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what is your conception of morality? Watch

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    While morality is the product of practical concerns (for example banning murder and theft to make life easier and less fearful) it's hard to be happy in life without a minimum of values. Else you can't enjoy things such as family, love for one's culture, being polite, the feeling of being wholesome and good, controlling your pleasures to make them more intense... Many of those may be illusions but they are essential to our well being.

    see this article, it's a pretty enlightening read.
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    (Original post by Amuroray)
    You clearly dont understand.I have grown up in a society that makes murder a bad act and in a soceity that shows that we must love our family so naturally i would think its bad.If it was the other way round in which i didnt care about my family(i dont really now)or murder was deemed right i wouldnt care.

    Its all to do with how society deems if the act is good or not.

    Now dont quote me again you silly cow.
    it's not society that makes murder a bad thing it's our empathy, guilt and shame you dweeb. at least it should be... otherwise you're admitting to social norms being the only reason you wouldn't kill? in which case you're a sociopath.
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    (Original post by edanon)
    it's not society that makes murder a bad thing it's our empathy, guilt and shame you dweeb. at least it should be... otherwise you're admitting to social norms being the only reason you wouldn't kill? in which case you're a sociopath.
    This. For all the grandiose posturing and pretentious "morality is non-existent" posts in this thread, everyone that wrote those posts will go and behave in a perfectly moral way later. Sure, 'society' imposes certain things upon us, and we thoughtlessly accept these things, but the point is that we always will accept them because, by and large, we are nice people. So stfu. Sigh.
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    I think anything goes as long as it doesn't harm others.
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    what do you mean "anything goes"? there is no god to lay down the law. anything does go.. in the sense that people do what they feel. and that feeling, in this society, is that we lock up murderers and rapists. it is a free for all yes... but because people share common feelings we enforce our human laws on people.

    what are you trying to say exactly?

    I mean there should be no rules in society.
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    (Original post by rajandkwameali)
    I mean there should be no rules in society.
    why are you being so vague.

    you think there should be no rules? or you think rules can't exist in society? or you think they don't exist in society?

    it doesn't really matter if you simply think there should be no rules (and i don't know why you think that). The fact is that people care about human life and their property and such things... so they have made rules. The rules exist because people came together and agreed on what they do and don't like. That IS subjective morality.. that is what it is... so you can't say morality doesn't exist... because it's happening.

    I think you mean that objective morality doesn't exist, which i agree with.
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    (Original post by edanon)
    it's not society that makes murder a bad thing it's our empathy, guilt and shame you dweeb. at least it should be... otherwise you're admitting to social norms being the only reason you wouldn't kill? in which case you're a sociopath.
    Society moulds the subject matter of our conscience and emotions like empathy and guilt. A sociopath is someone who is indifferent to the emotions you mention, how did you jump from someone recognising where these emotions come from to someone being able to ignore them?
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    (Original post by edanon)
    it's not society that makes murder a bad thing it's our empathy, guilt and shame you dweeb. at least it should be... otherwise you're admitting to social norms being the only reason you wouldn't kill? in which case you're a sociopath.
    Firstly you need to develop empathy,even still barely anybody uses it(bullying etc etc).

    If there were no social norms people would change completly eg.differant type of clothing etc etc.And if there where something i didnt like and i was allowed to,i would kill them,no question.

    There isnt a thing called morality.
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    (Original post by Amuroray)
    You clearly dont understand.I have grown up in a society that makes murder a bad act and in a soceity that shows that we must love our family so naturally i would think its bad.If it was the other way round in which i didnt care about my family(i dont really now)or murder was deemed right i wouldnt care.

    Its all to do with how society deems if the act is good or not.

    Now dont quote me again you silly cow.
    Would you consider morality as a means to an end? I don't kill you because I consequently don't want anyone else trying to kill me?

