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Morality Scenario

SovereignDream
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4/8/2012 11:16:57 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Hypothetical Scenario:

Let's say that it's 10 years from now. After years of unfortunate economic disasters, you've been kicked out of your foreclosed house, your wife has left you, and you have lost contact with all your family and most of your friends out of shame. You go to a local bar to drown your sorrows with whatever money you have left. After drinking a few shots of hard liquor, you observe as a homeless man whom no one really knows -- a nobody -- walks into the bar. You decided to strike up some conversation with him. You tell him your sad story. He tells you a little about him. But then he reveals to you and only you why he's at the bar that night: he's celebrating. He saved enough money to buy a lottery ticket. From watching a TV through a store window, he found out that the lottery ticket he bought is the winning ticket for 150 million dollars. He hasn't told anybody that he won except you (not that he would really know who to tell because he doesn't really know anybody and no one really knows him). He plans to claim the lottery the next day. While listening to his story, your mind begins to contemplate how the winning lottery ticket would solve all your problems. He calls it a night and heads out to his desolate sleeping place knowing that it will be the last time he will ever have to sleep in poverty. Yet you follow him as he leaves the bar. Blissful and contemplative of the next day, he doesn't notice that you have followed him. He is sleeps in such a desolate and remote area that there is no one around and it is pitch dark. You're absolutely convinced that if you kill him and take the lottery ticket, no one would ever know that you killed him and you would get away with it. You will get away with the crime Why shouldn't you, given your moral relativism / subjectivism?

Wouldn't it be reasonable and in your self-interest for you to do so? I mean, after all, according to naturalism, aren't we just a bunch of randomly ordered matter that will inevitably die and become more randomly ordered matter?
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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4/8/2012 12:29:17 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/8/2012 11:16:57 AM, SovereignDream wrote:
Hypothetical Scenario:

Let's say that it's 10 years from now. After years of unfortunate economic disasters, you've been kicked out of your foreclosed house, your wife has left you, and you have lost contact with all your family and most of your friends out of shame. You go to a local bar to drown your sorrows with whatever money you have left. After drinking a few shots of hard liquor, you observe as a homeless man whom no one really knows -- a nobody -- walks into the bar. You decided to strike up some conversation with him. You tell him your sad story. He tells you a little about him. But then he reveals to you and only you why he's at the bar that night: he's celebrating. He saved enough money to buy a lottery ticket. From watching a TV through a store window, he found out that the lottery ticket he bought is the winning ticket for 150 million dollars. He hasn't told anybody that he won except you (not that he would really know who to tell because he doesn't really know anybody and no one really knows him). He plans to claim the lottery the next day. While listening to his story, your mind begins to contemplate how the winning lottery ticket would solve all your problems. He calls it a night and heads out to his desolate sleeping place knowing that it will be the last time he will ever have to sleep in poverty. Yet you follow him as he leaves the bar. Blissful and contemplative of the next day, he doesn't notice that you have followed him. He is sleeps in such a desolate and remote area that there is no one around and it is pitch dark. You're absolutely convinced that if you kill him and take the lottery ticket, no one would ever know that you killed him and you would get away with it. You will get away with the crime Why shouldn't you, given your moral relativism / subjectivism?

Because it's immoral. Derp. Before you ask "Why?" just consider than any answer is better than, "Because some goat herders 5000 years ago said so."


Wouldn't it be reasonable and in your self-interest for you to do so? I mean, after all, according to naturalism, aren't we just a bunch of randomly ordered matter that will inevitably die and become more randomly ordered matter?

