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Morality

socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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3/30/2011 8:02:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Does morality objectively exist, in the natural world or decreed by a deity, or does morality exist subjectively purely in the minds of human beings?
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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3/30/2011 8:14:07 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/30/2011 8:02:32 PM, socialpinko wrote:
Does morality objectively exist, in the natural world or decreed by a deity, or does morality exist subjectively purely in the minds of human beings?

Yes, there is an objective morality, but there really isn't.

It's all good.

It's all bad.

But it is all right.

And it is what it is.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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3/30/2011 8:43:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/30/2011 8:02:32 PM, socialpinko wrote:
Does morality objectively exist, in the natural world or decreed by a deity, or does morality exist subjectively purely in the minds of human beings?

There are a number of people on DDO with fairly strong moral positions, you should challenge some of them to a debate. Ann for example on does morality exist, as she will assert it does not. Or you could debate Kenyon he is a moral-vegetarian, he will assert that morality exists only between morally free agents. Popculturepooka is one step above that, he is a moral-vegan, he will assert that morality only exists between morally free agents, but all such free agents have the same moral responsibility.
socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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3/30/2011 8:47:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/30/2011 8:43:12 PM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
At 3/30/2011 8:02:32 PM, socialpinko wrote:
Does morality objectively exist, in the natural world or decreed by a deity, or does morality exist subjectively purely in the minds of human beings?

There are a number of people on DDO with fairly strong moral positions, you should challenge some of them to a debate. Ann for example on does morality exist, as she will assert it does not. Or you could debate Kenyon he is a moral-vegetarian, he will assert that morality exists only between morally free agents. Popculturepooka is one step above that, he is a moral-vegan, he will assert that morality only exists between morally free agents, but all such free agents have the same moral responsibility.

I'll have to do that after I finish all my debates. I'm already going to do a debate with Kenyon so maybe Popculturepooka because I personally agree with Annshale and can't think of a good defense of objective morality.
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
annhasle
Posts: 6,657
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3/30/2011 8:47:40 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/30/2011 8:02:32 PM, socialpinko wrote:
Does morality objectively exist, in the natural world or decreed by a deity, or does morality exist subjectively purely in the minds of human beings?

So you're asking if morality is objective or relative?

Well, I would assert that objective morality does not exist and that moral relativism is not a stance anyone should take seriously.

Hence my moral nihilism. If you ever want to debate, after our God debate, I'm always willing to debate ethics.
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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3/30/2011 8:57:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/30/2011 8:47:39 PM, socialpinko wrote:

... and can't think of a good defense of objective morality.

Shelly Kagan has some debates on morality and he will argue for objective morality through the social contract - no God required.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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3/30/2011 8:58:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/30/2011 8:47:40 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 3/30/2011 8:02:32 PM, socialpinko wrote:
Does morality objectively exist, in the natural world or decreed by a deity, or does morality exist subjectively purely in the minds of human beings?

So you're asking if morality is objective or relative?

Well, I would assert that objective morality does not exist and that moral relativism is not a stance anyone should take seriously.

Would you assert that it is objective that moral relativism is not a stance anyone should take seriously? Or perhaps that it is relative?
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
annhasle
Posts: 6,657
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3/30/2011 11:25:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/30/2011 8:58:39 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 3/30/2011 8:47:40 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 3/30/2011 8:02:32 PM, socialpinko wrote:
Does morality objectively exist, in the natural world or decreed by a deity, or does morality exist subjectively purely in the minds of human beings?

So you're asking if morality is objective or relative?

Well, I would assert that objective morality does not exist and that moral relativism is not a stance anyone should take seriously.

Would you assert that it is objective that moral relativism is not a stance anyone should take seriously? Or perhaps that it is relative?

I'm against ethical absolutes -- not all absolutes in general, Ragnar. Objective truths may exist but Objective morality does not!

Also, my assertion that moral relativism should not be taken seriously is relative since its an opinion (one I can support, however). I do not have the necessary capacity for delusion to believe that my opinion is objective truth.
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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3/31/2011 12:14:57 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/30/2011 11:25:56 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 3/30/2011 8:58:39 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 3/30/2011 8:47:40 PM, annhasle wrote:
At 3/30/2011 8:02:32 PM, socialpinko wrote:
Does morality objectively exist, in the natural world or decreed by a deity, or does morality exist subjectively purely in the minds of human beings?

So you're asking if morality is objective or relative?

Well, I would assert that objective morality does not exist and that moral relativism is not a stance anyone should take seriously.

