18
   

Define Morality

 
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2015 10:20 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

I disagree Joe. People should be judged for what they do (not for what they believe).

I agree. Morality is a system of beliefs about right and wrong actions. What made you think that morality is a system of beliefs about right and wrong beliefs?
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2015 10:24 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
Mythology doesn't equal truth either.

Ho hum.

maxdancona wrote:
The process of addition is universal. It has been developed by multiple unrelated cultures... and all are in agreement. Every culture that has developed addition agrees that 2+2 = 4.

If you ask me to explain why 2+2 must equal four, I can explain it from first principles, starting with counting. I won't ask you to accept anything about addition without an explanation.

So, in certain instances, you don't respect other people's sincerely held beliefs. That's good to know.

maxdancona wrote:
Morality doesn't work like mathematics. Your morality is based on things that you believe are true because they are true... you can give no explanation for why.

I can give some very good explanations for why, but I don't think I'll waste my time trying to convince you. You deny that morality exists, yet you want to be considered a moral person. That's not really a philosophical problem, that's a psychological one, and I'm not qualified to help you in that respect.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2015 11:08 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:
All one has to do is to refrain from disguising guesses, thoughts, expectations, estimations, deductions, presumptions, suppositions, speculations and such as "beliefs."

It is easy to do.

I refrain from doing it with no trouble.

So I do not do any "believing."

And I am living a truly human life.
And I believe you presume all that to be true, Frank. I really do believe.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2015 02:08 pm
@Chumly,
Chumly wrote:

I'll go with Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris and state that morality can be defined in evolutionary terms, and by a scientific understanding in more general terms.


Naturally...what else ?
Ideals are the metaphysics that glues the present together.
One can project to infinity in any given purpose...it doesn't mean its there.
History is HOW the world unfolds made of facts not of ought's.
Ought's only serve the purpose of grounding society in a functional environment...a natural requirement no different from gravity holding the planets in orbit... Moral behaviour is not relative its complex. This seems to confuse some poor souls around on both sides.
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2015 02:25 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:
... Moral behaviour is not relative its complex. This seems to confuse some poor souls around on both sides.
Are you saying that because the application of the concept is complex, then the concept itself can be neither absolute nor relative? It also is complex?

I believe I am seeing a broad highway towards political expediency here.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2015 02:42 pm
@neologist,
I would guess is pretty obvious to guess what a hard determinist would think about absolutes...you can't get any further from relativism then that.
The problem is not that it is absolute but rather to know how such absolute applies. Apples are absolutely distinct from each other and yet they still apples. Yes complexity is something most people find annoying.
Frank Apisa
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2015 03:06 pm
@neologist,
neologist wrote:

Frank Apisa wrote:
All one has to do is to refrain from disguising guesses, thoughts, expectations, estimations, deductions, presumptions, suppositions, speculations and such as "beliefs."

It is easy to do.

I refrain from doing it with no trouble.

So I do not do any "believing."

And I am living a truly human life.
And I believe you presume all that to be true, Frank. I really do believe.


If you want to characterize it as a presumption on my part, Neo...I have no problem with that. You can call it guessing and that would be alright with me.

And you can do all the "believing" you want. But I do not do believing.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2015 03:11 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Are you saying that, as with apples, there are varieties of moral situations in which complex applications of morality or moral behavior are called for?
Fil Albuquerque
 
  0  
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2015 03:29 pm
@neologist,
I am saying that it is far from clear one can tell what is the ideal course of action in complex situations. There are plenty of those around. Judging by some of the answers I read in the thread most people are unable to make the right call...people, righteous people are the worst, they tend to simplify and generalize things till they wash down any deep understanding of moral behaviour. On top of all they fail because they lack real understanding of what Moral serves for....that which is really important.
We never had so much morals as we do today and yet disfunctionality is at peek...curious isn't it ?

Some pseudo morals work as good to societies like the imported plague of toads did work for the Australian habitat...you create a bigger problem then the one you were trying to sort out.
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2015 04:55 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:
n top of all they fail because they lack real understanding of what Moral serves for....that which is really important.
We never had so much morals as we do today and yet disfunctionality is at peek...curious isn't it ?
We need folks having the intellectual capacity to guide us, I suppose.
Fil Albuquerque wrote:
Some pseudo morals work as good to societies like the imported plague of toads did work for the Australian habitat...you create a bigger problem then the one you were trying to sort out.
So, the toad problem is a moral issue?
How interesting.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2015 06:02 pm
@neologist,
neologist wrote:

So, the toad problem is a moral issue?
How interesting.

