or lets their children live in poverty, without medical care...DOES IT ? I'm no christian, are you? What pisses me of is the christian values your type claim as yours but piss on its requirements. Yes your not letting me down, your greed and self interests are obviously your motivation in life...Keep it up , display your values , throw your pennies out of the hot air balloon. I bet they did not use much gas.
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 01:32 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
For all I know they may be better off than they say..
O my is that your excuse not to pay them attention ...
NO; I need no excuse for that.
There is nothing to be excused.




xris wrote:
Now does it matter to you if their disadvantage prohibits them
or lets their children live in poverty, without medical care...DOES IT ?
No. I don 't give it much thawt.
Its none of my business.




xris wrote:
I'm no christian, are you? What pisses me of is the christian values your type claim
as yours but piss on its requirements.
I have never claimed anything about that subject, except Jesus saying that if u don't own a sword,
u shoud buy one. I extrapolated that to a .44 revolver.





xris wrote:
Yes your not letting me down,
That 's a relief.




xris wrote:
your greed and self interests are obviously your motivation in life.
Yes; I keep saying that I fly my own colors.






xris wrote:
..Keep it up,
OK




xris wrote:
display your values
I will.




xris wrote:
throw your pennies out of the hot air balloon.
NO; I don't do pennies nor nickels.




xris wrote:
I bet they did not use much gas.
U lose.
If thay don 't, the balloon will not ascend.





David
xris
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 03:04 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
are you a christian ?
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 05:42 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

Humans have the ability to justify any behavior by bending, twisting or even changing their own understanding of morality in a way to justify whatever they did. To me this is a bad thing to do. It is self-delusion, and heck; when I do something I know I shouldn't, I figure I should at least own up to it.

This is a key point to me. When I look back on the times in my life when I have betrayed my own integrity, I see that I was reaching for a brass ring... rationalizing it by saying to myself: this is the only chance I'll have to get what I want. The only way out was to just give it up altogether... realizing that it's better to go to my grave never having gotten the thing I thought my life was all about than to lay my head down at the end knowing I was one of the people who made this world a little more shitty.

Once I laid it down, I realized that I'd been kind of faithless to think there's only one way. I was able to approach the problem with a little less blindness. I say a little less, because I've learned to stop thinking I'm completely clear sighted.. even now.

In fact, I think knowing that you have the potential to screw up is necessary to avoiding it. If you rule it out that you can become an asshole, how will you notice the signs that its happening? So I'm saying it's a kind of blindness that results in sin... which is basically diminishing oneself. The mind-blower about that is that it's apt to be through sin that a person learns compassion and other parts of being a good person.

Mark Twain wrote about his own childhood in Life on the Mississippi. Some of what he said sheds light on Huck Finn, I think.
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 01:52 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy wrote:
I suppose you can call that "hypocrisy" if it weren't so solemn a term for what is often not solemn.

Woo hoo! I actually found my old thread on this - loosely related, that is. If you go to google first, for old PH posts, it works better by that way.
0 Replies
 
irina321
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 03:51 pm
@ebrown p,
When it comes to morality ebrown, I must completely support you on your statement that "When discussing morality... what you "believe" is more important then what you do."

Look into "Fear and Trembling" by Kierkegaard. He brings up an excellent discussion about the story of Abraham and his need to sacrifice Isaac (for God). If being a devote Christian or Jew for example, the action is described as a "sacrifice" but when taking the element of God out of the picture, it no longer appears to be a sacrifice but rather, murder.

Morality stems from precisely how we view it and nothing less. Although we tend to think we are all on the same page, just like djjd62 said, what he might view as "moral" might be nothing like your definition of it. Without our own depictions of morality being established firstly, we simply would be static in "what we do" or or behavior because we would be without an opinion.

There can be no question without an answer. We need and answer to question. In this case, I shall compare the morality to the answer and question to behavior.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 06:14 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
are you a christian ?
I choose not to discuss religion.





David
kennethamy
 
  2  
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 11:09 pm
@irina321,
irina321 wrote:

When it comes to morality ebrown, I must completely support you on your statement that "When discussing morality... what you "believe" is more important then what you do."




You really think that if I believe that rape and torture are wrong, but I rape and torture a child, that my belief is more important than what I do? What on earth can you possibly mean by "more important"? And how could someone really believe rape and torture are wrong, but do it, anyway?
0 Replies
 
xris
 
  0  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 03:07 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Why is that? does it conflict with your politics? Im not asking you to debate your faith just make an admission. Can I be assured you have never debated religion on this forum?
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 06:13 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
Why is that?
Because I have no interest in doing that,
n I don 't have to if I don t wanna.
I have never made a pledge of loyalty to any religion,
so far as I remember.


xris wrote:
does it conflict with your politics?
No.


xris wrote:
Im not asking you to debate your faith just make an admission.
Can I be assured you have never debated religion on this forum?
Yes; I have just mentioned that the consensus of people who have returned
from death in hospitals have reported that there is a Judgment Day,
on which u r the judge, and that u judge your incarnation
by the criteria of love n learning. www.IANDS.org

That is not debating.





David
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 06:55 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
Can I be assured you have never debated religion on this forum?


what? do you think omsig owes you a response to that?
xris
 
  0  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 07:23 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Ah so you are prepared to make statements but not defend them. In the interest of what I would say was your unchristian statements but sensing your christian beliefs, I find it necessary to understand your mindset. If you dont want to defend your morality with that in mind, all I can say is..how strange. To widen the debate how do you think christians can have such views when they say I dont give a dam about others problems?
ebrown p
 
  2  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 07:27 am
@xris,
Xris,

Come on. I agree with David and EhBeth... if David says his religious views doesn't matter, then his religious views don't matter.

This is a discussion... not an inquisition.

((I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition....))
 

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