Non sequitur.
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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4/8/2012 12:48:25 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/8/2012 11:16:57 AM, SovereignDream wrote:
Hypothetical Scenario:

Let's say that it's 10 years from now. After years of unfortunate economic disasters, you've been kicked out of your foreclosed house, your wife has left you, and you have lost contact with all your family and most of your friends out of shame. You go to a local bar to drown your sorrows with whatever money you have left. After drinking a few shots of hard liquor, you observe as a homeless man whom no one really knows -- a nobody -- walks into the bar. You decided to strike up some conversation with him. You tell him your sad story. He tells you a little about him. But then he reveals to you and only you why he's at the bar that night: he's celebrating. He saved enough money to buy a lottery ticket. From watching a TV through a store window, he found out that the lottery ticket he bought is the winning ticket for 150 million dollars. He hasn't told anybody that he won except you (not that he would really know who to tell because he doesn't really know anybody and no one really knows him). He plans to claim the lottery the next day. While listening to his story, your mind begins to contemplate how the winning lottery ticket would solve all your problems. He calls it a night and heads out to his desolate sleeping place knowing that it will be the last time he will ever have to sleep in poverty. Yet you follow him as he leaves the bar. Blissful and contemplative of the next day, he doesn't notice that you have followed him. He is sleeps in such a desolate and remote area that there is no one around and it is pitch dark. You're absolutely convinced that if you kill him and take the lottery ticket, no one would ever know that you killed him and you would get away with it. You will get away with the crime Why shouldn't you, given your moral relativism / subjectivism?

Wouldn't it be reasonable and in your self-interest for you to do so? I mean, after all, according to naturalism, aren't we just a bunch of randomly ordered matter that will inevitably die and become more randomly ordered matter?

Let's say that it's 10 years from now. After years of unfortunate economic disasters, you've been kicked out of your foreclosed house, your wife has left you, and you have lost contact with all your family and most of your friends out of shame. In fact, things became so bad, that you ended up homeless. Wandering the streets of your city endlessly as day blurs into night and you begin to lose the last iota of self-worth you have left, you realize the small cache of change you've been saving has accumulated enough for you to afford a lottery ticket! You have a gut feeling about this, and just go for it. Beautifully, it all seems to fall into place. As you stand at the counter at the corner store while making a selection, the man fumbles and drops one that lands on the surface before you. In cartoonish, extravagant, glittery letters, it's titled "Choose Me!" across the top. You immediately purchase it and fervently scratch it's silvery surface to reveal several numbers that you later realize makes you the winner of 150 million dollars. You walk to a bar to celebrate. You just don't know what to do with yourself! Just then, the nicest-seeming man in the world strikes up a conversation with you. You tell him your story, and he tells you about him. You guys seem so much alike! You wish him the very best, and tell yourself to remember to include him in your prayers. You consider helping him out... how weird would it be to try and get his contact information? You decide that it might come off as too weird, or even condescending, and simply leave to go sleep in poverty for the last time in your long, arduous life. Blissful and contemplative of the next day, you don't notice he has followed you. You sleep in such a desolate and remote area that there is no one around and it is pitch dark. He's absolutely convinced that if he kills you takes the lottery ticket, no one would ever know that he killed you and he would get away with it. He will get away with the crime Why shouldn't he, given his moral relativism / subjectivism?

Wouldn't it be reasonable and in his self-interest for him to do so? I mean, after all, according to naturalism, aren't we just a bunch of randomly ordered matter that will inevitably die and become more randomly ordered matter?
Stephen_Hawkins
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4/8/2012 12:52:22 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I would like to say that I would not kill the person, because it is still an immoral act to kill someone in return for any form of gain. On a slightly more contextual and a lot less important point, it would be better to simply be nice to the person, and "earn" their trust among other things.

I say I would like to say because I'm not sure how I would react, given I've never been in this situation before.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

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Lasagna
Posts: 2,440
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4/8/2012 12:55:18 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Well, for starters, there is always the risk that you'll be caught. Saying "my scenario precludes this" does not work because IRL the possibility is simply not precluded. In the U.S., murders are often solved. People could have seen you at the bar with him, seen you walking around there, you could have left DNA, etc. Besides, your motive is pretty well established.

Second, there is the guilt factor. Killing somebody in cold blood could have disastrous effects on your psychological state. Better than destitution at least? That depends on the person.

Third, money =/= happiness. While some of his short-term problems will be remedied by the act, there are long-term problems with becoming rich. (too much) Money has a way of consuming one's soul and destroying one's character.

