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The Ends Justify the Means

Lasagna
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7/19/2011 11:41:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At the center of my philosophical beliefs is the tenet that the ends can never justify the means. I'd like to defend this stance in this thread. In order to do that, I must define what constitutes negative means. So, I will also be defending my concept of what constitutes immorality. Negative means is defined as succombing to (i.e., acting upon) the emotions of
- wrath (hatred)
- lust (promiscuity)
- pride (self-superiority)
- gluttony (edacity)
- greed (selfishness)
- envy
- sloth (idleness)

There is no need to grapple with infinite ends, because we can always assume that humans will use logic to achieve their ends - morality is a strictly negative concept that comes into play when logic is interrupted by one of these seven emotional impetuses.

I believe that the aforementioned concepts represent the entirety of human morality. I think my system has at least two advantages over anything else I've seen, because it is simple enough for everyone to use (if only intellectual elites can understand a moral system then it is by default useless to society) and because I've yet to encounter a morally problematic scenario that it cannot solve.
Rob
FREEDO
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7/19/2011 11:59:06 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
My philosophy is very similar and consequentially identical. There is no ends, only means.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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7/20/2011 12:06:13 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/19/2011 11:41:18 PM, Lasagna wrote:
At the center of my philosophical beliefs is the tenet that the ends can never justify the means. I'd like to defend this stance in this thread. In order to do that, I must define what constitutes negative means. So, I will also be defending my concept of what constitutes immorality. Negative means is defined as succombing to (i.e., acting upon) the emotions of
- wrath (hatred)
- lust (promiscuity)
- pride (self-superiority)
- gluttony (edacity)
- greed (selfishness)
- envy
- sloth (idleness)

There is no need to grapple with infinite ends, because we can always assume that humans will use logic to achieve their ends - morality is a strictly negative concept that comes into play when logic is interrupted by one of these seven emotional impetuses.

I believe that the aforementioned concepts represent the entirety of human morality. I think my system has at least two advantages over anything else I've seen, because it is simple enough for everyone to use (if only intellectual elites can understand a moral system then it is by default useless to society) and because I've yet to encounter a morally problematic scenario that it cannot solve.

Are you familiar with the saying "the path to hell is paved with good intentions?"

ex. A famine hits a village, and everyone is about to die by starvation. Someone hits upon the idea that if they sacrifice someone, the famine will lift and everyone will survive.

ex. A man breaks into a shop and steals a loaf of bread to feed his family.

The means are good (if not misguided). The problems arise from the consequence, the "end." Referring only to "negative means" leaves on unable to morally evaluate the two above examples.
PARADIGM_L0ST
Posts: 6,958
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7/20/2011 10:24:23 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/19/2011 11:41:18 PM, Lasagna wrote:
At the center of my philosophical beliefs is the tenet that the ends can never justify the means.:

Never?

Hunger (eating)
Tired (sleeping)
Thirsty (drinking)

All emotions have validity within a defined context. But as it is with most things, the appropriate response depends on relative circumstances.

All those might in another context might be considered bad if they're gluttons or sloths. But they're obviously necessary for survival too. Again, it all has to be viewed in context relative to the situation. Emotions are no different.

Anger is considered a distasteful emotion, but there are certainly valid reasons for being indignant about certain things within context. If somebody rapes your daughter, I would expect you to feel anger and sorrow over it.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
VocMusTcrMaloy
Posts: 189
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7/20/2011 5:37:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I think a modification of that adage could possibly work: The end justifies the means IF the end does not conflict with the means. An example: The Crusades- The end was to bring Christianity to other people, so it was said that the means were justified; however, the means were in direct conflict with the end! The apostles had the same end and suffered martyrdom as a means. In this case, the end justified the means because it did not conflict with the end.

Just a thought…
MarquisX
Posts: 925
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7/20/2011 6:04:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
What if my family is starving? Dying. Am I not justified in selling drugs? Stealing? Should I sit on a moral high horse while my children slowly starve?

