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Where do you get your morality from? watch

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    My family and my God.
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    (Original post by cpj1987)
    This. I get my morality from my own experiences, doing what I think is right based on what I've seen, felt and experienced in the past.
    On what principle do you do this on?
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    (Original post by reems23)
    Of course they exist. You have a concept of right and wrong, of what's good and what's not. You don't kill, steal, murder, you don't be rude in public, you don't gob, you don't punch a girl in the ****. I'm tired of the 'I don't have any Morals' brigade, because everyone has morals, you just look like a moron when you say so. And so you would suggest that society has given you these morals? Then what do you think stops you stepping out of line and doing something against your own free will?

    Read Kolya's post. It's mega-interesting.
    It's not the "no morals" brigade, more of the "Morals when needed" brigade.

    I'm not going to go out and kill somebody, sheerly for the fact that it would get me into trouble.
    Now if I was getting paid to do said act, well you never know.
    It's not the morals that stop some people, it's just a weighing up of the consequences.

    Let me rephrase, My morals are adjustable to the situation I'm in and can be changed when it's deemed appropriate.
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    (Original post by Reems)
    It's not the "no morals" brigade, more of the "Morals when needed" brigade.

    I'm not going to go out and kill somebody, sheerly for the fact that it would get me into trouble.
    Now if I was getting paid to do said act, well you never know.
    It's not the morals that stop some people, it's just a weighing up of the consequences.

    Let me rephrase, My morals are adjustable to the situation I'm in and can be changed when it's deemed appropriate.
    But this could make you a hypocrite and almost a sociopath. Dear lord, I don't believe you.
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    (Original post by reems23)
    But this could make you a hypocrite and almost a sociopath. Dear lord, I don't believe you.

    Haha, not really. I think you'll find there are a lot of people like this. A percentage of all successful people have had to make decisions that could directly or indirectly kill people.

    Now what's interesting, and more to the point, is that where does a lack of morals come from?

    I think this is also a construct of society, or more specifically, money and fame. Some people would do anything for money/fame which are basically instruments of society.
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    A sense of pragmatism within the boundaries of the law.
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    The basic structure of my morality;

    If it causes pain, it's bad, if it causes happiness, it's good.

    (as i said, that's the basic structure, I can't be bothered to go into details on exact situations and stuff)
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    i think the roots of it probably come from my parents, specifically my mum, but it's definitely something i've developed my own reasoning for as i've got older. some things just feel intrinsically 'right' or 'wrong' and i can't really put my finger on why that is, but i know it's there.
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    (Original post by reems23)
    Does the lack of a basis mean these values are bendable and are they adjustable to suit your whims and desires? Why not?
    'Morality' is natural, evolved, and much older than religion. It is also fairly variable between cultures - at least superficially - which suggests a level of social interference.

    Are my values bendable and adjustable? I suppose it depends on the situation I am in - the complexity of moral dilemmas demands for a 'bendable' tool where different values can be interpreted in the light of the circumstances. And as I can remember, there has been no completely consistent moral code followed by a single society over a long period of time. Laws change, interpretations of scripture changes, and so everyone's morality is 'adjustable' to the extent of slow cultural change.

    A morality canvassed unswervingly upon a holy book is hugely more arbitrary than thinking about morality as something you don't even need to consciously construct, even though it is always guiding your actions.

    A medieval holy book is no basis for a modern morality.
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    (Original post by Reems)
    It's not the morals that stop some people, it's just a weighing up of the consequences.
    Well I think its a mixture (no-one has defined 'moral' yet anyway). What about incest? Wold that be okay if noone found out?
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    (Original post by T-o dore)
    Well I think its a mixture (no-one has defined 'moral' yet anyway). What about incest? Wold that be okay if noone found out?
    Morality - The set of rules that determine what decisions you make in life, thus determining your values and by what standard you live.
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    (Original post by T-o dore)
    Well I think its a mixture (no-one has defined 'moral' yet anyway). What about incest? Wold that be okay if noone found out?
    Does it hurt anyone? If not, it's ok.

