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Archetypal Morality.

SM2
Posts: 546
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2/1/2016 12:00:58 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
Two common views on morality:
1. Morality is objective; it exists outside of us.
2. Morality is subjective; it's arbitrary opinion.

1 vs 2 has been argued to death, so I won't elaborate on that. Instead, I present a 3rd type that I read about a while ago:

3. Morality is archetypal; it's determined by your societal role.

Summary at bottom for TL;DR.

We can illustrate this using some typical RPG classes:

Warrior
Emphasis: Honour and glory in battle.

Paladin
Emphasis: Justice and law.

Mage
Emphasis: Pursuit of knowledge.

Healer
Emphasis: Preserve life and do no harm.

Rogue
Emphasis: Don't get caught.

Since each archetype revolves around a different guiding principle, their moralities are different. We can illustrate this with a few ethical problems:

---

1. "Is it okay to kill people with poison?"

Warrior: No, it's cowardly. Face them in battle.

Paladin: No, murder is against the law.

Mage: Can I have some poison for scientific research?

Healer: No, life is sacred.

Rogue: Sure, it means I don't have to bloody my knife.

---

2. "Should we save the panda, or let it go extinct?"

Warrior: Boring! Who wants to arm-wrestle?

Paladin: Save it. Our treaty requires that we do so.

Mage: Save it. If it goes extinct, we can't study it.

Healer: Save it. Pandas are living creatures, and should be preserved.

Rogue: How much could I get for its pelt?

---

3. "Transvestites."

Warrior: Yuck! Men should be manly!

Paladin: If it's legal, I don't care.

Mage: Interesting. I'd like to study this.

Healer: It doesn't hurt anybody.

Rogue: Embrace your inner weirdness, my friend!

---

4. "Johnny molests children."

Warrior: That bastard! I'll rip him limb from limb!

Paladin: Johnny, I have a warrant for your arrest!

Mage: How can we best prevent Johnny from re-offending?

Healer: The poor children! We must help them!

Rogue: Johnny ruined my childhood.

---

To summarise:
- Different moralities for different people.
- Moral rules are determined by character.
- Moral rules are non-arbitrary.
- Different archetypes can disagree on issues.
- When they do agree, it's often for different reasons.
- Disagreement is normal and healthy.
- No archetype is innately better than any other.
- Compatible archetypes can be combined, both mentally and socially.
- It's how morality actually works in the real world.

The source of the initial concept: http://norse-mythology.org...
Heterodox
Posts: 293
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2/1/2016 12:06:48 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/1/2016 12:00:58 AM, SM2 wrote:
Two common views on morality:
1. Morality is objective; it exists outside of us.
2. Morality is subjective; it's arbitrary opinion.

1 vs 2 has been argued to death, so I won't elaborate on that. Instead, I present a 3rd type that I read about a while ago:

3. Morality is archetypal; it's determined by your societal role.

Summary at bottom for TL;DR.

We can illustrate this using some typical RPG classes:

Warrior
Emphasis: Honour and glory in battle.

Paladin
Emphasis: Justice and law.

Mage
Emphasis: Pursuit of knowledge.

Healer
Emphasis: Preserve life and do no harm.

Rogue
Emphasis: Don't get caught.

Since each archetype revolves around a different guiding principle, their moralities are different. We can illustrate this with a few ethical problems:

---

1. "Is it okay to kill people with poison?"

Warrior: No, it's cowardly. Face them in battle.

Paladin: No, murder is against the law.

Mage: Can I have some poison for scientific research?

Healer: No, life is sacred.

Rogue: Sure, it means I don't have to bloody my knife.

---

2. "Should we save the panda, or let it go extinct?"

Warrior: Boring! Who wants to arm-wrestle?

Paladin: Save it. Our treaty requires that we do so.

Mage: Save it. If it goes extinct, we can't study it.

Healer: Save it. Pandas are living creatures, and should be preserved.

Rogue: How much could I get for its pelt?

---

3. "Transvestites."

Warrior: Yuck! Men should be manly!

Paladin: If it's legal, I don't care.

Mage: Interesting. I'd like to study this.

Healer: It doesn't hurt anybody.

Rogue: Embrace your inner weirdness, my friend!

---

4. "Johnny molests children."

Warrior: That bastard! I'll rip him limb from limb!

Paladin: Johnny, I have a warrant for your arrest!

Mage: How can we best prevent Johnny from re-offending?

Healer: The poor children! We must help them!

Rogue: Johnny ruined my childhood.

