Abuse

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Re: Abuse

Postby cheez.wiz » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:35 am

astasia wrote:
cheez.wiz wrote:Theses three actions are wrong under a context.

Taking something from someone is okay. Doing the same without that person's consent isn't.
Killing an animal for food is okay. Killing an animal (humans are animals too, like it or not) "just because" (fill in with your own reasons) isn't.
Having sex with someone is "gr8 akshully". Having sex with someone without their consent isn't the way we roll.

So theses actions are absolutely wrong in their extreme forms, that we designed by the words you used, even if they aren't inherently wrong in nature.


I think this is an interesting point.

Perhaps the more narrowly defined ways in which taking items you want, killing, and having sex is more of a cultural phenomena and the basics of taking, killing, and sex are things we just repress and only allow to come out in culturally acceptable ways. And, some of us are better at the repression than others, or some of us have less of an urge to do so than others.

But is the only reason we don't kill, rape, and steal because of cultural norms? Is there nothing innately good or compassionate in us as part of our DNA?

Good and compassionnate are so not natural. Well, not out of the principles of living in society to be stronger than the other species and to adapt better and all that jazz. The short answer is no. (i can and will elaborate on my stance on demand)

Also, moral absolutism is bullshit. OH HAI NEW SE7EN DEADLY SINS!!1!(now with 100% more hell if you use birthcontrol)
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Re: Abuse

Postby Edminster » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:37 am

Is it just my interpretation, or are the last three of that new list the same thing?
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Re: Abuse

Postby cheez.wiz » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:41 am

Nope, it's pretty much what it is.

But they couldn't really think of 7? And, well, the 5 deadly sins didn't have the same ring to it.
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Re: Abuse

Postby Edminster » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:55 am

In fact, pollution could be considered a 'bioethical' violation, and drug usage is 'morally dubious', as are the final three...

Now that I think about it, violating bioethics implies dubious morals, so really they just rolled out a new 'sin' and attempted to expand it, not realising that there are people who have far too much free time on their hands willing to deconstruct this.
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Re: Abuse

Postby Lethal Interjection » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:01 am

Edminster wrote:Is it just my interpretation, or are the last three of that new list the same thing?


#4 is closely linked to them as well, as far as I'm concerned.
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Re: Abuse

Postby mountainmage » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:04 am

6. Excessive wealth


Sucks for non-greedy rich people.
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Re: Abuse

Postby Lethal Interjection » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:05 am

mountainmage wrote:
6. Excessive wealth


Sucks for non-greedy rich people.


All 2 of them? I mean, we are talking about excessive wealth here.
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Re: Abuse

Postby mountainmage » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:09 am

What's your definition of excessive? Or, for that matter, what is the Vatican's definition of it?
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Re: Abuse

Postby Lethal Interjection » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:19 am

mountainmage wrote:What's your definition of excessive? Or, for that matter, what is the Vatican's definition of it?


I would say that it goes hand in hand with ethically suspect ways of accumulating it.
I tried to elucidate further, but most responses came off as anti-capitalism. Which I am not. Capitalism is natural, I believe that. The fundamental concepts of supply and demand are obviously natural. If you work hard you should be able reap the benefits. I heard one person mention "compassionate capitalism" which is capitalism with a side of helping others less blessed than you.
I just have a hard time thinking of many of the richest people in the world who didn't build their wealth off of the backs of others. I'm not exactly firm on a definition, obviously, but I think that might be close to mine.
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Re: Abuse

Postby mountainmage » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:24 am

I know what you mean, I just felt like complicating your argument. I like participating in thought-evoking discussions.
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Re: Abuse

Postby Sahan » Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:04 am

Morals are a byproduct of living in a society. They are a glue used to keep large groups together without ripping each others throats off. They aren't written anywhere, but along the line there have always been people who have taken leadership roles and set down these rules that must be followed. Some of these rules will be based on primal survival urges, like not killing others in the same group, but also to form a system to keep people happy and to stop people fueding in a constant cycle of ongoing vengeance (aka creating some form of justice). People follow them, because of a complex evolutionary desire to live in an altruistic society. The Milgram study I think shows just how far people are willing to go to accept a new set of morals imposed on them by an authoritative figure.People are in most cases very willing and capable to change their morals according to their situation to help them survive

Morals are therefore not absolute, and with the steady integrations of cultures with different values and attitudes, there is relativism to some extent, but there is still a need for someone's values to at least mostly fit with everyone elses for a smooth operation of society. Back to hospital, people act sadistically because in that situation it has become a norm, and a fear for not fitting into the society for risk of punishment, makes people accept this as an okay thing to do. Others will feel that they needn't assosciate with this group anyway, and openly question the ethics of these actions. However this can not happen without several other moral codes to reference to that go against this abuse. If no other moral code is known to the person, the person sees no wrong.
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Re: Abuse