So as you can see, there are plenty of reasons why acting immorally will cause you strife. I've never heard a good scenario that shows that immorality can help one when all things are considered.
Rob
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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4/8/2012 1:37:03 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/8/2012 12:52:22 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
I would like to say that I would not kill the person, because it is still an immoral act to kill someone in return for any form of gain. On a slightly more contextual and a lot less important point, it would be better to simply be nice to the person, and "earn" their trust among other things.


I say I would like to say because I'm not sure how I would react, given I've never been in this situation before.

The Fool: and with what justificatoinn do you base that on. .hhmmm ;)
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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4/8/2012 1:38:01 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/8/2012 11:16:57 AM, SovereignDream wrote:
Hypothetical Scenario:

Let's say that it's 10 years from now. After years of unfortunate economic disasters, you've been kicked out of your foreclosed house, your wife has left you, and you have lost contact with all your family and most of your friends out of shame. You go to a local bar to drown your sorrows with whatever money you have left. After drinking a few shots of hard liquor, you observe as a homeless man whom no one really knows -- a nobody -- walks into the bar. You decided to strike up some conversation with him. You tell him your sad story. He tells you a little about him. But then he reveals to you and only you why he's at the bar that night: he's celebrating. He saved enough money to buy a lottery ticket. From watching a TV through a store window, he found out that the lottery ticket he bought is the winning ticket for 150 million dollars. He hasn't told anybody that he won except you (not that he would really know who to tell because he doesn't really know anybody and no one really knows him). He plans to claim the lottery the next day. While listening to his story, your mind begins to contemplate how the winning lottery ticket would solve all your problems. He calls it a night and heads out to his desolate sleeping place knowing that it will be the last time he will ever have to sleep in poverty. Yet you follow him as he leaves the bar. Blissful and contemplative of the next day, he doesn't notice that you have followed him. He is sleeps in such a desolate and remote area that there is no one around and it is pitch dark. You're absolutely convinced that if you kill him and take the lottery ticket, no one would ever know that you killed him and you would get away with it. You will get away with the crime Why shouldn't you, given your moral relativism / subjectivism?

Wouldn't it be reasonable and in your self-interest for you to do so? I mean, after all, according to naturalism, aren't we just a bunch of randomly ordered matter that will inevitably die and become more randomly ordered matter?

$150,000,000 is a lot of money, I think I would be lying to myself if I said I wouldn't seriously consider robbing him if he is going to be foolish enough to tell somebody he doesn't know something like that, but there would be no reason to kill him and I wouldn't have it in me.

"according to naturalism, aren't we just a bunch of randomly ordered matter that will inevitably die and become more randomly ordered matter?"

No.
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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4/8/2012 1:39:38 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/8/2012 12:55:18 PM, Lasagna wrote:
Well, for starters, there is always the risk that you'll be caught. Saying "my scenario precludes this" does not work because IRL the possibility is simply not precluded. In the U.S., murders are often solved. People could have seen you at the bar with him, seen you walking around there, you could have left DNA, etc. Besides, your motive is pretty well established.

Second, there is the guilt factor. Killing somebody in cold blood could have disastrous effects on your psychological state. Better than destitution at least? That depends on the person.

Third, money =/= happiness. While some of his short-term problems will be remedied by the act, there are long-term problems with becoming rich. (too much) Money has a way of consuming one's soul and destroying one's character.

So as you can see, there are plenty of reasons why acting immorally will cause you strife. I've never heard a good scenario that shows that immorality can help one when all things are considered.

The Fool: he is argueing about the subjective morality. The idea is the Fear tactic where we are suppost to say I don't know, so we must accept God. Aka you need to be save. you can't make objective morals on your own. you are weak and humans are sinfull and evil by nature because Adam ate an apple.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
SovereignDream
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4/8/2012 3:10:11 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/8/2012 12:29:17 PM, drafterman wrote:

Because it's immoral. Derp. Before you ask "Why?" just consider than any answer is better than, "Because some goat herders 5000 years ago said so."


That's a just a silly tautology. It's immoral because it's immoral. And you seem to be under the impression that I believe that all moral values and duties are derived from the Bible. Ya I don't...