---

To summarise:
- Different moralities for different people.
- Moral rules are determined by character.
- Moral rules are non-arbitrary.
- Different archetypes can disagree on issues.
- When they do agree, it's often for different reasons.
- Disagreement is normal and healthy.
- No archetype is innately better than any other.
- Compatible archetypes can be combined, both mentally and socially.
- It's how morality actually works in the real world.

The source of the initial concept: http://norse-mythology.org...

Isn't 3 just a sub-type of 2?
Heterodox
Posts: 293
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2/1/2016 12:27:36 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/1/2016 12:09:47 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 2/1/2016 12:06:48 AM, Heterodox wrote:
Isn't 3 just a sub-type of 2?

2 is arbitrary. 3 is not.

Would you say that most people fall under an archetype? How many archetypes are there? Enough to be considered arbitrary? When does opinion move from arbitrary to not arbitrary?
SM2
Posts: 546
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2/1/2016 12:32:04 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/1/2016 12:27:36 AM, Heterodox wrote:
At 2/1/2016 12:09:47 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 2/1/2016 12:06:48 AM, Heterodox wrote:
Isn't 3 just a sub-type of 2?

2 is arbitrary. 3 is not.

Would you say that most people fall under an archetype? How many archetypes are there? Enough to be considered arbitrary? When does opinion move from arbitrary to not arbitrary?

Everybody fits one or more archetypes.
The number is finite, debatable, and not relevant.
"Arbitrary" implies there's no underlying structure. Archetypes are structured.
Opinions are derived from worldviews. We're talking about the latter here.
Heterodox
Posts: 293
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2/1/2016 12:34:12 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/1/2016 12:32:04 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 2/1/2016 12:27:36 AM, Heterodox wrote:
At 2/1/2016 12:09:47 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 2/1/2016 12:06:48 AM, Heterodox wrote:
Isn't 3 just a sub-type of 2?

2 is arbitrary. 3 is not.

Would you say that most people fall under an archetype? How many archetypes are there? Enough to be considered arbitrary? When does opinion move from arbitrary to not arbitrary?

Everybody fits one or more archetypes.
The number is finite, debatable, and not relevant.
"Arbitrary" implies there's no underlying structure. Archetypes are structured.
Opinions are derived from worldviews. We're talking about the latter here.

Sorry, I just don't see any difference between 2 and 3 other than 3 is 2 with restrictions.
SM2
Posts: 546
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2/1/2016 12:46:29 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/1/2016 12:34:12 AM, Heterodox wrote:
At 2/1/2016 12:32:04 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 2/1/2016 12:27:36 AM, Heterodox wrote:
At 2/1/2016 12:09:47 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 2/1/2016 12:06:48 AM, Heterodox wrote:
Isn't 3 just a sub-type of 2?

2 is arbitrary. 3 is not.

Would you say that most people fall under an archetype? How many archetypes are there? Enough to be considered arbitrary? When does opinion move from arbitrary to not arbitrary?

Everybody fits one or more archetypes.
The number is finite, debatable, and not relevant.
"Arbitrary" implies there's no underlying structure. Archetypes are structured.
Opinions are derived from worldviews. We're talking about the latter here.

Sorry, I just don't see any difference between 2 and 3 other than 3 is 2 with restrictions.

The difference is in the approach, not the outcome.

Example:
1. Cats are right, dogs are wrong. Be a cat.
2. You can pick and choose from cat traits and dog traits.
3. Cats are cats, and dogs are dogs. Just be yourself.
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,870
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2/1/2016 2:46:37 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/1/2016 12:32:04 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 2/1/2016 12:27:36 AM, Heterodox wrote:
At 2/1/2016 12:09:47 AM, SM2 wrote:
At 2/1/2016 12:06:48 AM, Heterodox wrote:
Isn't 3 just a sub-type of 2?

2 is arbitrary. 3 is not.

Would you say that most people fall under an archetype? How many archetypes are there? Enough to be considered arbitrary? When does opinion move from arbitrary to not arbitrary?

Everybody fits one or more archetypes.
The number is finite, debatable, and not relevant.
"Arbitrary" implies there's no underlying structure. Archetypes are structured.
Opinions are derived from worldviews. We're talking about the latter here.
If opinions are derived from worldviews then the archetypes have a worldview which results in an opinion. There's no distinction here.
keithprosser
Posts: 2,029
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2/1/2016 5:10:01 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
Interesting idea, but for which archetypes is it right to kill without reason? For which archetypes is it right to cause unneccessary pain or suffering? For which archetypes is it right to steal from the poor? For which archetype is rape and incest allowable?

Certainly in a complex society individuals have specific roles which dictate the details of the behaviour (vicars and soldiers, say), but I think that there is nonetheless an over-arching morality that applies to all.