Postby ChooChooTrain » Fri Mar 20, 2009 2:23 pm

Oldrac the Chitinous wrote:I call myself a relativist, but I think there are plenty of relativists wouldn't be too happy about my use of the term.
The biggest thing I'm claiming is that morality doesn't exist in a vacuum, but that it's made by people and civilizations. Functionally, what I believe isn't much different from an absolute moral code. A relative moral framework can have implications for other people, just like any other kind. So I'd say "I have determined that burglin' people is wrong," end of sentence, as opposed to "I have determined that burglin' people is wrong, so I will not personally burgle anybody." And it doesn't always preclude me from interfering with other people; If I saw somebody getting beaten up with a pipe wrench, I would be under a moral obligation to intervene that supercedes any obligation I have to let people follow their own moral compass. (I also think that, if you're adjusting your principles so that you don't feel guilty, you're doing something wrong.) The taking-of-seats example is a little different, I guess. In that case, I'm assuming that we are both operating under similar moral codes that we get from living in the same society. So it's this presumed shared morality that I'm appealing to, not some kind of universal absolute.
Is it a little solipsistic of me to claim that I can decide what's right and wrong for the whole world? Sure. But ultimately, I'm the only person I'm making decisions for, so it works out okay.

Okay, well here's another point. There are a lot of ideas about what is moral. It is true that each individual tends to come up with their own idea of what is right and wrong. One person may be at one extreme, calling things like smoking or thinking mean thoughts unethical. Another person has decided on the other extreme, and decided that mass killing, rape, et cetera, are no big deal. Most people are somewhere in between, but they all think their moral code is pretty good. They might not think their morality is the best, but they think it's better than most. They look at what another person considers moral, judge that it is not, and so decide that their morality is better.

I propound that any time you judge one morality to be better than another, you are comparing both to some standard absolute morality. In order for there to be a better morality there must ultimately be a best morality. Think of it this way. If you and I went out and found some isolated jungle society that valued murder, rape, and cannibalism, then we would immediately judge their morality to be wrong. We wouldn't think, oh well their general populace agrees on it and it's working fine for them so it's no big deal. I think we would be right in judging their morality to be worse than ours. Now suppose that we were brave enough to introduce ourselves, learn their language, and begin teaching them. Imagine we were successful at completely stopping them from murdering. That would be an improvement in their morality. Then we stop them from rape. That is another improvement. Then we stop them from eating their dead. We have again improved their morality. Then we could move on to smaller things. We could teach them not to steal, cheat, or lie. Again, their morality would be improved. We could go on doing that for a long time, just picking out the worst aspect of their morality and fixing it. Eventually though, we would run out of things to fix. You could not go on improving their morality indefinitely because eventually you would run out of things to fix. Their morality would become perfect. It would conform exactly to the absolute true morality.

If you admit that one morality is better than another, you necessarily admit that there is a best morality. If you admit that, by recognizing human cockfights as immoral, a person has improved their morality, then you necessarily admit that it has become more closely conformed to a standard. If there is no standard, then there is no sense in comparing moralities to each other. Therefore, any arbitrarily chosen morality is exactly as "good" as every previously defined morality. Or rather, no morality is good at all. All of them just are, because you cannot compare them. If there is no absolute morality, then every human defined morality can be neither good nor bad. They are all just arbitrarily chosen lists of rules that mean nothing. Either there is an absolute standard morality that is true for everyone, or there is no morality at all.
Oldrac the Chitinous wrote:In practice, though, the relativist's laws are just as real as the absolutist's. So, if I say, "I decree that it's wrong to go around stabbing people," it's just as good at informing my actions as if God had said it. Either way, people don't get stabbed. By me.

In this case, your personal morality defines stabbing as unethical, so you don't stab people. That's great. I think we both agree that not stabbing people is good. Wait, but what do we mean by "good?" We have agreed that your morality is right on this point, but how? If there is no absolute morality that says it is good not to stab people, then what sense is there in making a judgment about your morality in this case? What are we judging it against? You and I, without saying anything about it, have same common idea about a standard morality. Without really thinking about it, we judge each person's morality against it. When we agree that it's good not to stab people, we are agreeing on that action's conformance to a common idea, the absolute morality. When we disagree on the ethics of some action, and argue whether it is right or wrong, we are trying to decide whether that action conforms to the absolute morality, but somehow neither of us questions its existence. All of humanity has this nagging voice in its head telling it what is right and wrong. We can't ignore it, yet we can't successfully conform to it either. As Edminster summarized it, we know what is right and wrong, but we're just being dicks. We can't help it.

Edit: expanded paragraph 3 a bit.
Edit2: added paragraph 4 and the preceding quote. I always think I'm satisfied with a post when I hit submit, but then I can't help but sit, reread it, and think about things I want to add.
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Re: Abuse

Postby Edminster » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:15 pm

I personally do not find cannibalism to be morally repugnant, assuming that the corpse being consumed willingly gave it's life to feed the others. It may be 'unwise' to practise it routinely, and 'stupid' to eat the nervous tissue, but I do not find it to be 'evil'. I know that there are several others on this board who agree with me on this, and many 'Christians' practise mock-cannibalism whenever they celebrate the Eucharist. Really, it's not such a big deal.