Would you assert that it is objective that moral relativism is not a stance anyone should take seriously? Or perhaps that it is relative?

I'm against ethical absolutes -- not all absolutes in general, Ragnar. Objective truths may exist but Objective morality does not!
Yet the notion that no one SHOULD take something seriously... what sort of statement is that? ^_^


Also, my assertion that moral relativism should not be taken seriously is relative
Ah, so you are therefore a moral relativist and should not be taken seriously. After all, you're telling us in relative terms what we shouldn't do.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Rob1_Billion
Posts: 1,300
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3/31/2011 7:38:05 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I firmly believe in a very absolute, very simple version of morality based on the seven sins. Furthermore, I can use it to solve any ethical dilemma you may currently have or can imagine. Morality, after all, wouldn't be much good to us if you needed to earn your pHD before you could understand it. People who assert that morality isn't absolute are simply morally inept.
kfc
Rob1_Billion
Posts: 1,300
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3/31/2011 7:40:08 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/30/2011 8:02:32 PM, socialpinko wrote:
Does morality objectively exist, in the natural world or decreed by a deity, or does morality exist subjectively purely in the minds of human beings?

I suppose I didn't exactly answer the question... morality at its foundation is created by the natural balance of privilege and responsibility. Animals do not enjoy the privilege of sentience so they also do not bear the responsibility of morality; morality, therefore, is a condition brought about to keep cognition in check when it reaches our level (i.e., the level at which we are able to cause mass destruction, pain, etc.).
kfc
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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3/31/2011 7:43:44 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 7:40:08 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:

Animals do not enjoy the privilege of sentience so they also do not bear the responsibility of morality;

There is considerable research which argues otherwise.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
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3/31/2011 8:40:54 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 7:38:05 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
I firmly believe in a very absolute, very simple version of morality based on the seven sins. Furthermore, I can use it to solve any ethical dilemma you may currently have or can imagine. Morality, after all, wouldn't be much good to us if you needed to earn your pHD before you could understand it. People who assert that morality isn't absolute are simply morally inept.

All aboard the ad hom train. :P
Cody_Franklin
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3/31/2011 8:45:22 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 7:40:08 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
At 3/30/2011 8:02:32 PM, socialpinko wrote:
Does morality objectively exist, in the natural world or decreed by a deity, or does morality exist subjectively purely in the minds of human beings?

I suppose I didn't exactly answer the question... morality at its foundation is created by the natural balance of privilege and responsibility. Animals do not enjoy the privilege of sentience so they also do not bear the responsibility of morality; morality, therefore, is a condition brought about to keep cognition in check when it reaches our level (i.e., the level at which we are able to cause mass destruction, pain, etc.).

1. There isn't a "natural balance of privilege and responsibility". That's an arbitrary construction which you must simultaneously postulate and assume for your argument to begin to hold water.

2. Plenty of empirical studies demonstrate that animals have some degree of sentience. Debates rage on, in fact, as to whether dolphins ought to be considered non-human persons by virtue of their complex communicative and social structures, and, obviously, their general intelligence.

3. When you say "a condition brought about", is that to suggest that it's an arbitrary human construction, or that objective moral principles just appeared out of thin air? Either way, it would appear you have some explaining to do.
trkwpb
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3/31/2011 8:52:09 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/30/2011 8:02:32 PM, socialpinko wrote:
Does morality objectively exist, in the natural world or decreed by a deity, or does morality exist subjectively purely in the minds of human beings?

It does not. All morality is subjective. Morals have evolved as part of the social contract.
So long as my actions do not harm the person or property of a non-consenting other, it's none of your business what I do - Peter McWilliams
nonentity
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3/31/2011 9:28:28 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 7:43:44 AM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
At 3/31/2011 7:40:08 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:

Animals do not enjoy the privilege of sentience so they also do not bear the responsibility of morality;

There is considerable research which argues otherwise.

All that's required is the ability to remember things. Some species of animals will share with each other, and will remember who has shared and who has not shared with them in the past. If you have shared with someone in the past and now they refuse to share with you, you're going to feel indignant. And if someone has shared with you in the past and now needs your assistance, you're going to remember that and feel that reciprocating is the right thing to do. But it's not unique to humans.

http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com...
Rob1_Billion
Posts: 1,300
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3/31/2011 11:18:40 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 7:43:44 AM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
At 3/31/2011 7:40:08 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:

Animals do not enjoy the privilege of sentience so they also do not bear the responsibility of morality;

There is considerable research which argues otherwise.