That being said does that mean everything is allowed? Am I justified in killing a rich family to take their money and food? Of course not. They have not wronged me. They have probably worked hard to get to where they are. What makes one crime more heinous than another?

I believe there is no clear answer to whether or not the ends justify the means, especially when talking about living. Does survival of the fittest apply to the human race?
Sophisticated ignorance, write my curses in cursive
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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7/20/2011 6:20:04 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Morality is this..

What do you want done?

What repercussions do you want to avoid?

Sometimes, you are faced with a situation where you want something done, but it is impossible to avoid everything that you want to. If you choose not to make a decision, you still are making a choice, and inaction will often times cause what you want to avoid.
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
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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7/20/2011 6:25:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/19/2011 11:41:18 PM, Lasagna wrote:
At the center of my philosophical beliefs is the tenet that the ends can never justify the means. I'd like to defend this stance in this thread. In order to do that, I must define what constitutes negative means. So, I will also be defending my concept of what constitutes immorality. Negative means is defined as succombing to (i.e., acting upon) the emotions of
- wrath (hatred)
- lust (promiscuity)
- pride (self-superiority)
- gluttony (edacity)
- greed (selfishness)
- envy
- sloth (idleness)

There is no need to grapple with infinite ends, because we can always assume that humans will use logic to achieve their ends - morality is a strictly negative concept that comes into play when logic is interrupted by one of these seven emotional impetuses.

I believe that the aforementioned concepts represent the entirety of human morality. I think my system has at least two advantages over anything else I've seen, because it is simple enough for everyone to use (if only intellectual elites can understand a moral system then it is by default useless to society) and because I've yet to encounter a morally problematic scenario that it cannot solve.

How can you logically say that those are negative means without applying to a moral code?
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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7/20/2011 6:32:17 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/20/2011 6:04:12 PM, MarquisX wrote:
What if my family is starving? Dying. Am I not justified in selling drugs? Stealing? Should I sit on a moral high horse while my children slowly starve?

That being said does that mean everything is allowed? Am I justified in killing a rich family to take their money and food? Of course not. They have not wronged me. They have probably worked hard to get to where they are. What makes one crime more heinous than another?

I believe there is no clear answer to whether or not the ends justify the means, especially when talking about living. Does survival of the fittest apply to the human race?

I'm not sure, but I think that he is actually arguing for what most people would consider the ends justifying the means. He only listed the "deadly sins" as negative means (to place a negative value on them would require a moral code, but that can be for a different thread). Since you are not acting out of greed, envy, pride, etc, you are doing everything okay.

Most people would consider that the ends justify the means. Though I could be mis-understanding what he said.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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7/20/2011 6:49:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
IF the ends justifies the means, is nuking the world and wiping out humanity justified for bringing about world peace among humans?
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
Rockylightning
Posts: 2,862
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7/21/2011 12:31:07 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
A car flies down the street with a drunk driver at the wheel. He careens off the road and runs over a group of children. The driver flies through the windshield into a gutter, where the police fish him out a few hours later. His wallet is left behind and a kid finds it the next day and gives the money to a charity that uses the money to cure athete's foot permanently. Do the ends justify the means?
Lasagna
Posts: 2,440
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7/21/2011 8:08:41 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/20/2011 12:06:13 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 7/19/2011 11:41:18 PM, Lasagna wrote:
At the center of my philosophical beliefs is the tenet that the ends can never justify the means. I'd like to defend this stance in this thread. In order to do that, I must define what constitutes negative means. So, I will also be defending my concept of what constitutes immorality. Negative means is defined as succombing to (i.e., acting upon) the emotions of
- wrath (hatred)
- lust (promiscuity)
- pride (self-superiority)
- gluttony (edacity)
- greed (selfishness)
- envy
- sloth (idleness)

There is no need to grapple with infinite ends, because we can always assume that humans will use logic to achieve their ends - morality is a strictly negative concept that comes into play when logic is interrupted by one of these seven emotional impetuses.

I believe that the aforementioned concepts represent the entirety of human morality. I think my system has at least two advantages over anything else I've seen, because it is simple enough for everyone to use (if only intellectual elites can understand a moral system then it is by default useless to society) and because I've yet to encounter a morally problematic scenario that it cannot solve.

