Total Posts:59|Showing Posts:1-30|Last Page
Jump to topic:

Moral Disengagement

FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/23/2011 10:22:52 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I put this in science since I'd say it has more to do with psychology than philosophy.

What is Moral Disengagement?
"Moral disengagement is a term from social psychology for the process of convincing the self that ethical standards do not apply to oneself in a particular context, by separating moral reactions from inhumane conduct by disabling the mechanism of self-condemnation.
Generally, moral standards are adopted to serve as guides and deterrents for conduct. Once internalized control has developed, people regulate their actions by the standards they apply to themselves. They do things that give them self-satisfaction and a sense of self-worth and refrain from behaving in ways that violate their moral standards. Self-sanctions keep conduct in line with these internal standards. However, moral standards only function as fixed internal regulators of conduct when self-regulatory mechanisms have been activated, and there are many psychological processes to prevent this activation. These processes are forms of moral disengagement of which there are four categories."
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Examples:

The Standford Experiment:
"The Stanford prison experiment was a study of the psychological effects of becoming a prisoner or prison guard. The experiment was conducted from August 14th to 20th , 1971 by a team of researchers led by Psychology professor Philip Zimbardo at Stanford University. Twenty-four students were selected out of 75 to play the prisoners and live in a mock prison in the basement of the Stanford psychology building. Roles were assigned randomly. The participants adapted to their roles well beyond what even Zimbardo himself expected, leading the "Officers" to display authoritarian measures and ultimately to subject some of the prisoners to torture. In turn, many of the prisoners developed passive attitudes and accepted physical abuse, and, at the request of the guards, readily inflicted punishment on other prisoners who attempted to stop it. The experiment even affected Zimbardo himself, who, in his capacity as "Prison Superintendent," lost sight of his role as psychologist and permitted the abuse to continue as though it were a real prison. Five of the prisoners were upset enough by the process to quit the experiment early, and the entire experiment was abruptly stopped after only six days. The experimental process and the results remain controversial. The entire experiment was filmed, with excerpts made publicly available."
http://en.wikipedia.org...

The Milgram experiment:
"The Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures was a series of social psychology experiments conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram, which measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal conscience. Milgram first described his research in 1963 in an article published in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, and later discussed his findings in greater depth in his 1974 book, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View.
The experiments began in July 1961, three months after the start of the trial of German Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Milgram devised his psychological study to answer the question: "Was it that Eichmann and his accomplices in the Holocaust had mutual intent, in at least with regard to the goals of the Holocaust?" In other words, "Was there a mutual sense of morality among those involved?" Milgram's testing suggested that it could have been that the millions of accomplices were merely following orders, despite violating their deepest moral beliefs. The experiments have been repeated many times, with consistent results within societies, but different percentages across the globe. The experiments were also controversial, and considered by some scientists[which?] to be unethical or psychologically abusive, motivating more thorough review boards for the use of human subjects."
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Lets just start talking about this.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Phoenix_Reaper
Posts: 318
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/23/2011 10:37:51 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I completely agree.
Phoenix Reaper - To rise from the ashes of defeat and claim your soul.

: At 3/15/2011 4:23:07 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
: Taste is for pussïes. Be a nihilist. Drink vodka.
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/23/2011 10:39:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
The people who do these things probably didn't have very strong convictions to begin with. If they did, it was a strong loyalty to authority.

Wankers.
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
Phoenix_Reaper
Posts: 318
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/23/2011 10:40:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/23/2011 10:39:18 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
The people who do these things probably didn't have very strong convictions to begin with. If they did, it was a strong loyalty to authority.

Wankers.

Convictions are not a good thing.
Phoenix Reaper - To rise from the ashes of defeat and claim your soul.

: At 3/15/2011 4:23:07 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
: Taste is for pussïes. Be a nihilist. Drink vodka.
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/23/2011 11:26:17 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/23/2011 10:40:35 PM, Phoenix_Reaper wrote:
At 5/23/2011 10:39:18 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
The people who do these things probably didn't have very strong convictions to begin with. If they did, it was a strong loyalty to authority.

Wankers.

Convictions are not a good thing.

Even if that conviction is not kill innocent people?
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/23/2011 11:41:38 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/23/2011 10:40:35 PM, Phoenix_Reaper wrote:
At 5/23/2011 10:39:18 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
The people who do these things probably didn't have very strong convictions to begin with. If they did, it was a strong loyalty to authority.

Wankers.

Convictions are not a good thing.