My terminology was dull, excuse me. I believe animals have feelings and conciousness, but there simply exists more that humans can do thann animals are capable. Hence the balance of privilege and responsibility.
kfc
Rob1_Billion
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3/31/2011 11:19:44 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 8:40:54 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 3/31/2011 7:38:05 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
I firmly believe in a very absolute, very simple version of morality based on the seven sins. Furthermore, I can use it to solve any ethical dilemma you may currently have or can imagine. Morality, after all, wouldn't be much good to us if you needed to earn your pHD before you could understand it. People who assert that morality isn't absolute are simply morally inept.

All aboard the ad hom train. :P

If you cannot understand mathematics then you are mathematically inept. If you can't understand morality (i.e., cannot even decide if it really exists or not) then you are in fact morally inept.
kfc
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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3/31/2011 11:27:19 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 11:18:40 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:

My terminology was dull, excuse me. I believe animals have feelings and conciousness, but there simply exists more that humans can do thann animals are capable. Hence the balance of privilege and responsibility.

Yes, the research is clear on this, some even argue they only have pseudo-morality.
Sottaceti
Posts: 20
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3/31/2011 11:35:22 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
It is impossible and absurd to say that morality is objective, but that does not mean it isn't objective. Humans are born with all emotions as a base, and their social interactions comprise their morals. Feelings of empathy stem from bonds they share with other people, and with whom they bond. Morality is as subjective as something gets in its natural state, but with the assisstance of religion, and sometimes law, regulatory morals are inserted into a toddler's mind as early as possible. The regulations of law are the regulations of morals. Law would have you believe morals are objective, but you and I and everybody else here knows (or should know, rather) that it is a subjective concept, especially in the minds of intellectuals and free men.
tkubok
Posts: 5,044
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3/31/2011 11:41:19 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 11:19:44 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
At 3/31/2011 8:40:54 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 3/31/2011 7:38:05 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
I firmly believe in a very absolute, very simple version of morality based on the seven sins. Furthermore, I can use it to solve any ethical dilemma you may currently have or can imagine. Morality, after all, wouldn't be much good to us if you needed to earn your pHD before you could understand it. People who assert that morality isn't absolute are simply morally inept.

All aboard the ad hom train. :P

If you cannot understand mathematics then you are mathematically inept. If you can't understand morality (i.e., cannot even decide if it really exists or not) then you are in fact morally inept.

But asserting that morality isnt absolute, is not the same as being unable to decide if it really exists or not. So I fail to see how someone who asserts that morality isnt absolute, is necessarily morally inept.
Rob1_Billion
Posts: 1,300
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3/31/2011 12:42:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 8:45:22 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 3/31/2011 7:40:08 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
At 3/30/2011 8:02:32 PM, socialpinko wrote:
Does morality objectively exist, in the natural world or decreed by a deity, or does morality exist subjectively purely in the minds of human beings?

I suppose I didn't exactly answer the question... morality at its foundation is created by the natural balance of privilege and responsibility. Animals do not enjoy the privilege of sentience so they also do not bear the responsibility of morality; morality, therefore, is a condition brought about to keep cognition in check when it reaches our level (i.e., the level at which we are able to cause mass destruction, pain, etc.).

1. There isn't a "natural balance of privilege and responsibility". That's an arbitrary construction which you must simultaneously postulate and assume for your argument to begin to hold water.

There in fact is this balance. With great ability comes great responsibility. This is a fundamental law of morality that I will happily spend the next five pages defending if you'd like to have a go.

2. Plenty of empirical studies demonstrate that animals have some degree of sentience. Debates rage on, in fact, as to whether dolphins ought to be considered non-human persons by virtue of their complex communicative and social structures, and, obviously, their general intelligence.

And that is why I argue (most recently with Ragnar, in fact) that animals have conciousness and moral worth; they feel pain and we should respect that. I am willing to base my economic ideas off of it as well; but the fact remains that whatever animals have, we have more of it. We are probably able to be tortured more fully, more able to experience worldly pleasures more fully, able to weild power and effect changes in our environment more fully... I could go on, but basically I am listing various privileges and responsibilities that we have. Pleasure and pain are both heightened in humans. Ability to change and ability to destroy are both heightened. Capacity to understand morality is heightened, and therefore our capacity to be morally responsible is so heightened.

3. When you say "a condition brought about", is that to suggest that it's an arbitrary human construction, or that objective moral principles just appeared out of thin air? Either way, it would appear you have some explaining to do.