Murder is something that depends on your definition. Many people think it is 'murder' to harvest meat from creatures bred specifically for that purpose, and yet don't even blink when a serial killer is gunned down. It's all a matter of how well one can rationalise their behaviour.

Rape is not something that can be rationalised. Ever.

My moral compass just has one point on it: "Do not hurt others unnecessarily". It works amazingly well, and is compatible with almost all of the various moral frameworks that exist out there. It does not require me to pass judgement on other morals, and I do not. If somebody has a moral framework that I find dubious, I simply do not interact with that person. I don't claim that my moral compass is 'better' than anyone else's, simply that it works fine for me.

I'll end this with a couple of quotes from Heinlein, because he is where all of my ideas for what is 'Right' and 'Wrong' are based, for reasons that I prefer not getting into on a public board.
Robert Anson Heinlein wrote:All societies are based on rules to protect pregnant women and young children. All else is surplusage, excrescence, adornment, luxury, or folly, which can — and must — be dumped in emergency to preserve this prime function. As racial survival is the only universal morality, no other basic is possible. Attempts to formulate a "perfect society" on any foundation other than "Women and children first!" is not only witless, it is automatically genocidal. Nevertheless, starry-eyed idealists (all of them male) have tried endlessly — and no doubt will keep on trying.

Robert Anson Heinlein wrote:Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense.
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Re: Abuse

Postby ChooChooTrain » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:00 pm

Edminster wrote:I personally do not find cannibalism to be morally repugnant, assuming that the corpse being consumed willingly gave it's life to feed the others. It may be 'unwise' to practise it routinely, and 'stupid' to eat the nervous tissue, but I do not find it to be 'evil'. I know that there are several others on this board who agree with me on this, and many 'Christians' practise mock-cannibalism whenever they celebrate the Eucharist. Really, it's not such a big deal.

Murder is something that depends on your definition. Many people think it is 'murder' to harvest meat from creatures bred specifically for that purpose, and yet don't even blink when a serial killer is gunned down. It's all a matter of how well one can rationalise their behaviour.

Rape is not something that can be rationalised. Ever.

My moral compass just has one point on it: "Do not hurt others unnecessarily". It works amazingly well, and is compatible with almost all of the various moral frameworks that exist out there. It does not require me to pass judgement on other morals, and I do not. If somebody has a moral framework that I find dubious, I simply do not interact with that person. I don't claim that my moral compass is 'better' than anyone else's, simply that it works fine for me.

I'll end this with a couple of quotes from Heinlein, because he is where all of my ideas for what is 'Right' and 'Wrong' are based, for reasons that I prefer not getting into on a public board.
Robert Anson Heinlein wrote:All societies are based on rules to protect pregnant women and young children. All else is surplusage, excrescence, adornment, luxury, or folly, which can — and must — be dumped in emergency to preserve this prime function. As racial survival is the only universal morality, no other basic is possible. Attempts to formulate a "perfect society" on any foundation other than "Women and children first!" is not only witless, it is automatically genocidal. Nevertheless, starry-eyed idealists (all of them male) have tried endlessly — and no doubt will keep on trying.

Robert Anson Heinlein wrote:Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense.

You don't interact with people whose moral framework you find dubious? What about if they interact with you? If someone raped you, would you judge their moral framework? Would you then be willing to say that yours is better?
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Re: Abuse

Postby Edminster » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:35 pm

ChooChooTrain wrote:You don't interact with people whose moral framework you find dubious? What about if they interact with you?

I definitely worded this poorly. By interact, I meant 'beyond that which is regarded unavoidable in day-to-day living'. If I discover that somebody is (for example) a thief, I do my damnedest to not hang out with them. This does not preclude my answering questions that they have for me, nor does it mean that I avoid them at all costs. It is not my place to pass judgement on those who disagree with me, rather it is my burden to try and understand why they act as they do.

For example, if I discover through this attempt at understanding that the 'thief' simply suffers from kleptomania, I am more inclined to be forgiving. After all, it is a compulsion that does not really undermine my 'moral' underpinnings. However, if the compulsion was to harm others, I would bring this to the attention of the proper authorities. Again, no judgement of the person, just of the behaviour.

ChooChooTrain wrote:If someone raped you, would you judge their moral framework? Would you then be willing to say that yours is better?

No, I did not judge their moral framework, as it is not my place to judge. I also would not admit that my framework is better, as I only know it to be effective for me.

Also, you seem to be of the opinion that 'morals' can never be acted against, and that having a moral that instructs you to not do something means that you will always avoid the action regardless of the circumstances. In other words, it seems like you are arguing that morals are what amounts to a Programming Language for humanity. Am I wrong in this interpretation of your words?
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