Are you familiar with the saying "the path to hell is paved with good intentions?"

Yes, and I often use the adage "no good deed goes unpunished." I believe both of these sayings have merit, in fact. But, as the very misguided examples in this thread have already shown, it's not that good intentions and good deeds are negative, it's just that modern humanity is very ill-equipped to define good and bad.

ex. A famine hits a village, and everyone is about to die by starvation. Someone hits upon the idea that if they sacrifice someone, the famine will lift and everyone will survive.

This only supports my thesis. Killing someone to save the village is trying to use bad means to derive good ends.

ex. A man breaks into a shop and steals a loaf of bread to feed his family.

This behavior fed the starving children today. Tomorrow it is going to get the father killed or imprisoned. What's more useful - a father or a loaf of bread? The baker is going to catch on eventually; this behavior is not sustainable.

The means are good (if not misguided). The problems arise from the consequence, the "end." Referring only to "negative means" leaves on unable to morally evaluate the two above examples.

I can morally evaluate any example, because my moral system is simple and effective.
Rob
Lasagna
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7/21/2011 8:12:07 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/19/2011 11:59:06 PM, FREEDO wrote:
My philosophy is very similar and consequentially identical. There is no ends, only means.

Exactly, Freedo. However we live in an ends-based society so everybody is walking backwards in the streets trying in vain to avoid traffic. You're of one or two other people on DDO that I've gotten to acknowledge this, out of the dozens I've discussed it with.
Rob
Lasagna
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7/21/2011 8:26:49 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/20/2011 10:24:23 AM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
At 7/19/2011 11:41:18 PM, Lasagna wrote:
At the center of my philosophical beliefs is the tenet that the ends can never justify the means.:

Never?

Hunger (eating)
Tired (sleeping)
Thirsty (drinking)

All emotions have validity within a defined context. But as it is with most things, the appropriate response depends on relative circumstances.

All those might in another context might be considered bad if they're gluttons or sloths. But they're obviously necessary for survival too. Again, it all has to be viewed in context relative to the situation. Emotions are no different.

hunger=/=gluttony
relaxation=/=sloth

It's really just a matter of having a precise-enough glossary. People don't bother defining their terms correctly because they don't care to.

Anger is considered a distasteful emotion, but there are certainly valid reasons for being indignant about certain things within context. If somebody rapes your daughter, I would expect you to feel anger and sorrow over it.

Yes, these emotions are natural and OK. The rub comes when you feel one of the 7 and decide to act. For example, if you felt sorrow and decided to act, your results would not be immoral. But if you felt anger and acted, they would be. Why? Because we have logical ends that we aim for at all times. Our logic is affected by our emotions. So in the example, the logical ends after having a raped daughter would be to try and do some damage mitigation as far as the daughter is concerned, and try to minimize the possibility of the rapist acting again so nobody else gets hurt. Our logical brains will be affected poorly by anger, and we will likely compromise our goals by letting that emotion intercept our decision-making process. Again, it's not the feeling of anger that is immoral, it's allowing that emotion to change the decision we would have otherwise made.
Rob
Lasagna
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7/21/2011 8:30:41 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/20/2011 5:37:41 PM, VocMusTcrMaloy wrote:
I think a modification of that adage could possibly work: The end justifies the means IF the end does not conflict with the means. An example: The Crusades- The end was to bring Christianity to other people, so it was said that the means were justified; however, the means were in direct conflict with the end! The apostles had the same end and suffered martyrdom as a means. In this case, the end justified the means because it did not conflict with the end.

Just a thought…

In order to prove your point, you must show an example in which the ends actually do justify the means; here, you merely show an example that supports my thesis and speculate that it might be otherwise. I would resist your logic here, since it would not only complicate my logic (now we have to add an analysis to see whether there is some connection), but would also not likely render consistent results. But feel free to explore the possibilities in this forum; that's what it's here for!
Rob
Lasagna
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7/21/2011 8:41:46 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/20/2011 6:04:12 PM, MarquisX wrote:
What if my family is starving? Dying. Am I not justified in selling drugs? Stealing? Should I sit on a moral high horse while my children slowly starve?