That's a really good question. My answer is that you are assuming I am describing justice.

You are asking me why I would all of a sudden assign, or "come about" with, some moral implications simply because we receive a privilege. So if I buy a computer, somehow I just bought a bit more moral responsibility? That doesn't make sense.

What I am actually saying is that morality is simply a measure of utility, not 'goodness' and 'badness.' No one would care about morality if its only meaning was some metaphysical construct that didn't play into the real world in some very direct way, would they?

So what I am saying is that with responsibility comes privilege because you are increasing the amount of ways you can damage yourself by accepting a privilege. In some examples it is painfully obvious, like being the President, driving a car, or holding a job: you receive certain privileges and balance them with responsibilities. But realize that in every sense, not just coincidental occcurences, privilege and responsibility are inextricably tied. Sometimes its not obvious - like in the example of purchasing a laptop - but in these cases we are simply not looking at the whole picture.

Most people think that when they buy a computer that the retail store makes it and they go and get it, pay their dues, and that's about it. Of course people at some point realize that retail stores don't actually manufacture the goods, they receive them themselves, but this is usually about as far as it goes. What actually happens when you buy a laptop is that someone has to manufacture it. Someone has to ship it. Someone has to stock it. Someone has to pick it up as waste, store it, and then someone 1,000 years from now gets to continue dealing with it later on.

If someone does not recognize that buying a computer is a privilege as well as a responsibility, it is only because they are not apprehending the entire process. Creating a computer requires resources, manpower, and waste management (in capitalism you can add in a whole lot of extra administrative garbage like insurance, taxes, regulations, customer service, etc).

With our capitalistic system most of the process is blurred; we look at our goods and services as things we own. I experienced the a55-end of this as a waiter; people would come in with a dollar in their hand and act like they owned my abilities to wait, which led to various situations of negativity and inefficiency. So it's hard for us to understand that by using a good or service (and accepting this particular privilege) we are incurring moral culpability.

For if I am demanding that Jill become a waitress and serve me warm biscuits (with my dollar), then Jill is taking time away from other things she could be doing. If I buy a computer and essentially use the time of some plant workers, truckers, warehouse personell, retailers, etc, then I am economically assigning them a task at the peril of other (more useful?) tasks. This is a moral decision I have made. I got this laptop and decided these people were not going to be producing other goods, spending time raising their children, etc. Perhaps their children, being raised improperly, are now going to suck out welfare from my check. Perhaps other useful things they would have done would have helped out society (increased utility) more.

Now I'm not trying to make a useless what-if argument about why buying laptops is wrong; I'm just trying to say that our decision to buy them is a privilege and a responsibility. If I were rich and spent millions just to buy laptops and dump them into the sea, then I'd be wasting a bunch of people's time to make useless goods (although not much different than our current state of affairs I am sorry to say).

But there's still a small hole in my argument, isn't there. I can already see your little fingers racing over the keys to tell me I still haven't linked purely the privilege of owning a laptop to any sort of responsibility - after all, in the future, we may be able to replicate them star-trek style and there would be none of these externalities to my computer ownership.

The pure ability to use a computer is inherently linked to responsibility. The magnitude of my privilege is propertional to the magnitude of the responsibility. If I were the only person on Earth with a smartphone connection, then my privileges would be great. Likewise, oppositely (pretty much everyone has one), there is little privilege. After all, I could use a friend's phone, my own wifi, or work or school computers. So my benefits/responsibilities of smartphone onwership are miniscule in today's society; but what if I owned one in 1950?

In this case my privilege would be remarkable. I mean there's still only so much you can do with the device so I wouldn't be Achilles or anything, but I would still have a great advantage. My responsibility therefore should increase as well. How would this be measured? Well, first off, once anyone learned about the device I would be compelled to accept the responsibility of sharing it with the world. Others would begin to resent me and hate me if I didn't, because I would be hoarding the technology unnecessarily. So my mishandling of said responsibility would become apparent. It would become problematic to people why I wouldn't want to help them, and they would in turn not want to help me. This is why I say morality is about utility, not justice. You are only helping yourself out by being moral.
kfc
Rob1_Billion
Posts: 1,300
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3/31/2011 12:43:11 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 8:52:09 AM, trkwpb wrote:
At 3/30/2011 8:02:32 PM, socialpinko wrote:
Does morality objectively exist, in the natural world or decreed by a deity, or does morality exist subjectively purely in the minds of human beings?

It does not. All morality is subjective. Morals have evolved as part of the social contract.