    So the consequences matter to me too.
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    (Original post by reems23)
    Morality - The set of rules that determine what decisions you make in life, thus determining your values and by what standard you live.
    Thats quite a naiive way of thinking about morality - it discounts the possibility of a pragmatic philosophy like utilitarianism.

    OP, what moral standard, set of rules, do you choose to live by? Name something that you think should never be done.
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    (Original post by T-o dore)
    Well I think its a mixture (no-one has defined 'moral' yet anyway). What about incest? Wold that be okay if noone found out?
    I think we're taking the conventional meaning, as in a definition of right or wrong.

    Incest is an interesting one because it is unthinkable. I'm finding it hard even putting myself in the situation where I'd want to. I'm trying to figure out whether it would be a sense of morality that would stop me or just a lack of motivation to do it (because I don't want to have sex with my sister )

    So I suppose I must have some basic and limited morals? I suppose incest and rape are probably off bounds, but is that because I'm not "into" those things? Or because I think they're wrong? It's hard to figure out in my head.
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    (Original post by T-o dore)
    Thats quite a naiive way of thinking about morality - it discounts the possibility of a pragmatic philosophy like utilitarianism.
    This interests me.

    (Original post by T-o dore)
    OP, what moral standard, set of rules, do you choose to live by? Name something that you think should never be done.
    I believe all morality which proposes itself to be a universal truth to be a facade, universal 'bads' such as murder, rape, paedophilia, and mutilation are only wrong because it serves society to make it wrong and the individual internalises it. None of the above are intrinsically wrong. Humans don't have a notion of right and wrong at birth, prescribed in their dna, if murder was acceptable in society, it would be acceptable in society and humans wouldn't have a problem killing.

    It's all societal and family pressures which lead us to form our own judgements and ethics. I don't believe anything should or would or could never be done.

    Why I started this thread? I was wondering why as an individual, even when understanding the above. When thinking about murdering someone, I don't think: 'Aha I will not do this because I will go to jail!' I think 'I will not kill this person because it is wrong' Which worries me because I am still thinking irrationally rather than what my brain tells me I should be thinking.
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    (Original post by reems23)
    Mainly directed at those not of faith or belief in the divine.

    Where do you get your sense of morality from?

    Do you understand that this is based on arbitrary limits you or society have constructed?

    Does the lack of a basis mean these values are bendable and are they adjustable to suit your whims and desires? Why not?
    My culture. Not my religion.
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    (Original post by reems23)
    Of course they exist. You have a concept of right and wrong, of what's good and what's not. You don't kill, steal, murder, you don't be rude in public, you don't gob, you don't punch a girl in the ****. I'm tired of the 'I don't have any Morals' brigade, because everyone has morals, you just look like a moron when you say so. And so you would suggest that society has given you these morals? Then what do you think stops you stepping out of line and doing something against your own free will?

    Read Kolya's post. It's mega-interesting.
    Yes I liked Kolya's post. But I don't agree that morality is innate. Look up feral children- they grow up in the wild, and they have NO sense of morality or conduct whatsoever, nor can they brought to understand these things. I think that's conclusive proof that morality is not innate.

    The reason you don't want to do these "immoral" actions is because, unlike these feral children, you've been socially conditioned from birth by your parents and others from birth with an idea of what is right and wrong. And your parents were socially conditioned with theirs. It's how society is able to function. That's how they're passed down, and how you come to have them. As for where they originated, no one really knows for sure. Certainly morality would have a selective advantage in nearly every environment:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_morality

    Even though it's often denied, there is definitely basic moral behaviour found in animals, which makes them well-adapted to live in groups. This can be found in insects too, and I can guarantee you they can't reason, which should be conclusive proof that morality is not entirely derived from reasoning. On top of this, we also have the VERY interesting case of altruism found in animals, where animals do very charitable acts, despite not being able to reason why these things are good.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altruism_in_animals

    So from all these, the provisional conclusion I would come to is this: "Morality evolved in the same way that it evolved in other animals- it had a selective advantage in most environments as it increased the changes of animals in a group surviving (hence why we do not find altruism in solitary animals). Morality is simply a mechanism for group survival. However, if an individual is raised outside a group (i.e. a feral child), they do not inherit any of this morality, suggesting it's definitely a learned behaviour of some kind. Of course morality has become FAR more complex in humans because of our ability to reason."