    If we use the means justifies the ends approach then in this case wouldn't murder be considered immoral?
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    If there were no consequences to our actions, we would soon see our ugly side come to the surface. Power corrupts for a reason: morality is just a set of rules to help society maintain itself, it has no absolute value.

    murder is immoral for the precise reason that it makes our lives easier and less fearful
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    (Original post by Hegemony)
    Society moulds the subject matter of our conscience and emotions like empathy and guilt. A sociopath is someone who is indifferent to the emotions you mention, how did you jump from someone recognising where these emotions come from to someone being able to ignore them?
    Empathy guilt and shame are instinctual emotional reactions to living beings. It is instinctual to feel for a human in pain regardless as to whether society brings you up telling you that suffering is bad or telling you that suffering is good.

    a sociopath is someone who doesn't even possess said emotions... indifference would imply that they feel them to begin with. that poster implied that it is only societies influence that make crimes wrong, but it is an instinct from within that makes one feel they are wrong.
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    (Original post by bramz19)
    This. For all the grandiose posturing and pretentious "morality is non-existent" posts in this thread, everyone that wrote those posts will go and behave in a perfectly moral way later. Sure, 'society' imposes certain things upon us, and we thoughtlessly accept these things, but the point is that we always will accept them because, by and large, we are nice people. So stfu. Sigh.
    We are nice people because society makes us that way. We are not naturally good or bad people, we just tend to naturally look out for ourselves. And because we can't impose our will on the rest of society, we automatically become nice and play by the rules, to win consciously or unconsciously the approval of others.
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    (Original post by edanon)
    Empathy guilt and shame are instinctual emotional reactions to living beings. It is instinctual to feel for a human in pain regardless as to whether society brings you up telling you that suffering is bad or telling you that suffering is good.

    a sociopath is someone who doesn't even possess said emotions... indifference would imply that they feel them to begin with. that poster implied that it is only societies influence that make crimes wrong, but it is an instinct from within that makes one feel they are wrong.
    Those instincts are there for a reason! Empathy makes us care for others so that the survival of the species as a whole is assured.
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    (Original post by Amuroray)
    Firstly you need to develop empathy,even still barely anybody uses it(bullying etc etc).
    You might be able to develop your empathy but it exists within you instinctually without having to develop it to acknowledge it. Empathy is not a choice. A child naturally wants to comfort another child in pain without having an understanding of why or what empathy is... he just feels it. (or doesn't, if he's mentally ill)

    If there were no social norms people would change completly eg.differant type of clothing etc etc.
    social norms exist because it is the social norm... i.e. the majority of people like a certain style of clothing so it becomes the norm. some people feel pressured into wearing certain clothes... many more are unqiue and wear what they want anyway. anyhow, clothing is a preferance not an emotional reaction.

    And if there where something i didnt like and i was allowed to,i would kill them,no question.
    guilt and empathy stop people from, first, wanting to kill people and secondly having the will power to do so. if you don't feel those things then you are what is known as a sociopath.

    There isnt a thing called morality.
    there is a thing called emotion.
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    (Original post by Glowy Amoeba)
    If there were no consequences to our actions, we would soon see our ugly side come to the surface. Power corrupts for a reason: morality is just a set of rules to help society maintain itself, it has no absolute value.

    murder is immoral for the precise reason that it makes our lives easier and less fearful
    consequences include guilt and shame. without law or police people would, for the most part, still exist in harmony. all the criminals would still be criminals but that is a minority.
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    (Original post by Glowy Amoeba)
    We are nice people because society makes us that way. We are not naturally good or bad people, we just tend to naturally look out for ourselves. And because we can't impose our will on the rest of society, we automatically become nice and play by the rules, to win consciously or unconsciously the approval of others.
    we naturally respect others and care for them, without or without the state. where do you think state developed from? it is human nature cemented as a figurehead.
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    (Original post by Glowy Amoeba)
    Those instincts are there for a reason! Empathy makes us care for others so that the survival of the species as a whole is assured.
    did i say they weren't there for a reason?

    actually... that is not a "reason".. evolution doesn't deal with reason it deals with adaption. we survive BECAUSE we happen to care for each other. we don't care for each other to survive.
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    (Original post by edanon)
    Empathy guilt and shame are instinctual emotional reactions to living beings. It is instinctual to feel for a human in pain regardless as to whether society brings you up telling you that suffering is bad or telling you that suffering is good.

    a sociopath is someone who doesn't even possess said emotions... indifference would imply that they feel them to begin with. that poster implied that it is only societies influence that make crimes wrong, but it is an instinct from within that makes one feel they are wrong.
    No, I said the subject matter of emotions like guilt are caused by society. We are instictively guilty about whatever we percieve to be wrong (i.e. what society tells us is wrong). This is not to say that we aren't genetically programmed to find this subject matter, as doing so provides a society with better prospects of survival (which is why we evolved to have this characteristic).

