Opinion Question

Morality is a man-made concept.

   Morality is a man-made concept that is defined by the society you live in; it is subjective. There is nothing called morality in nature. You cannot observe morality or test it in a laboratory. There is no absolute "morality." Many religious fanatics have tried to prove that morality is an absolute, just like God is real. They have even developed philosophies to prove it, e.G., metaphysics, and epistemology, which use meaningless circular propositions to prove their points. They use word games to prove their points. Both assume that knowledge, morality, Good and Evil exist 'a priori'. What does 'a priori' mean: 'a priori' knowledge, in Western philosophy since the time of Immanuel Kant, knowledge that is independent of all particular experiences, as opposed to a posteriori knowledge, which derives from experience. The Latin phrases a priori (“from what is before”) and a posteriori (“from what is after”) were used in philosophy originally to distinguish between arguments from causes and arguments from effects. Even murdering or killing humans is not an absolute; it is societal, e.G., killing in war is OK, killing someone attacking you with deadly force where you are in fear of your life is OK.
suttichart.denpruektham says2013-04-07T01:35:58.647
Even if it isn't man-made, it is still a god's point of view anyway :D

Religious people just gave god a priority.
GWL-CPA says2013-04-07T03:01:08.650
What in the world are you talking about; please make sense.

A god's point of view, what is that?

Do you have a clue what you are talking about?

You are rambling and saying nothing.
Jingram994 says2013-08-25T03:35:32.777
Morality isn't so much man-*made* as it is 'discovered', if you will, through human reason. We don't say that people deserve human rights 'just because' that's our society's way of doing things. We say that, as each individual human being shares the same basic nature, basic psychological template and ability to reason, then it only makes sense logically that they all deserve the ability to use those assets and have their own lives.

One can feel free to disagree, of course, but none of the people that are being denied the ability to live their own lives free of fear, threat or interference are going to like that 'opinion', I can guarantee you. Human morality isn't just a made-up standard, it's a logical standard discovered through the philosophical and psychological similarity of human beings, and the logical reasoning that one should apply the same standard to others as one does to oneself.

Again, so there's no confusion, absolute is not the same as universal. Moral 'knowledge' by definition cannot be 'a priori' as we, as human beings, do no have any knowledge until it is discovered. The 'rightness' of an action, such as killing, is not 'cultural' but *situational*. It is pretty much always wrong to kill an *innocent*, who undeniably has not warranted and does not deserve such an initiation of lethal force; but it's always okay to kill in self defence, as the attacker themselves have already initiated lethal force on an 'innocent'.
GWL-CPA says2013-08-25T17:27:41.983
There is no such thing as "absolute" or "universal" or "a priori" , those are all subjective concepts created by man.

Science has the only absolutes. If you can observe, study it, and verify results via experiments, it is real; everything else is subjective.
Jingram994 says2013-08-25T17:49:54.990
Well, we can observe that every sane human wishes to live, and has rational reasons for wanting to do so.
We can investigate whether or not these individuals do, in fact, want to live by seeing their natural survival instincts when their life is on the line; every human has these.
We can conduct experiments to observe and verify a given individual's desire to live, and see that this is an inherent fact of being a complex mammal.

Human psychology, despite being highly variational depending on a given individual, shares universal traits. Every human has a survival instinct, every human has the capacity for reason, love, hate, ignorance etc. It only follows logically that there are in fact optimal codes of ethical behavior that will maximize the ability of individuals and societies to live free of fear or threat of harm.
Morality being 'objective' merely means that the same ethical standard applies to every human; it doesn't imply that there is an external 'source' of 'moral truth', like you appear to believe *must* be the case.
GWL-CPA says2013-08-26T17:43:03.163
Yes, all species on earth share common traits with the other species; e.G., all mammals are warm blooded. Most warmblooded animals have hair or fur or a layer of fat, e.G., seals.

All species have instincts, e.G., fight or flight, sex drive, desire to have babies. Some male animals will eat their offspring if the female isn't there to protect them. But, everything else is a learned behavior from birth.