Depends on the conviction. Also, you have to ask the question.. Good for what? There are certain situations where a certain type of conviction is good for a particular type of goal.
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
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/23/2011 11:46:01 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/23/2011 11:26:17 PM, OMGJustinBieber wrote:
At 5/23/2011 10:40:35 PM, Phoenix_Reaper wrote:
At 5/23/2011 10:39:18 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
The people who do these things probably didn't have very strong convictions to begin with. If they did, it was a strong loyalty to authority.

Wankers.

Convictions are not a good thing.

Even if that conviction is not kill innocent people?

Any conviction.

But the point is people change in situations that demand change.
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/23/2011 11:48:28 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
"Banality of evil is a phrase coined by Hannah Arendt and incorporated in the title of her 1963 work Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil.[1] It describes the thesis that the great evils in history generally, and the Holocaust in particular, were not executed by fanatics or sociopaths, but rather by ordinary people who accepted the premises of their state and therefore participated with the view that their actions were normal."
http://en.wikipedia.org...
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/24/2011 12:13:56 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
A much less drastic, but identical thing happens when a worker is elevated to a supervisor. There is a very high frequency of a sudden and dramatic chance in their relationship which can be dramatically accelerated with even minor influence from management. It seems unbelievable until you see it.
belle
Posts: 4,113
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/24/2011 12:22:31 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/23/2011 10:39:18 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
The people who do these things probably didn't have very strong convictions to begin with. If they did, it was a strong loyalty to authority.

Wankers.

the whole point of these experiments was that the people involved were just "normal people". not that "normal people" are always the smartest, but at the very least they don't go around committing violent acts against others and would claim to be against them if asked. nonetheless, in the right circumstances, they become "evil". the milgram experiments have been confirmed again and again. people don't know themselves as well as they think they do.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Rob1_Billion
Posts: 1,300
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/24/2011 3:18:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/24/2011 12:22:31 AM, belle wrote:
At 5/23/2011 10:39:18 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
The people who do these things probably didn't have very strong convictions to begin with. If they did, it was a strong loyalty to authority.

Wankers.

Agreed.

the whole point of these experiments was that the people involved were just "normal people". not that "normal people" are always the smartest, but at the very least they don't go around committing violent acts against others and would claim to be against them if asked. nonetheless, in the right circumstances, they become "evil". the milgram experiments have been confirmed again and again. people don't know themselves as well as they think they do.

I would say that "normal people," for whatever reason, are really not that morally coherent in the first place. I can only guess, but I would say that if people were more morally aware that they would be resistant to these effects. Most people have difficulty discerning right from wrong; they are heavily reliant on rules - being told directly what is appropriate and what's not - and not willing to explore to true moral implications of their actions. Most people are quick to turn to immorality if it can be justified within the structure of certain rules they are subject to.

The fact that some of our strongest thinkers are moral relativists makes this even more troublesome. The intellectually weak care not to discuss morality, while the intellectually superior use their reasoning as a shield against it.
kfc
belle
Posts: 4,113
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/24/2011 3:38:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/24/2011 3:18:37 PM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
Most people have difficulty discerning right from wrong; they are heavily reliant on rules - being told directly what is appropriate and what's not - and not willing to explore to true moral implications of their actions. Most people are quick to turn to immorality if it can be justified within the structure of certain rules they are subject to.

while some "moral" positions are clearly learned (being gay is evil, etc), its just as obvious that we have strong moral intuitions in the absence of any appeal to rules. when asked it *sounds* rule based because people can't explain themselves- "its just wrong". this doesn't necessarily imply that they get their morality from being told whats right and whats wrong, just that they haven't sought to justify their intuitions (which i'll grant you most people don't). the problem is that their moral intuitions are often times mutually contradictory, leading them to violate one in pursuit of another. your insistence on making it about rules seems unfounded. its just a whole lot of fuzzy, lazy thinking.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,325
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/24/2011 4:04:25 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/24/2011 3:38:41 PM, belle wrote:
At 5/24/2011 3:18:37 PM, Rob1_Billion wrote:
Most people have difficulty discerning right from wrong; they are heavily reliant on rules - being told directly what is appropriate and what's not - and not willing to explore to true moral implications of their actions. Most people are quick to turn to immorality if it can be justified within the structure of certain rules they are subject to.

while some "moral" positions are clearly learned (being gay is evil, etc), its just as obvious that we have strong moral intuitions in the absence of any appeal to rules. when asked it *sounds* rule based because people can't explain themselves- "its just wrong". this doesn't necessarily imply that they get their morality from being told whats right and whats wrong, just that they haven't sought to justify their intuitions (which i'll grant you most people don't). the problem is that their moral intuitions are often times mutually contradictory, leading them to violate one in pursuit of another. your insistence on making it about rules seems unfounded. its just a whole lot of fuzzy, lazy thinking.

great post!
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/24/2011 4:15:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/24/2011 3:38:41 PM, belle wrote:

while some "moral" positions are clearly learned (being gay is evil, etc), its just as obvious that we have strong moral intuitions in the absence of any appeal to rules.

