Total Posts:16|Showing Posts:1-16
Jump to topic:

Ethics

vivalayeo
Posts: 142
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/15/2010 3:50:10 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
On Monday I woke up at 6am, I proceeded downstairs to go and get a shower. As i entered the bathroom I saw a dead spider curled up beside the shower screen. Anyway, as I showered I had a thought, and that thought has been growing on me all week. We are currently covering ethics in Philosophy, and I was wondering what you guys would think as to how this goes.

How does a spider know it is a spider, or a dog, a dog? Some of you may notice that most dogs do not reckonise their own reflection in a mirror. So I can suppose that if a spider were to look into a mirror, it probably, wouldn't reckonise itself either. Therefore, how does a spider know to act like a spider? (Build a web, climb on walls, scare unsuspecting arachnaphobes) or how does a Dog know to act like a dog?

Either they learn these actions through their upbringing, but even so, what if they were to be raised by a different animal, would their mannerism's change? I don't think so, no matter if a dog spends its time growing and learning from its mother, or a human, it will still act like a dog.

Therefore why do dogs and spiders, not kill other dogs and spiders? If they can't reckonise themselves in a mirror, how could they reckonise something of the same species as them? Spiders kill flies, not other spiders. Dogs chase cats not other dogs. (I admit this can be debatable, but you get the jist of what I am proposing)

Therefore, can we not propose that these animals have an innate feeling of self and therefore morality that is subjective to their species? And if so, can't that be the same for humans as well? We share the same life processes as animals so what makes us different?

Now if that is the case, I argue that humans have an innate sense of morality from birth. But surely that doesn't explain why there is so much evil in the world perpetuated by humans? Well it does. Consider this, all humans are born morally good, but through time, due to factors such as culture, upbringing, parental influences and general society of that time, the child learn's to be bigotted, learns to hate, and learns to be intolerant of others. They learn to divide humans into classes, races and cultures, and that is where a lot of our problems arise.

For instance, two children are at a play group. One is black and the other is white. They play together happily, and have a lot of fun. Then 10-20 years down the line they meet again, without having known that they had met before. Due to their upbringing (maybe their father or mother had a certain dislike of white/black people + a general feel in society that black and white define a person) These two, now would not dream of talking to eachother, or may feel a dislike or even contempt for the other because of the colour of their skin?

Another example, and I really hate using these. Wouldn't you say that Hitler was morally pure as a young child? He just like the rest of us, liked to read story books, play with toys and enjoy playing with his friends. Something that is hard to imagine after what he became.

What do you guys think? Is there an innate sense of moral good? And if so, would you agree that society perverts that moral good, and therefore produces some pretty nasty people?
vivalayeo
Posts: 142
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/15/2010 3:51:46 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/15/2010 3:50:10 AM, vivalayeo wrote:
On Monday I woke up at 6am, I proceeded downstairs to go and get a shower. As i entered the bathroom I saw a dead spider curled up beside the shower screen. Anyway, as I showered I had a thought, and that thought has been growing on me all week. We are currently covering ethics in Philosophy, and I was wondering what you guys would think as to how this goes.

How does a spider know it is a spider, or a dog, a dog? Some of you may notice that most dogs do not reckonise their own reflection in a mirror. So I can suppose that if a spider were to look into a mirror, it probably, wouldn't reckonise itself either. Therefore, how does a spider know to act like a spider? (Build a web, climb on walls, scare unsuspecting arachnaphobes) or how does a Dog know to act like a dog?

Either they learn these actions through their upbringing, or they have been genetically imprinted, but even so, what if they were to be raised by a different animal, would their mannerism's change? I don't think so, no matter if a dog spends its time growing and learning from its mother, or a human, it will still act like a dog.

Therefore why do dogs and spiders, not kill other dogs and spiders? If they can't reckonise themselves in a mirror, how could they reckonise something of the same species as them? Spiders kill flies, not other spiders. Dogs chase cats not other dogs. (I admit this can be debatable, but you get the jist of what I am proposing)

Therefore, can we not propose that these animals have an innate feeling of self and therefore morality that is subjective to their species? And if so, can't that be the same for humans as well? We share the same life processes as animals so what makes us different?