What about inflicting pain? Is that not absolute?
kfc
tkubok
Posts: 5,044
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3/31/2011 12:46:26 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 12:43:11 PM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
At 3/31/2011 8:52:09 AM, trkwpb wrote:
At 3/30/2011 8:02:32 PM, socialpinko wrote:
Does morality objectively exist, in the natural world or decreed by a deity, or does morality exist subjectively purely in the minds of human beings?

It does not. All morality is subjective. Morals have evolved as part of the social contract.

What about inflicting pain? Is that not absolute?

Depends. If you are inflicting pain in order to lessen a greater pain, such as vaccine shots, i dont find anythin absolutely morally wrong about that.
Rob1_Billion
Posts: 1,300
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3/31/2011 12:48:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 11:35:22 AM, Sottaceti wrote:
It is impossible and absurd to say that morality is objective, but that does not mean it isn't objective. Humans are born with all emotions as a base, and their social interactions comprise their morals. Feelings of empathy stem from bonds they share with other people, and with whom they bond. Morality is as subjective as something gets in its natural state, but with the assisstance of religion, and sometimes law, regulatory morals are inserted into a toddler's mind as early as possible. The regulations of law are the regulations of morals. Law would have you believe morals are objective, but you and I and everybody else here knows (or should know, rather) that it is a subjective concept, especially in the minds of intellectuals and free men.

Laws and rules are subjective concepts, while morality is not.
kfc
Rob1_Billion
Posts: 1,300
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3/31/2011 12:50:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 11:41:19 AM, tkubok wrote:
At 3/31/2011 11:19:44 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
At 3/31/2011 8:40:54 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 3/31/2011 7:38:05 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
I firmly believe in a very absolute, very simple version of morality based on the seven sins. Furthermore, I can use it to solve any ethical dilemma you may currently have or can imagine. Morality, after all, wouldn't be much good to us if you needed to earn your pHD before you could understand it. People who assert that morality isn't absolute are simply morally inept.

All aboard the ad hom train. :P

If you cannot understand mathematics then you are mathematically inept. If you can't understand morality (i.e., cannot even decide if it really exists or not) then you are in fact morally inept.

But asserting that morality isnt absolute, is not the same as being unable to decide if it really exists or not. So I fail to see how someone who asserts that morality isnt absolute, is necessarily morally inept.

Understanding morality includes understanding which principles can and cannot be broken. If you cannot understand which ones are absolute and which ones aren't, then you will be inept.
kfc
badger
Posts: 11,793
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3/31/2011 12:51:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 7:38:05 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
I firmly believe in a very absolute, very simple version of morality based on the seven sins. Furthermore, I can use it to solve any ethical dilemma you may currently have or can imagine. Morality, after all, wouldn't be much good to us if you needed to earn your pHD before you could understand it. People who assert that morality isn't absolute are simply morally inept.

morality isn't absolute. there's only fun and boring :) and the seven deadly sins are the driving force of our modern society, i think, which i am bored of to be fair.
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badger
Posts: 11,793
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3/31/2011 12:52:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 12:51:09 PM, badger wrote:
At 3/31/2011 7:38:05 AM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
I firmly believe in a very absolute, very simple version of morality based on the seven sins. Furthermore, I can use it to solve any ethical dilemma you may currently have or can imagine. Morality, after all, wouldn't be much good to us if you needed to earn your pHD before you could understand it. People who assert that morality isn't absolute are simply morally inept.

morality isn't absolute. there's only fun and boring :) and the seven deadly sins are the driving force of our modern society, i think, which i am bored of to be fair.

probably cos i've delved too deep into the seven deadly sins :)
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Rob1_Billion
Posts: 1,300
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3/31/2011 12:53:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/31/2011 12:46:26 PM, tkubok wrote:
At 3/31/2011 12:43:11 PM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
At 3/31/2011 8:52:09 AM, trkwpb wrote:
At 3/30/2011 8:02:32 PM, socialpinko wrote:
Does morality objectively exist, in the natural world or decreed by a deity, or does morality exist subjectively purely in the minds of human beings?

It does not. All morality is subjective. Morals have evolved as part of the social contract.

What about inflicting pain? Is that not absolute?

Depends. If you are inflicting pain in order to lessen a greater pain, such as vaccine shots, i dont find anythin absolutely morally wrong about that.

I didn't ask you for a complete moral analysis, I simply asked you whether pain infliction is absolute or relative. If pain is not absolute, then it doesn't matter, right?
kfc