No offense, but you only think that because of what you have been taught. There are lots of places and cultures where they will think something is perfectly moral which you would not.
belle
Posts: 4,113
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/24/2011 4:35:21 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/24/2011 4:15:19 PM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
At 5/24/2011 3:38:41 PM, belle wrote:

while some "moral" positions are clearly learned (being gay is evil, etc), its just as obvious that we have strong moral intuitions in the absence of any appeal to rules.

No offense, but you only think that because of what you have been taught. There are lots of places and cultures where they will think something is perfectly moral which you would not.

of course... i don't see how what i said contradicts that. not only do i allow that some moral positions are learned, but i think that all moral positions are culturally mediated. the fact that people have strong moral intuitions doesn't preclude those intuitions being partially shaped by culture. something that seems normal in one culture could seem very strange indeed to another. my point was that people aren't following *rules* when they reason morally... they just have strong feelings about whether something is right or wrong. its obvious though that not all moral positions spring from culture alone... even very young children have been shown to engage in altruistic behaviors, showing that moral sentiments are at least partially instinctual.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
innomen
Posts: 10,052
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/24/2011 4:53:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/23/2011 10:39:18 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
The people who do these things probably didn't have very strong convictions to begin with. If they did, it was a strong loyalty to authority.

Germans.
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/24/2011 5:39:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/24/2011 4:53:41 PM, innomen wrote:
At 5/23/2011 10:39:18 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
The people who do these things probably didn't have very strong convictions to begin with. If they did, it was a strong loyalty to authority.

Germans.

lul
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
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/24/2011 5:56:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/24/2011 4:35:21 PM, belle wrote :

... even very young children have been shown to engage in altruistic behaviors, showing that moral sentiments are at least partially instinctual.

Children do seem to hold to moral objectivity, see :

http://dingo.sbs.arizona.edu...

However work by people such as Darcia Narvaez will argue that is because of the way the children are raised, it is not inherent.

This is considerable contention in this as well as other ideas about inherent properties such as for example are we hard wired for Religion.
Skeptical
Posts: 6
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/24/2011 9:28:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/23/2011 10:39:18 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
The people who do these things probably didn't have very strong convictions to begin with. If they did, it was a strong loyalty to authority.

Quite the opposite, their problem is that they had a rather nasty set of convictions created by the authoritarian society in which they lived.

Empathy is the basis of morality, our brains are hard wired for empathy:
http://www.ted.com...

Basically, when you see another person experience something or feel an emotion some of the correlated neurons in your brain fire as if you were having the same experience.

However, we also have a very strong drive to follow authority figures. The "externalized" morality provided by those authority figures can easily override our natural empathy and reasoning. It's easier to externalize morality than to think things through yourself.

A good modern example are religious fundamentalists. The old testament of the Bible is absolutely not a good source of moral guidance. The fact that stoning homosexuals or committing genocide is evil under any circumstance should be readily apparent to any normal person, but there are an awful lot of people who believe it's the just word of god because their authority figures said so.
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/27/2011 9:54:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/24/2011 9:28:37 PM, Skeptical wrote:

A good modern example are religious fundamentalists. The old testament of the Bible is absolutely not a good source of moral guidance. The fact that stoning homosexuals or committing genocide is evil under any circumstance should be readily apparent to any normal person, but there are an awful lot of people who believe it's the just word of god because their authority figures said so.

That is not a just example, I can as easily claim the following of "science fundamentalists". Walk onto a college campus and into the physical sciences department and ask random people the following questions :

1) What is Newton's second law

2) What is Newton's equation for gravitational attraction

Almost everyone will answer these, correctly. Then ask them :

1) Why are the two proportional constants in those equations the same?

Now because they can't answer that does it mean they have mindless faith in physics? Note most of them will not even recognize it as a question because they have simply accepted it without thought.
nonentity
Posts: 5,008
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/27/2011 10:13:52 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 9:54:30 PM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
At 5/24/2011 9:28:37 PM, Skeptical wrote:

A good modern example are religious fundamentalists. The old testament of the Bible is absolutely not a good source of moral guidance. The fact that stoning homosexuals or committing genocide is evil under any circumstance should be readily apparent to any normal person, but there are an awful lot of people who believe it's the just word of god because their authority figures said so.