It does not follows logically, whatever that is defined as, that there are optimal codes of ethical behavior. There is no optimal code for anything based on behavior of humans, who do in fact have the ability to think. Any time you are talking about good versus bad, or evil, you are dealing with subjective opinions of men and women, which varies by culture and time.

Sure, most everyone can agree that killing another human being is bad, except in certain circumstances e.G., war, self-defense, unless your religious beliefs state differently, e.G., Amish.

Genghis Khan had a great optimal code for war, destroy entire villages and kill all the men, and only take women. That worked for him and his society. Most all the people under Genghis Khan respected and loved him.

Many countries still practice female infanticide and think it is moral and necessary for the general good of that specific populous.

Some countries in the Middle East punish homosexuals who engage in open public homosexual acts with death and this is considered morally right in those countries.

Again, morals are very subjective.

And, of course all moralists think morals are objective.
Jingram994 says2013-08-26T18:11:00.240
Humans all have similar psychological characteristics, enough so that entire systems detailing personalities and personality disorders are considered acceptable enough to be used generally. They also have a similar enough mentality that entire political and economic systems are based around this 'universal' human behavior. It makes logical sense to say that 'subjective' ethical systems are all based on the same basic facts of human existence.
One could make the argument that killing is not always wrong, but is based on the individual circumstances of the event. That just makes logical sense; if individual situations weren't taken into consideration, then the 'morality' being applied would rapidly slip into an insane rule. That doesn't mean the standard that should be applied varies from person to person.

Yes, there are entire countries that practice female infanticide, or murder individuals who engage in homosexual acts, and believe themselves justified. This goes against basic human psychology and human rights; those countries subjective belief that they are 'justified' is simply incorrect. If the positions were reversed, and *they* would have to die in order to enforce 'moral law' they'd change their tune very quickly, I can assure you. Unless one is willing to accept that *their* rights could be totally disregarded and that someone else's subjective standards could genuinely justify their death, rather than simply rationalize it away, then the subjective 'morality' you are arguing for is hypocritical and meaningless, and thus not actually a 'moral standard'.
GWL-CPA says2013-08-26T20:15:25.340
I am tired of your nonsense.

Go to college and debate this in philosophy.
Jingram994 says2013-08-27T05:44:19.117
Science degree. Can't debate it there for at least two years. I'd much rather hear a rational refutation of the argument I've made here, thanks.
GWL-CPA says2013-08-27T22:42:41.377
I have given you all the rational refutation that you need.

Actually, this subject, "Is morality subjective or objective" has been debated ad nauseum for centuries.

People who are religious believe that morality is objective because if it is subjective, then sin does not exist.

Morality (from the Latin moralitas "manner, character, proper behavior") is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are "good" (or right) and those that are "bad" (or wrong). The philosophy of morality is ethics. A moral code is a system of morality (according to a particular philosophy, religion, culture, etc.) and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code. Morality may also be specifically synonymous with "goodness" or "rightness." Immorality is the active opposition to morality (i.E. Opposition to that which is good or right), while amorality is variously defined as an unawareness of, indifference toward, or disbelief in any set of moral standards or principles. An example of a moral code is the Golden Rule which states that, "One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself."

"Morality and ethics[edit source |
Ethics (also known as moral philosophy) is that branch of philosophy which addresses questions about morality. The word 'ethics' is "commonly used interchangeably with 'morality' ... And sometimes it is used more narrowly to mean the moral principles of a particular tradition, group, or individual." Likewise, certain types of ethical theories, especially deontological ethics, sometimes distinguish between 'ethics' and 'morals': "Although the morality of people and their ethics amounts to the same thing, there is a usage that restricts morality to systems such as that of Kant, based on notions such as duty, obligation, and principles of conduct, reserving ethics for the more Aristotelian approach to practical reasoning, based on the notion of a virtue, and generally avoiding the separation of 'moral' considerations from other practical considerations." Although the words are often used as synonyms, morals are beliefs based on practices or teachings regarding how people conduct themselves in personal relationships and in society, while ethics refers to a set or system of principles, or a philosophy or theory behind them. When comparing morality with ethics, the word ethics is often used to refer to a philosophical analysis of a particular morality, especially when the formal definition is applied."