You win the web with that one...
...obviously you have yet to grasp what a moral ecosystem might mean...
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2015 06:18 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
neologist wrote:
So, the toad problem is a moral issue?
How interesting.
You wrote:
You win the web with that one...
...obviously you have yet to grasp what a moral ecosystem might mean...
I thought I was being facetious.
Well, I think I might understand the term "moral ecosystem". But in the case of those damnable Australian toads, how will that become "moral"? Were those who brought toads over in the first place "immoral"? Or, were they simply trying to improve sugar cane production, a praiseworthy goal?
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2015 06:23 pm
@neologist,
No Neo...what was meant as figure of speech for comparison there was that when you introduce a moral principle that works well in one ecosystem into another without looking to local conditions at large you might get a problem instead of sorting the problem you were trying to address...this is not to mean that morality is relative but again that morality is complex. How was that hard to miss I wonder ? Are you tired ? I mean it is late here in Europe but back there must be early in the evening still no ? Why don't you try Joe Salieri back there for some really smart advise eh ?
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 06:35 am
@Olivier5,
Quote:
People are instinctively attached to their freedom and it is hard work to enforce a dictatorship on them. People are ready to die for a chance to get a modicum of freedom. Closed societies are also less successful on average than open ones because of the deleterious effects of dogma on scientific research, politics and warfare.


No, Olivier. Freedom is a sacred doctrine, the American secular religion is based on freedom. It is not at all a universal moral principle.

Freedom has been rejected by the people of many cultures. We tried to push Freedom on Vietnam and people rose up and died to keep their own cultural values (which they keep until today). More recently we tried to give Freedom to Iraq and Libya... again the majority of the people on the street emphatically reject it for their own cultural values.

Your statements are statements of the religion of Western Cultural superiority. You believe in freedom. I believe in freedom. But it is very clear that our idea of Freedom isn't accepted by every human being who weren't inculcated with Western values.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 06:48 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

Max, I'd be interested in your answer to these questions of Joe's:

joefromchicago wrote:
But why should you respect anyone else's sincerely held beliefs? Are you morally obligated to do so?

What warrants respect in other people's beliefs? If your whole point is that morality is relative, shouldn't you refrain from judging them either way, neither respecting nor disrespecting them?


Sure, I can answer the question. I feel the question is a little poorly defined.. we need to clarify what it means to respect someone's beliefs. But here goes.

I am morally obligated to treat people with respect, including people who are culturally different then me. I may disagree with their beliefs... in fact I may prevent them from acting out on their beliefs if I can, but I believe there is a moral obligation to try to understand differences in people around me.

For a specific example... I have no problem with people practicing most religious rituals and I feel morally obligated to accept them. Some people around me have red dots in their foreheads, some where religious head coverings, there is a ritual string around a neighborhood near me that allows people to walk outside during the Sabbath. On the other hand I don't the practice of having child brides. In fact I am happy that this practice is legally prohibited where I live and I want this to be enforced.

So yes, in a manner of speaking I feel morally obligated to respect differences.

Just to answer where I think this question is going, let me clear up this straw man. You can have a strong moral code while being a moral relativist (the same way you can speak a language while being a comparative linguist). I was brought up with a moral code that was ingrained in me since childhood and works very well for me in my present time and place.


Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 07:07 am
@maxdancona,
Geee, you really think the Vietnam war was about the US imposing freedom on the Viets? It was the opposite: the Vietnamese clinched their freedom from the west, at a huge cost. Same thing in Afghanistan against the Russians. Etc. etc. how many liberation movements are there on this planet?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 08:01 am
@Olivier5,
I don't believe many Americans, or people in Western cultural contexts, would put modern day Vietnam anywhere near the top of the list of free countries. Maybe freedom is one of those words that mean a different thing in different cultural contexts.

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.


Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 08:03 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
I am morally obligated to treat people with respect, including people who are culturally different then me.

That's nice of you, but it doesn't answer Joe's question. Joe asked you about respecting beliefs, not about respecting people who happen to believe something. The two are not the same. For an obvious counterexample, I respect you as a person, but I have barely any respect for moral realtivism, which is a belief of yours.

maxdancona wrote:
. On the other hand I don't the practice of having child brides. In fact I am happy that this practice is legally prohibited where I live and I want this to be enforced.

I assume the verb that's missing in the first sentence is "respect". I'm wondering what this means in practice. For example, if you ever find yourself in Yemen and you meet a child bride who wants out, whom does your "strong moral code" compel you to side with? Do you side with her because your strong, but American moral code demands that you protect children and respect females? Or do you side with her fiance because you respect Yemeni culture?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 08:19 am
@Thomas,
Quote:
Joe asked you about respecting beliefs, not about respecting people who happen to believe something.

That's a rather simplistic view. An alternative is that "people " are their "beliefs" because concepts of "self integrity" are predicated on them. ! And I have suggested elsewhere that anyone of a particular faith or an atheist is lying when they say they respect what to them is the irrational nonsense of another. Of course...political correctness is socially expedient ...but that is as far as it actually goes..
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2015 08:28 am
@Thomas,
I thought I answered the question.. or maybe I didn't understand it.

You and I disagree about moral relativity. The question about whether I respect your beliefs can be answered on several different levels.

1) I don't respect your belief in the sense that I don't agree with it. I think you are wrong.
2) I do respect your belief in the sense that you have every right to hold that belief (however wrong it is).
3) I do respect your belief in the sense that you are an intelligent person who reached this belief through a rational process. I respect your belief in the sense that I don't think it is unreasonable (even though I think it is wrong).

Is there another sense that I am missing?

0 Replies
 
 

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