That is not a just example, I can as easily claim the following of "science fundamentalists". Walk onto a college campus and into the physical sciences department and ask random people the following questions :

1) What is Newton's second law

2) What is Newton's equation for gravitational attraction

Almost everyone will answer these, correctly. Then ask them :

1) Why are the two proportional constants in those equations the same?

Now because they can't answer that does it mean they have mindless faith in physics? Note most of them will not even recognize it as a question because they have simply accepted it without thought.

Science is not the same as religion though... science is the systematic gathering of information. Those with faith in religion do not hold their religion to nearly the same standard of thought as those who trust science. Science is (or should be) rigorously empirically tested over time and by multiple sources. When something doesn't fit, the theory is thrown out. Not with religion. When something doesnt fit (eg. evolution) excuses and accomodations are made (ie. God did it).
nonentity
Posts: 5,008
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/27/2011 10:15:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 10:13:52 PM, nonentity wrote:

Science is (or should be) rigorously empirically tested over time and by multiple sources. When something doesn't fit, the theory is thrown out. Not with religion. When something doesnt fit (eg. evolution) excuses and accomodations are made (ie. God facilitated it).
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/27/2011 11:23:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 10:13:52 PM, nonentity wrote:

Those with faith in religion do not hold their religion to nearly the same standard of thought as those who trust science.

Want to debate that?
nonentity
Posts: 5,008
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/27/2011 11:42:20 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
The "standard of thought" part makes it a little too vague, but if you'd like to send me challenge with the resolution along the lines of "Religious faith is held to the same standard as science" that would be fine. I'd prefer to keep it in the context of Christianity though, if you don't mind.

Send it [after] this coming Tuesday though. I have a take home exam >.<
tkubok
Posts: 5,044
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/28/2011 3:43:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 11:23:12 PM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
At 5/27/2011 10:13:52 PM, nonentity wrote:

Those with faith in religion do not hold their religion to nearly the same standard of thought as those who trust science.

Want to debate that?

The difference between Faith and Trust, is that Trust is something that is earned, while faith is not. We trust science because science has consistently produced valid, accurate results. We call it "Having faith" in religion, because Religion has consistently failed in producing valid, accurate results, but people who believe in that religion, still believe regardless.
Skeptical
Posts: 6
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/28/2011 7:45:11 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 9:54:30 PM, Cliff.Stamp wrote:
That is not a just example, I can as easily claim the following of "science fundamentalists". Walk onto a college campus and into the physical sciences department and ask random people the following questions :

1) What is Newton's second law

2) What is Newton's equation for gravitational attraction

Almost everyone will answer these, correctly. Then ask them :

1) Why are the two proportional constants in those equations the same?

Now because they can't answer that does it mean they have mindless faith in physics? Note most of them will not even recognize it as a question because they have simply accepted it without thought.

It's a little difficult to answer a nonsensical question...

Newton's second law states that net force = mass x acceleration.

Newton's law of universal gravitation is net force = G((M1*M2)/R^2) where M1 and M2 are the masses, R is the distance between the masses, and G is the gravitational constant

What the heck are you talking about?
Skeptical
Posts: 6
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/28/2011 8:25:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Sorry for the double post...

Cliff.Stamp, are you referring to the fact that they both output a force? I think you've misunderstood what force means in these equations.

The second law says that objects subjected to a force undergo an acceleration that has the same direction as the force and a magnitude that is directly proportional to the force and inversely proportional to the mass. Basically, the simple mass * acceleration equation shows you the force acting on the object.

The law of universal gravitation explains that all objects with mass exert a gravitational force on other objects. The equation allows you to calculate that force between two masses.
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/28/2011 10:48:53 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 11:42:20 PM, nonentity wrote:
The "standard of thought" part makes it a little too vague, but if you'd like to send me challenge with the resolution along the lines of "Religious faith is held to the same standard as science" that would be fine. I'd prefer to keep it in the context of Christianity though, if you don't mind.

Send it [after] this coming Tuesday though. I have a take home exam >.<

No problem, I will put it together shortly.
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
5/28/2011 10:50:43 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/28/2011 8:25:36 PM, Skeptical wrote:

I think you've misunderstood what force means in these equations.

I doubt it, want to debate if I understand what force means?

The second law says [...]

The law of universal gravitation explains [...]

Yes, now what is the answer to the third question?