Good luck with this. Here are some great books to read on the subject by great philosophers:

Here is the name of the book that we used in Philosophy 101 at Bradley University,

"The Modern Introduction to Philosophy - Reading from Classical and Contemporary Sources" by Paul Edwards and Arthur Pap.

Chapter I of this book is "Determinism, Freedom and Moral Responsibility" which summaries great books written by great Philosophers.

Baron Holback: "The Illusion of Free Will"

Henry Thomas Buckle: "The Regularity of the Moral World"

William James: "The Dilemma of Determinism"

D. M. Mackay: "Brain and Will"

John Stuart Mill: "Of liberty and Necessity"

Moritz Schlick" "When is Man Responsible"

C. A. Campbell: "Is 'Free Will' a Pseudo-Problem?"

John Hospers: "Free Will and Psychoanalysis"

P.H. Nowell-Smith:" Psycho-analysis and Moral Language"

S.I Benn and R. S. Peters: "Human Action and the Limitations of Casual Explanation.

Chapter IV in that book is titled "Moral Judgments", with summaries of great books written by Great Philosophers:

Thomas Reid: "The Moral Faculty and the Principles of Morals

Bertrand Russel: "Science and Ethics"

Jonathan Harrison: "Empiricism in Ethics"

A. C. Ewing: "The Objectivity of Moral Judgments"

G. E. Moor: "The Indefinability of Good"

A. J. Ayer: "Critique of Ethics"

Band Blanshard: "The New Subjectivism in Ethics"

John Mackie: "A Refutation of Morals"

R. M. Hare: "The Logical Behavior of the Word "Good""

My favorite chapter was V - "The Existence of God" which had summaries of great books written by great Philosophers.

St. Anselm: "There Exists Something Than Which a Greater Cannot be Thought"

Thomas Aquinas: "The Fives Ways"

F. C. Copleston: "Commentary of the Five Ways of Aquinas"

William Paley: "The Watch and the Human Eye"

G. H. Joyce: "Moral Arguments for the Existence of God"

Clarence Darrow: "The Delusion of Design and Purpose"

David Hume: "Evil and the Argument from Design"

John Hick: "The Problem of Evil"

Ernest Nagel: "A Defense of Atheism"

Bertrand Russell and F. C. Copleston: "The Existence of God - A debate"

I had to read all the chapters and summaries and many more , discuss them in class and debate them in that Philosophy 101 class in 1969. It was lots of fun.

Dr. Smith was the instructor. He was great.

He saved his greatest words of wisdom for the end of the class.

"It is pointless to debate politics and religion, which includes the concepts of good, evil, and morality."

Good Luck with your dilemma.
Jingram994 says2013-09-02T06:52:36.043
Well... You've certainly made a study of the topic, if that's just the 'off the top of my head' literature selection. Cheers, actually. Not actually religious or spiritual, myself; might just go and read all of those, at any rate.
GWL-CPA says2013-09-02T13:30:35.037
I actually still have my Philosophy 101 book, and reread it often. I copied those works I cited from the index. I actually did read all those chapters and more. I love rereading the notes I made in the margins.