Wouldn't it be reasonable and in your self-interest for you to do so? I mean, after all, according to naturalism, aren't we just a bunch of randomly ordered matter that will inevitably die and become more randomly ordered matter?



Non sequitur.

Thank you for completely deflecting the questions. No, really. It took talent.
SovereignDream
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4/8/2012 3:14:01 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/8/2012 12:52:22 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
I would like to say that I would not kill the person, because it is still an immoral act to kill someone in return for any form of gain.

Not if you subscribe to subjective morality, it ain't. According to this worldview, what may be immoral to you would be moral to me. And who are you to say that I am wrong? On what basis would it be immoral?

On a slightly more contextual and a lot less important point, it would be better to simply be nice to the person, and "earn" their trust among other things.


I agree, yet, under moral subjectivism, you cannot ascribe any judgment of "better" or "worse" or "good" or "evil" and remain consistent with your worldview.


I say I would like to say because I'm not sure how I would react, given I've never been in this situation before.
SovereignDream
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4/8/2012 3:17:26 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/8/2012 12:55:18 PM, Lasagna wrote:
Well, for starters, there is always the risk that you'll be caught. Saying "my scenario precludes this" does not work because IRL the possibility is simply not precluded. In the U.S., murders are often solved. People could have seen you at the bar with him, seen you walking around there, you could have left DNA, etc. Besides, your motive is pretty well established.

Second, there is the guilt factor. Killing somebody in cold blood could have disastrous effects on your psychological state. Better than destitution at least? That depends on the person.

Third, money =/= happiness. While some of his short-term problems will be remedied by the act, there are long-term problems with becoming rich. (too much) Money has a way of consuming one's soul and destroying one's character.

So as you can see, there are plenty of reasons why acting immorally will cause you strife. I've never heard a good scenario that shows that immorality can help one when all things are considered.

I didn't ask "what bad consequences could occur if I get caught with the murder?" or "do most murders go unsolved in the US?"

I asked, given atheism, why shouldn't I kill him and take the ticket if I could get away with it?

Petty guilt? I'm not sure how someone who believes that humans are nothing but mere products of time plus chance -- a freak cosmological accident which is doomed to on day perish -- would be rational to feel guilt in killing a nobody and acting in self interest. In fact, given this worldview, it would be silly not to.
SovereignDream
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4/8/2012 3:19:36 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/8/2012 1:38:01 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
$150,000,000 is a lot of money, I think I would be lying to myself if I said I wouldn't seriously consider robbing him if he is going to be foolish enough to tell somebody he doesn't know something like that, but there would be no reason to kill him and I wouldn't have it in me.


No reason? How about getting away with the crime?

"according to naturalism, aren't we just a bunch of randomly ordered matter that will inevitably die and become more randomly ordered matter?"

No.

Then what are we, according to naturalism? Relatively advanced primates on an infinitesimally microscopic speck of dust which will one day meet its inevitable and purposeless end?
SovereignDream
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4/8/2012 3:21:51 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/8/2012 1:39:38 PM, The_Fool_on_the_hill wrote:
The Fool: he is argueing about the subjective morality. The idea is the Fear tactic where we are suppost to say I don't know, so we must accept God. Aka you need to be save. you can't make objective morals on your own. you are weak and humans are sinfull and evil by nature because Adam ate an apple.

It's no fear tactics. It's a genuine question. Were it to be that I believed in no God and saw morality as nothing but an illusory, subjective man-made construct, I'd see no reason to not commit actions that will lead to my self-interest if I could get away with them.
SovereignDream
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4/8/2012 3:22:09 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/8/2012 2:39:45 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
I'd rather befriend the guy (which it sounds like I already did) and ask for a measly one million dollars.

That's...not what I asked.
DakotaKrafick
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4/8/2012 3:22:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/8/2012 3:19:36 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
Then what are we, according to naturalism? Relatively advanced primates on an infinitesimally microscopic speck of dust which will one day meet its inevitable and purposeless end?