Now if that is the case, I argue that humans have an innate sense of morality from birth. But surely that doesn't explain why there is so much evil in the world perpetuated by humans? Well it does. Consider this, all humans are born morally good, but through time, due to factors such as culture, upbringing, parental influences and general society of that time, the child learn's to be bigotted, learns to hate, and learns to be intolerant of others. They learn to divide humans into classes, races and cultures, and that is where a lot of our problems arise.

For instance, two children are at a play group. One is black and the other is white. They play together happily, and have a lot of fun. Then 10-20 years down the line they meet again, without having known that they had met before. Due to their upbringing (maybe their father or mother had a certain dislike of white/black people + a general feel in society that black and white define a person) These two, now would not dream of talking to eachother, or may feel a dislike or even contempt for the other because of the colour of their skin?

Another example, and I really hate using these. Wouldn't you say that Hitler was morally pure as a young child? He just like the rest of us, liked to read story books, play with toys and enjoy playing with his friends. Something that is hard to imagine after what he became.

What do you guys think? Is there an innate sense of moral good? And if so, would you agree that society perverts that moral good, and therefore produces some pretty nasty people?
Puck
Posts: 6,457
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/15/2010 3:58:58 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
All of what you prescribe to animals can be explained via evolution and has recently been done so in the science forum so I suggest you look there (Issues with evolution thread iirc). No sense of self is needed.
vivalayeo
Posts: 142
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/15/2010 4:25:34 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/15/2010 3:58:58 AM, Puck wrote:
All of what you prescribe to animals can be explained via evolution and has recently been done so in the science forum so I suggest you look there (Issues with evolution thread iirc). No sense of self is needed.

I do understand the arguments from evolution for ethics
Puck
Posts: 6,457
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/15/2010 5:20:15 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/15/2010 4:25:34 AM, vivalayeo wrote:
I do understand the arguments from evolution for ethics

What you posited has nothing to do with ethics (that animals exhibit the behaviour you described).
MTGandP
Posts: 702
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/15/2010 5:47:18 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
There is certainly an innate sense of moral good. I don't think the innate sense is modified much by society, but modern society does force us to apply our moral programming in different ways. It's relatively new for us to interact with thousands of people throughout our lifetime, and to travel to different parts of the world and intermingle with different cultures.

Your point seems somewhat self-referential when you talk about all the evil in the world. I think you need to define "evil," because you got your idea of evil from essentially the same place as where those "evil" people got their idea of good. What makes your ideas different from theirs?
vivalayeo
Posts: 142
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/15/2010 6:38:17 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/15/2010 5:20:15 AM, Puck wrote:
At 9/15/2010 4:25:34 AM, vivalayeo wrote:
I do understand the arguments from evolution for ethics

What you posited has nothing to do with ethics (that animals exhibit the behaviour you described).

I'm arguing that if animals have an innate sense of moral good (for their species) surely humans have the same, except it is perverted as the child grows. This doesn't happen within animals because they are not as intelligent as us. So yes, it is about morals. I think you may have read the first few lines, then decided to post without reading. Whatever floats your boat
innomen
Posts: 10,052
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/15/2010 7:02:59 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Are you equating the instincts for species survival to that of what we consider morality and ethics, or are you also arguing that morality and ethics evolved from this set of instincts? Spiders aren't particularly "moral" by an objective sense, they eat their young.

You do recognize the difference between human reasoning and general intellect over an animal's sense of instinct right?
jharry
Posts: 4,984
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/15/2010 7:11:57 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/15/2010 6:38:17 AM, vivalayeo wrote:
At 9/15/2010 5:20:15 AM, Puck wrote:
At 9/15/2010 4:25:34 AM, vivalayeo wrote:
I do understand the arguments from evolution for ethics

What you posited has nothing to do with ethics (that animals exhibit the behaviour you described).

