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    Why do there need to be "morals" or limits in life?

    Surely the mark of a sapient person is to do as s/he pleases, whenever this occurs?

    We have total control over our minds, and as sapient beings we can reason without limit. I don't believe in free will, but sapience does exist nonetheless (as a tangential point I believe that scientists who use neuroscience to push that free will doesn't exist are merely pushing a sinister ideological agenda).
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    But doing what you please sometimes causes other people great harm. I think that is the basic point of morality - that what you do should not seriously impact somebody else in a negative way. If I were a violent person with psychopathic tendencies then "doing what I please" might involve the murder of other people. Would that be acceptable? Or perhaps there are many people who derive pleasure from rape or ethnic cleansing. There are people who would happily keep others as slaves to do their work for them and provide them with any easy life.

    I agree that quite a lot of morality is intrusive and not needed - for example dictating to people what they can wear, what they can do in the bedroom, or what they can ingest into their own body. But if humans are going to co-exist in communities you do need some basic set of moral rules so that one person's self interest does not impinge on another's in an extremely negative manner.

    You might consider yourself quite intelligent and in control of yourself - but many people aren't. Some people, not to sound rude, are only a short step up from animals and have little control over their passions, or don't give much consideration to others.

    Lastly, you claim scientists pushing the no-free-will idea are 'sinister', yet you support this view yourself?
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    (Original post by ilikenamitha)
    Surely the mark of a sapient person is to do as s/he pleases, whenever this occurs?
    Sapience? Wisdom? If I knew someone who was like this I wouldn't think they were very wise.
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    We're an extremely social species so therefore innate laws need to be implemented to keep the order when we come together. These 'rules' are in place to help preserve the wellbeings of others around you, and vastly more important, that of yourself.
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    (Original post by ilikenamitha)
    Why do there need to be "morals" or limits in life?
    Morality arises out of implication that there are good and bad ways to be treated. It is not our choice whether it exists or not.

    (Original post by ilikenamitha)
    Surely the mark of a sapient person is to do as s/he pleases, whenever this occurs?
    I don't know why you would ever think this. It's the mark of a sapient person to behave wisely, not wantonly. Although I suppose you could say that it pleases a wise person to behave wisely.

    (Original post by ilikenamitha)
    We have total control over our minds, and as sapient beings we can reason without limit. I don't believe in free will, but sapience does exist nonetheless (as a tangential point I believe that scientists who use neuroscience to push that free will doesn't exist are merely pushing a sinister ideological agenda).
    We do not have total control over our minds, we are very limited. We may (as I believe) have no real control over it whatsoever.

    Why do you believe that determinism is a 'sinister ideological agenda'? The fact of the matter is that there is no evidence for free will and mountains for the ways in which our choices are constrained when we believe them not to be.
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    (Original post by miser)
    We do not have total control over our minds, we are very limited. We may (as I believe) have no real control over it whatsoever.

    Why do you believe that determinism is a 'sinister ideological agenda'? The fact of the matter is that there is no evidence for free will and mountains for the ways in which our choices are constrained when we believe them not to be.
    Well said bit of argument.




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    (Original post by miser)
    Morality arises out of implication that there are good and bad ways to be treated. It is not our choice whether it exists or not.
    First of all you have to decide if it exists or not, how you can prove it exists and lastly what types of rights and wrongs exist.


    I don't know why you would ever think this. It's the mark of a sapient person to behave wisely, not wantonly. Although I suppose you could say that it pleases a wise person to behave wisely.
    Says who?

    If you are pertaining to some objective standard which says we should then you haven't provided the existence of one.


    We do not have total control over our minds, we are very limited. We may (as I believe) have no real control over it whatsoever.
    If we have very little control then how can, from the perspective of someone who believes in a morality, we be held accountable for our actions?

    Why do you believe that determinism is a 'sinister ideological agenda'? The fact of the matter is that there is no evidence for free will and mountains for the ways in which our choices are constrained when we believe them not to be.
    Determinism effectively destroys any choice and renders the worth of life void and pointless.
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    (Original post by Kiss)
    First of all you have to decide if it exists or not, how you can prove it exists and lastly what types of rights and wrongs exist.
    Hi Kiss, hope you're having a nice evening. I wondered whether someone would pick me up on this. It depends of course on what you believe 'morality' to mean. I interpret it simply as an implication that there are good and bad ways to be treated, like I mentioned; if we are using another conception of it then I would probably reject its existence. 'Morality' as a word is awkward to debate about because everyone comes to the table talking about different ideas, when we can only determine whether a thing exists or not if we agree on what thing we're actually talking about.