    I think that all sounds correct.


    I base my morality on thing and one thing only- the minimising of suffering, and most atheists would agree with me I think. Pain (physical and emotional) is the only thing that we humans know that can actually be called "bad", and positive feelings are the only things that humans know that can actually be called "good". So surely our idea of "good" and" bad" should stem from these two? Of course, it's not to say that a morality centred around a single concept does not raise dilemmas- it raises LOTS, and it's far from an exact science, because it's difficult to know how to minimise suffering.

    However, it is pretty clear on certain things- a Christian might say that homosexuality is immoral, and that would be for no other reason than it's stated in the Bible, so it's "bad"; while I, and most other atheists, would say, how can it be "bad" when it doesn't cause suffering? Furthermore, it is actually "bad" to forbid homosexuality because it causes suffering to homosexual individuals, when they are not causing suffering themselves. Thus I believe a non-religious view on morality allows us to actually be BETTER able to help people.
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    (Original post by reems23)
    On what principle do you do this on?
    How do you mean?
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    My parents I believe...
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    (Original post by innerhollow)
    Yes I liked Kolya's post. But I don't agree that morality is innate. Look up feral children- they grow up in the wild, and they have NO sense of morality or conduct whatsoever, nor can they brought to understand these things. I think that's conclusive proof that morality is not innate.

    The reason you don't want to do these "immoral" actions is because, unlike these feral children, you've been socially conditioned from birth by your parents and others from birth with an idea of what is right and wrong. And your parents were socially conditioned with theirs. It's how society is able to function. That's how they're passed down, and how you come to have them. As for where they originated, no one really knows for sure. Certainly morality would have a selective advantage in nearly every environment:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_morality

    There is also basic moral behaviour found in animals, which makes them well-adapted to live in groups. This can be found in insects too, and I can guarantee On top of this, There is also altruism found in animals (although it's VERY rare), which is further proof I believe of a moral behaviour being neurological, because bats and raccoons can't exactly reason can they?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altruism_in_animals

    So from all these, the provisional conclusion I would come to is this: Morality evolved in the same way that it evolved in other animals- it had a selective advantage in most environments as it increased the changes of animals in a group surviving, hence why we do not find altruism in solitary animals. Morality is simply a mechanism for group survival. However, if an individual is raised outside a group (i.e. a feral child), they do not inherit any of this morality, suggesting it's definitely a learned behaviour. Of course morality has become FAR more complex in humans because of our ability to reason.

    I think that all sounds correct.


    I base my morality on thing and one thing only- the minimising of suffering, and most atheists would agree with me I think. Pain (physical and emotional) is the only thing that we humans know that can actually be called "bad", and positive feelings are the only things that humans know that can actually be called "good". So surely our idea of "good" and" bad" should stem from these two? Of course, it's not to say that a morality centred around a single concept does not raise dilemmas- it raises LOTS, and it's far from an exact science, because it's difficult to know how to minimise suffering.

    However, it is pretty clear on certain things- a Christian might say that homosexuality is immoral, and that would be for no other reason than it's stated in the Bible, so it's "bad"; while I, and most other atheists, would say, how can it be "bad" when it doesn't cause suffering? Furthermore, it is actually "bad" to forbid homosexuality because it causes suffering to homosexual individuals, when they are not causing suffering themselves. Thus I believe a non-religious view on morality allows us to actually be BETTER able to help people.

    I agree with everything you have said here and I like it a lot. Altruism in animals is particularly interesting.
 
 
 
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