Selling drugs=/=immoral.

I explained stealing in a previous example. It's an unsustainable activity that is going to hurt your family when you get put in jail or else aren't even let into town anymore because you're known as a theif. And I'm not saying all this for some sense of prestige or honor ("moral high horse"); I'm outlining the easiest path towards the greatest ends.

That being said does that mean everything is allowed? Am I justified in killing a rich family to take their money and food? Of course not. They have not wronged me. They have probably worked hard to get to where they are. What makes one crime more heinous than another?

Morality.

I believe there is no clear answer to whether or not the ends justify the means, especially when talking about living. Does survival of the fittest apply to the human race?

Why wouldn't it?
Rob
Lasagna
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7/21/2011 8:43:41 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/20/2011 6:20:04 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
Morality is this..

What do you want done?

What repercussions do you want to avoid?


Sometimes, you are faced with a situation where you want something done, but it is impossible to avoid everything that you want to. If you choose not to make a decision, you still are making a choice, and inaction will often times cause what you want to avoid.

Examples? I'll show you how my system is bothe simpler and more accurate.
Rob
Lasagna
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7/21/2011 8:44:54 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/20/2011 6:25:03 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 7/19/2011 11:41:18 PM, Lasagna wrote:
At the center of my philosophical beliefs is the tenet that the ends can never justify the means. I'd like to defend this stance in this thread. In order to do that, I must define what constitutes negative means. So, I will also be defending my concept of what constitutes immorality. Negative means is defined as succombing to (i.e., acting upon) the emotions of
- wrath (hatred)
- lust (promiscuity)
- pride (self-superiority)
- gluttony (edacity)
- greed (selfishness)
- envy
- sloth (idleness)

There is no need to grapple with infinite ends, because we can always assume that humans will use logic to achieve their ends - morality is a strictly negative concept that comes into play when logic is interrupted by one of these seven emotional impetuses.

I believe that the aforementioned concepts represent the entirety of human morality. I think my system has at least two advantages over anything else I've seen, because it is simple enough for everyone to use (if only intellectual elites can understand a moral system then it is by default useless to society) and because I've yet to encounter a morally problematic scenario that it cannot solve.

How can you logically say that those are negative means without applying to a moral code?

My moral code is the 7 deadly sins... Perhaps I'm not understanding you correctly?
Rob
Lasagna
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7/21/2011 8:46:19 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/20/2011 6:32:17 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 7/20/2011 6:04:12 PM, MarquisX wrote:
What if my family is starving? Dying. Am I not justified in selling drugs? Stealing? Should I sit on a moral high horse while my children slowly starve?

That being said does that mean everything is allowed? Am I justified in killing a rich family to take their money and food? Of course not. They have not wronged me. They have probably worked hard to get to where they are. What makes one crime more heinous than another?

I believe there is no clear answer to whether or not the ends justify the means, especially when talking about living. Does survival of the fittest apply to the human race?

I'm not sure, but I think that he is actually arguing for what most people would consider the ends justifying the means. He only listed the "deadly sins" as negative means (to place a negative value on them would require a moral code, but that can be for a different thread). Since you are not acting out of greed, envy, pride, etc, you are doing everything okay.

The bolded sentence is correct.

Most people would consider that the ends justify the means. Though I could be mis-understanding what he said.

The ends never justify the means.
Rob
Lasagna
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7/21/2011 8:46:55 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/20/2011 6:49:45 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
IF the ends justifies the means, is nuking the world and wiping out humanity justified for bringing about world peace among humans?

The ends never justify the means.
Rob
Lasagna
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7/21/2011 8:51:27 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/21/2011 12:31:07 AM, Rockylightning wrote:
A car flies down the street with a drunk driver at the wheel. He careens off the road and runs over a group of children. The driver flies through the windshield into a gutter, where the police fish him out a few hours later. His wallet is left behind and a kid finds it the next day and gives the money to a charity that uses the money to cure athete's foot permanently. Do the ends justify the means?