What is good about doing this in a philosophy class in College, assuming you have a good PhD in Philosophy teaching the class, is that he/she keeps you on point; and has a greater understanding of the topics to help you understand it.
Castangelo77 says2014-09-11T00:02:48.757
No moral absolutes huh? So what if your subjective moral wrong is my objective moral right? Who or how is this conflict resolved?
For example: So if I came to your house, beat your mother and sisters to death, beheaded your father and brothers, raped your wife and ate your baby on the basis of what I think is right and okay for me, are you telling me that you wont judge me and hate me because you must respect my subjective morality? That you have no right to feel disgust of disapproval because my wrong and right doesn't apply to you? Are you saying that nobody else in the world will feel the same way you would if I did it to their family?
Francesca_Delmer says2015-01-18T18:28:35.313
Murdering humans is not Ok. Even the Nazi’s trial in Nyremberg held accountable the soldiers for carrying out the orders of their superiors.
Yes, it is believed that morality and God go hand in hand, and it is true to some extent, but everyone has what is called conscience, no matter how rudimentary that is.
Nabin says2015-11-19T05:35:05.773
If morality were man made than why there is absolute morality?
Heirio says2016-02-11T17:27:14.367
Nabin, prove there is absolute morality.
T_chang321 says2016-03-10T03:33:38.677
Morality is the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad. So if morality is a man made concept, the man decided that something was good and something else was bad. So each man decides something as good and something as bad although they may be different things. Now both men defined their own different things as good and bad. This may be subjective.
Now an example of that is two people decide somethings are tasty and other things aren't. They categorize foods and their decisions may be different, but they both have a sense of tasty and not tasty.
So there is a parallel between tasty and not tasty and good and bad as well as foods and whatever the men decided was good or bad.
Now one man may have said apples are tasty while the other said bananas are tasty and not apples. Their opinions differ so in that sense it is subjective. But both men have a clear idea of "tasty" and something that is sensually pleasing to each of them.
So back to good and bad. One man says helping the needy is good while the other says rape is good. These are two very different things, but the actual concept of good that each man placed the actions of helping and raping into are the same. So the very fact that men make up their own concept of "good" and "evil" leads to the conclusion that their is an absolute good and evil.
Heirio says2016-03-10T21:44:20.750
Wrong, the fact that their distinction of "good" and "evil" is DIFFERENT leads to the conclusion that morality is subjective and not objective.
Heirio says2016-03-10T21:45:51.853
They have their own concepts of right and wrong, as you stated.
But those concepts are THEIR OWN, thus morality is relative.
Heirio says2016-03-10T21:46:36.877
Leftytwo says2018-01-28T02:08:34.250
I agree with T_chang321 with his point (Why does anyone flipping care if they're right or wrong, if right and wrong don't exist!?)... But also:

Since they began to exist, humans have been justifying things in their heads. Everybody has some idea in their head- however different the ideas are- of what a 'good person' is, or what an unfair act would be, or what is considered 'cruel'. Most cultures considered running from battle cowardly, most cultures considered stabbing your fellow soldiers in the back treacherous.

But lots of people nowadays claim that morality is subjective... Just to turn their back and burn with anger when someone dares to challenge a woman's right to 'her body', or when someone shoots up a school, or when someone uses the wrong pronoun to an openly gay dude. Whether or not the person has any right to be mad at these things isn't the point; (dang I hope I used that semicolon right) the point is that they are.

If the idea of morality was simply invented, then why do people find themselves NATURALLY appealing to a moral code? No one thinks "well, this person is drowning a grown man, even though I don't agree with it, maybe the attacker's morality is different than mine, and thus, I should let him keep harming the man." No one does that! The person witnessing the murder either calls for help, jumps in to save the man, or stands still in shock. People claim that everyone can make up their own morals, just to turn around and enforce their 'own morals' on other people, by putting them in prison, giving them community service hours, ect..
Man just wakes up one day, and, without thinking it, agrees that there must be some sort of morality, and that so-and-so isn't following the moral code properly, and thus, something has to be done about it.

I guess, if I was to sum up my argument, it would be this: moral codes sprung up from an obscure idea of right and wrong that man woke up with. The question remains then: where does man get this idea of a higher law?

Instincts? Why the crap would that instinct develop? We don't really see that much in the animal kingdom, so why is Man the only creature with it? And I have a problem with the Evolutionary theory in general, I feel like Man would've died off long before learning how to make fire, tools, cook meat, plant crops, ect. No one just wakes up and thinks: "hey, these seeds are gonna sprout into food if I bury them!"

Some will go on to say: "Well, society injected these ideas of morality into their children from an early age, and that's why we have a 'moral instinct'." But where did the previous generation get the ideas? From their parents? Where did their parents get it? I guess humanity went back for infinity then, is that what you mean to tell me? As we already addressed, instincts (and Evolution, but that's a topic for another day) developing are highly unlikely.

In my opinion, morality is one of the greatest proofs for God. A God would make perfect sense in this regard. Some people say: "the reason they (a culture, race, society) believe(d) in morality is because they believe(d) in God." But I'm sure for some people it's the other way around: "the reason I believe in God is because I believe in morality, and if a morality exists, God would be a great explanation for it."
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