I'm arguing that if animals have an innate sense of moral good (for their species) surely humans have the same, except it is perverted as the child grows. This doesn't happen within animals because they are not as intelligent as us. So yes, it is about morals. I think you may have read the first few lines, then decided to post without reading. Whatever floats your boat

I'm sorry but I'm having a hard time following that animals have morals at all. Won't having morals require understanding morals or at least the concept of it?

It seems you are saying that humans are born with morals. Children play together in harmony. I'm wondering if you remember kindergarten. I was expelled from kindergarten.

Let me ask you about tendencies that lead to "sin" or no morals.

Greed?

Lust?

Envy?

Pride?

Vanity?

Gluttony?

Wrath?

Would you say humans require these "sins" from society?

I looked in the issue with evolution thread but I didn't find anything relevant to this conversation. Maybe a goose pushing around an egg but nothing to do with ethics.
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen
jharry
Posts: 4,984
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/15/2010 7:31:16 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/15/2010 7:18:54 AM, innomen wrote:
"I was expelled from kindergarten." - Jharry

Funny

I know right. Dad did think it was that funny. Most people that knew me as a child thought I was an angel. But I had that other side too. That is why I doubt the ability of being born with morals already instilled.
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/15/2010 9:05:51 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/15/2010 3:50:10 AM, vivalayeo wrote:

What do you guys think? Is there an innate sense of moral good? And if so, would you agree that society perverts that moral good, and therefore produces some pretty nasty people?

If all humas are born with an innate sense of moral good but yet society corrupts that moral good how do you account for the first society being producing nasty people?

All these people, pre-society, would have been morally good, correct?

Also, animals having any sense of moral obligation is news to me. When a lion runs down a gazelle and tears out it's jugular it doesn't seem to be wrong for the lion to do that.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/15/2010 9:12:02 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/15/2010 9:05:51 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/15/2010 3:50:10 AM, vivalayeo wrote:

What do you guys think? Is there an innate sense of moral good? And if so, would you agree that society perverts that moral good, and therefore produces some pretty nasty people?

If all humas are born with an innate sense of moral good but yet society corrupts that moral good how do you account for the first society being producing nasty people?

All these people, pre-society, would have been morally good, correct?

Also, animals having any sense of moral obligation is news to me. When a lion runs down a gazelle and tears out it's jugular it doesn't seem to be wrong for the lion to do that.

Doesn't the same criticism apply if you assume humans were born without morals? How did the first moral societies come about? I think it's safe to say that humans are born with a limited sense of morality that is largely shaped by culture. Our moral intuitions aren't perfect and we don't always choose to follow them, but they're definitely there.

Also, I think that there's good evidence that certain primates, dolphins, and even elephants have some limited sense of morality.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/15/2010 9:40:51 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/15/2010 9:12:02 AM, J.Kenyon wrote:
Doesn't the same criticism apply if you assume humans were born without morals? How did the first moral societies come about?

Yeah, but I don't think humans are born amoral.

I think it's safe to say that humans are born with a limited sense of morality that is largely shaped by culture. Our moral intuitions aren't perfect and we don't always choose to follow them, but they're definitely there.

I agree but I was just questioning the argument about humans being born morally good. I took that to mean that humans are born entirely good and only through society could become less than good. I don't agree with that.

Also, I think that there's good evidence that certain primates, dolphins, and even elephants have some limited sense of morality.

Depends on how you define morality.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/15/2010 12:47:47 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Morality is simply the name we use to describe the concious framework we use to judge what causes a negative emotional response in others or oneself.

This framework is learned, although to a greater or lesser extent is based upon the negative emotional responses we all feel, which (to a greater or lesser extent) is not.

This concious rational, however, differs greatly between countries, races and through history.

Morality is learned; as the Zeitgiest changes as time moves on. Things humans did thousands of years ago, such as nailing each other to peices of wood and forcing each other to fight to the death for sport is morally abhorrent to us now (although for some reason ice-hockey is tolerated).
J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/15/2010 7:56:30 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/15/2010 9:40:51 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Yeah, but I don't think humans are born amoral.

My bad. Didn't read the whole thread.