No. The driver's wallet is stolen out of greed; turning around and using greed to finance a charity does not equal out. I don't believe in positive morality, only negative. So acting negatively, and then balancing it out with positive acts (e.g., charity) does not leave you even or positive - you are still acting immorally.

If morality worked both ways, then people could do whatever they wanted to other people and then justify it with some other action. One could rape and pillage one town, then give those resources to another town; this is obviously not moral.
Rob
OMGJustinBieber
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7/21/2011 11:27:41 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
To clarify, obviously actions can't be viewed in a vacuum and context must be taken into account. What I'm saying is that actions shouldn't be validated or invalidated based on the consequences. Clearly pushing a child, in a vacuum, is a bad action, but there are certain cases where that action is not only called for, but necessary. For example, if a 3 year old is walking into the road or onto the train tracks. "The ends justify the means" is hardly a thorough summation of a consequentialist viewpoint.
Rockylightning
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7/21/2011 12:06:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/21/2011 11:27:41 AM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
To clarify, obviously actions can't be viewed in a vacuum and context must be taken into account. What I'm saying is that actions shouldn't be validated or invalidated based on the consequences. Clearly pushing a child, in a vacuum, is a bad action, but there are certain cases where that action is not only called for, but necessary. For example, if a 3 year old is walking into the road or onto the train tracks. "The ends justify the means" is hardly a thorough summation of a consequentialist viewpoint.

This
CosmicAlfonzo
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7/21/2011 12:28:28 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/21/2011 8:43:41 AM, Lasagna wrote:
At 7/20/2011 6:20:04 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
Morality is this..

What do you want done?

What repercussions do you want to avoid?


Sometimes, you are faced with a situation where you want something done, but it is impossible to avoid everything that you want to. If you choose not to make a decision, you still are making a choice, and inaction will often times cause what you want to avoid.

Examples? I'll show you how my system is bothe simpler and more accurate.

There is nothing simple about my morality system. A lot of game theory is involved. Variables unaccounted for prevent it from being completely accurate, but the point is, morality can only be justified from a relative standpoint.

There is no such thing as unconditional objective morality. It is a system of morality where the accuracy is entirely dependent on the person going by it. The more you know about what is going on, the easier it is to make an accurate decision.

This is what morality is. The concept that most people have about morality is the result of those who have forgotten this, and lost touch with certain aspects of reality. Even the commands of the Torah were originally based on this type of moral reasons. Something is moral because of results that are observable in reality that go by what I was saying...

What is your goal?

What do you wish to avoid while aiming for this goal?

It gets a little more complicated even when you start thinking long term.. While something might be moral by my understanding while you are executing it.. That very same action might cause you problems later on. Appearances have a lot to do with things. Unfortunately, it is impossible to avoid all negative consequences. No matter what you do, someone is going to take offense.

Every action is going to yield positive and negative karma. It is chaos in action. There is nothing otherworldly about it.
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
eball45
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7/21/2011 1:10:14 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
So, you mean treat everyone as ends in themselves, and not treat everyone as a means without an end. Essentially, you are just reitterating Kant's categorical imperative.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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7/21/2011 6:33:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/21/2011 8:44:54 AM, Lasagna wrote:
At 7/20/2011 6:25:03 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 7/19/2011 11:41:18 PM, Lasagna wrote:
At the center of my philosophical beliefs is the tenet that the ends can never justify the means. I'd like to defend this stance in this thread. In order to do that, I must define what constitutes negative means. So, I will also be defending my concept of what constitutes immorality. Negative means is defined as succombing to (i.e., acting upon) the emotions of
- wrath (hatred)
- lust (promiscuity)
- pride (self-superiority)
- gluttony (edacity)
- greed (selfishness)
- envy
- sloth (idleness)

There is no need to grapple with infinite ends, because we can always assume that humans will use logic to achieve their ends - morality is a strictly negative concept that comes into play when logic is interrupted by one of these seven emotional impetuses.