Sounds about right.
DakotaKrafick
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4/8/2012 3:23:39 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/8/2012 3:22:09 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
That's...not what I asked.

Sure it is. You asked why wouldn't I kill him? The answer is because I'd rather befriend him :)
SovereignDream
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4/8/2012 4:15:17 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/8/2012 3:23:39 PM, DakotaKrafick wrote:
At 4/8/2012 3:22:09 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
That's...not what I asked.

Sure it is. You asked why wouldn't I kill him? The answer is because I'd rather befriend him :)

<3

Ok, so now can I get an honest answer? I wrote you a heart, goddammit!
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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4/8/2012 4:17:56 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/8/2012 11:16:57 AM, SovereignDream wrote:
Hypothetical Scenario:

Let's say that it's 10 years from now. After years of unfortunate economic disasters, you've been kicked out of your foreclosed house, your wife has left you, and you have lost contact with all your family and most of your friends out of shame. You go to a local bar to drown your sorrows with whatever money you have left. After drinking a few shots of hard liquor, you observe as a homeless man whom no one really knows -- a nobody -- walks into the bar. You decided to strike up some conversation with him. You tell him your sad story. He tells you a little about him. But then he reveals to you and only you why he's at the bar that night: he's celebrating. He saved enough money to buy a lottery ticket. From watching a TV through a store window, he found out that the lottery ticket he bought is the winning ticket for 150 million dollars. He hasn't told anybody that he won except you (not that he would really know who to tell because he doesn't really know anybody and no one really knows him). He plans to claim the lottery the next day. While listening to his story, your mind begins to contemplate how the winning lottery ticket would solve all your problems. He calls it a night and heads out to his desolate sleeping place knowing that it will be the last time he will ever have to sleep in poverty. Yet you follow him as he leaves the bar. Blissful and contemplative of the next day, he doesn't notice that you have followed him. He is sleeps in such a desolate and remote area that there is no one around and it is pitch dark. You're absolutely convinced that if you kill him and take the lottery ticket, no one would ever know that you killed him and you would get away with it. You will get away with the crime Why shouldn't you, given your moral relativism / subjectivism?

Wouldn't it be reasonable and in your self-interest for you to do so? I mean, after all, according to naturalism, aren't we just a bunch of randomly ordered matter that will inevitably die and become more randomly ordered matter?

This would be true if "self-interest" was a simplistic as high school biology would have you think.

Unless you are a sociopath or were socialized under extreme conditions, the act of causing physical harm, especially without a rationale like revenge, creates a cognitive divide in our wish to consider ourselves "good" and our wish to fulfill immediate desires.

Would 150 million dollars be in your interest? Yes, but there is an enormous psychological toll associated with taking a life.

Go talk to a soldier sometime. They killed under the most justifiable circumstances possible - fighting for their country and fighting for their lives against people who want to kill them.

You'll find guilt, post traumatic stress disorder, nightmares, depression, and all sorts of add-ons. And that's for murders our society would call JUSTIFIED.
DakotaKrafick
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4/8/2012 4:18:32 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/8/2012 4:15:17 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
<3

Ok, so now can I get an honest answer? I wrote you a heart, goddammit!

I appreciate it and will cherish it forever, but my answer remains unchanged.
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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4/8/2012 5:04:34 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 4/8/2012 3:10:11 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 4/8/2012 12:29:17 PM, drafterman wrote:

Because it's immoral. Derp. Before you ask "Why?" just consider than any answer is better than, "Because some goat herders 5000 years ago said so."


That's a just a silly tautology. It's immoral because it's immoral. And you seem to be under the impression that I believe that all moral values and duties are derived from the Bible. Ya I don't...

It's not a tautology because you didn't ask why it was immoral.



Wouldn't it be reasonable and in your self-interest for you to do so? I mean, after all, according to naturalism, aren't we just a bunch of randomly ordered matter that will inevitably die and become more randomly ordered matter?



Non sequitur.

Thank you for completely deflecting the questions. No, really. It took talent.

Maybe if you spent the energy you just used being sarcastic on making worthwhile questions, I'd answer them.