    Sociopaths are a grey issue, and even if they don't have those emotions to begin with, how can you show their lack of certain emotions is the result of their understanding of where these emotions come from (as you argued earlier)?

    Morality cannot exist in a form that is useful in any way. It can only be the expression of unfounded opinion, always based on a questionable assumption. Just because one 'feels' something is wrong doesn't make the word 'wrong' any less meaningless.
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    (Original post by Hegemony)
    No, I said the subject matter of emotions like guilt are caused by society. We are instictively guilty about whatever we percieve to be wrong (i.e. what society tells us is wrong). This is not to say that we aren't genetically programmed to find this subject matter, as doing so provides a society with better prospects of survival (which is why we evolved to have this characteristic).
    i was under the impression that we instinctively feel guilty about specific subject matter. i.e. mother is being attacked, i feel crap, i will cry.

    Sociopaths are a grey issue, and even if they don't have those emotions to begin with, how can you show their lack of certain emotions is the result of their understanding of where these emotions come from (as you argued earlier)?
    i've read that it's understood that sociopaths lack something in their brains... CT scans for proof yadda yadda. i don't think i argued that their lack of emotions is the result of an understanding? i just think that they lack the emotion and that they only behave because society tells them what is wrong and right and if they break those morals then they will recieve the consequences of jail etc.

    Morality cannot exist in a form that is useful in any way. It can only be the expression of unfounded opinion, always based on a questionable assumption. Just because one 'feels' something is wrong doesn't make the word 'wrong' any less meaningless.
    it's semantics. "we generally feel this way, so we would not like people to do this" has devloped into "this is morally wrong". Technically, there is no such thing as universal morality, but when people say "this is wrong" they simply mean (even if they don't know it) that they feel it is wrong and so want to stop it.

    In this respect, as a word for common humanity, morality does exist. In the sense of it being some kind of universal rule.. no it doesn't exist.
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    (Original post by edanon)
    consequences include guilt and shame. without law or police people would, for the most part, still exist in harmony. all the criminals would still be criminals but that is a minority.
    +
    we naturally respect others and care for them, without or without the state. where do you think state developed from? it is human nature cemented as a figurehead.
    +
    did i say they weren't there for a reason?

    actually... that is not a "reason".. evolution doesn't deal with reason it deals with adaption. we survive BECAUSE we happen to care for each other. we don't care for each other to survive.
    Animals who don't have our laws and governments live in tribes dominated by the alpha individuals. (yes you do have exceptions but they are exceedingly rare) We would be no different if society were to crumble and dissolve tomorrow. There would be no real harmony: the weak would submit to the rule of the strong to keep on living.

    The state is just the alpha male tribe in a more complex form. The strong individuals protect the weaker ones in exchange for part of their freedom. That is basically what government is: the exchange of freedom for security. Thanks to our expanding brains, this initial social contract has evolved tremendously, but it is still has the same principle at heart, with morality to smooth the gears of social life.

    While it is usually hard to determine whether the chicken or the egg came first, it's obvious in this case that we learned to care for each other in order to survive and not the other way around. Our tremendous success is due to our nature as social animals. Since humans have few natural defenses, they adapted by forming groups. And to successfully form harmonious groups, you need complex social emotions to regulate the behaviour of individuals. Guilt and shame are there because they make social life so much more easier by preventing dissent and individualistic acts such as crimes. Our brains adapted to our specie's needs by growing larger and larger and thus permitting more and more complex social emotions and more and more bonding and efficiency within the group. Like some sort of virtuous circle, our evolution towards sociability allowed us to emerge at the top of the food chain.


    It's fun to believe that humans are naturally good even when times are tough. But "Good" (and "Evil") is just one of our inventions to ensure survival. It doesn't mean that emotions are valueless, but they remain illusions.
 
 
 
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