I believe that the aforementioned concepts represent the entirety of human morality. I think my system has at least two advantages over anything else I've seen, because it is simple enough for everyone to use (if only intellectual elites can understand a moral system then it is by default useless to society) and because I've yet to encounter a morally problematic scenario that it cannot solve.

How can you logically say that those are negative means without applying to a moral code?

My moral code is the 7 deadly sins... Perhaps I'm not understanding you correctly?

You have to morally believe that they are "wrong," how do you weigh and measure things (regarding them being right or wrong)?
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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7/21/2011 6:35:15 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/21/2011 8:08:41 AM, Lasagna wrote:
At 7/20/2011 12:06:13 AM, Wnope wrote:
At 7/19/2011 11:41:18 PM, Lasagna wrote:
At the center of my philosophical beliefs is the tenet that the ends can never justify the means. I'd like to defend this stance in this thread. In order to do that, I must define what constitutes negative means. So, I will also be defending my concept of what constitutes immorality. Negative means is defined as succombing to (i.e., acting upon) the emotions of
- wrath (hatred)
- lust (promiscuity)
- pride (self-superiority)
- gluttony (edacity)
- greed (selfishness)
- envy
- sloth (idleness)

There is no need to grapple with infinite ends, because we can always assume that humans will use logic to achieve their ends - morality is a strictly negative concept that comes into play when logic is interrupted by one of these seven emotional impetuses.

I believe that the aforementioned concepts represent the entirety of human morality. I think my system has at least two advantages over anything else I've seen, because it is simple enough for everyone to use (if only intellectual elites can understand a moral system then it is by default useless to society) and because I've yet to encounter a morally problematic scenario that it cannot solve.

Are you familiar with the saying "the path to hell is paved with good intentions?"

Yes, and I often use the adage "no good deed goes unpunished." I believe both of these sayings have merit, in fact. But, as the very misguided examples in this thread have already shown, it's not that good intentions and good deeds are negative, it's just that modern humanity is very ill-equipped to define good and bad.

ex. A famine hits a village, and everyone is about to die by starvation. Someone hits upon the idea that if they sacrifice someone, the famine will lift and everyone will survive.

This only supports my thesis. Killing someone to save the village is trying to use bad means to derive good ends.

ex. A man breaks into a shop and steals a loaf of bread to feed his family.

This behavior fed the starving children today. Tomorrow it is going to get the father killed or imprisoned. What's more useful - a father or a loaf of bread? The baker is going to catch on eventually; this behavior is not sustainable.

The father's actions do not go against your list of no-noes. Also, a father is meaningless to a child that has starved to death.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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7/21/2011 6:39:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/21/2011 8:51:27 AM, Lasagna wrote:
At 7/21/2011 12:31:07 AM, Rockylightning wrote:
A car flies down the street with a drunk driver at the wheel. He careens off the road and runs over a group of children. The driver flies through the windshield into a gutter, where the police fish him out a few hours later. His wallet is left behind and a kid finds it the next day and gives the money to a charity that uses the money to cure athete's foot permanently. Do the ends justify the means?

No. The driver's wallet is stolen out of greed; turning around and using greed to finance a charity does not equal out. I don't believe in positive morality, only negative. So acting negatively, and then balancing it out with positive acts (e.g., charity) does not leave you even or positive - you are still acting immorally.

Greed implies that you took it for yourself.

Greed - "Intense and selfish desire for something"

If the boy found the wallet, then it was not an intense emotion and if he gave it to charity, then it was not selfish.


If morality worked both ways, then people could do whatever they wanted to other people and then justify it with some other action. One could rape and pillage one town, then give those resources to another town; this is obviously not moral.

But it does to a degree. If I steal one penny from you, magically turn that penny into a bustling economy that provides jobs and goods for countless people, all overnight, then return your penny in the morning. I'd say that outweighs the "immoral" act of stealing that penny.

The ratio of doing good to over-write the bad is no 1:1, and different immorals have different exchange rates.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"