    What types of rights and wrongs exist is of course a difficult question. In a simplistic sense, I believe what is right is the absence or the amelioration of what is wrong, and what is wrong is that which is unnecessarily harmful. I accept that this could be improved upon.

    (Original post by Kiss)
    Says who?

    If you are pertaining to some objective standard which says we should then you haven't provided the existence of one.
    Well, says the definition of 'sapient', which according to Google means, "Wise, or attempting to appear wise." A wise person, or one who appears wise, behaves wisely, and wontonness is generally considered by those who appear wise to be unwise.

    (Original post by Kiss)
    If we have very little control then how can, from the perspective of someone who believes in a morality, we be held accountable for our actions?
    I don't believe we can be held accountable for our actions in a moral sense, but whether there are right and wrong ways to act would exist independently of our ability to conform to them.

    (Original post by Kiss)
    Determinism effectively destroys any choice and renders the worth of life void and pointless.
    I'm unaware of the reasoning behind this - I don't believe it myself. We still experience life the same as if we did have free will, so I'm not convinced that it makes a meaningful difference in the way that you mention.

    Thanks for your reply.
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    (Original post by miser)
    Morality arises out of implication that there are good and bad ways to be treated. It is not our choice whether it exists or not.


    I don't know why you would ever think this. It's the mark of a sapient person to behave wisely, not wantonly. Although I suppose you could say that it pleases a wise person to behave wisely.


    We do not have total control over our minds, we are very limited. We may (as I believe) have no real control over it whatsoever.

    Why do you believe that determinism is a 'sinister ideological agenda'? The fact of the matter is that there is no evidence for free will and mountains for the ways in which our choices are constrained when we believe them not to be.
    Sapience is not wisdom, but the ability to reason.

    Also, why does it matter if we cause harm to others? Anything goes in life and in the human condition.

    I agree with the OP. Most scientific studies are not conducted out of innocent inquiry, but to push social and ideological agendas. Scientists have no more right to dictate society than professional footballers, bricklayers or yoga teachers.
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    (Original post by darsen)
    Sapience is not wisdom, but the ability to reason.
    Going to have to correct you there.

    Google 'define:sapience':
    wisdom: ability to apply knowledge or experience or understanding or common sense and insight.
    (Original post by darsen)
    Also, why does it matter if we cause harm to others? Anything goes in life and in the human condition.
    It matters to those whom you are inflicting it on. Why it matters to them is a product of their ability to experience a gradient in their quality of existence.

    (Original post by darsen)
    I agree with the OP. Most scientific studies are not conducted out of innocent inquiry, but to push social and ideological agendas. Scientists have no more right to dictate society than professional footballers, bricklayers or yoga teachers.
    I expect you have some evidence to back this up..?
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    (Original post by miser)
    Going to have to correct you there.

    Google 'define:sapience':



    It matters to those whom you are inflicting it on. Why it matters to them is a product of their ability to experience a gradient in their quality of existence.
    This is immaterial. People hold the ability to do as they please in life.

    I expect you have some evidence to back this up..?
    Evidence never exists.
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    (Original post by Heidihi7894)
    But doing what you please sometimes causes other people great harm. I think that is the basic point of morality - that what you do should not seriously impact somebody else in a negative way. If I were a violent person with psychopathic tendencies then "doing what I please" might involve the murder of other people. Would that be acceptable? Or perhaps there are many people who derive pleasure from rape or ethnic cleansing. There are people who would happily keep others as slaves to do their work for them and provide them with any easy life.
    And? Life is tough. As life is tough, people can cause others hardship.
    I agree that quite a lot of morality is intrusive and not needed - for example dictating to people what they can wear, what they can do in the bedroom, or what they can ingest into their own body. But if humans are going to co-exist in communities you do need some basic set of moral rules so that one person's self interest does not impinge on another's in an extremely negative manner.
    Who says we need to exist in communities?
    You might consider yourself quite intelligent and in control of yourself - but many people aren't. Some people, not to sound rude, are only a short step up from animals and have little control over their passions, or don't give much consideration to others.

    Lastly, you claim scientists pushing the no-free-will idea are 'sinister', yet you support this view yourself?
    Yes. People are contradictory. And?
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    (Original post by darsen)
    This is immaterial. People hold the ability to do as they please in life.
    Holding the ability to do something doesn't equate to meaning that a person should do it.

    (Original post by darsen)
    Evidence never exists.
    Then unfortunately it seems we will be unable to debate if you admit your beliefs to be completely independent from evidence.
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    (Original post by ilikenamitha)
    Why do there need to be "morals" or limits in life?

    Surely the mark of a sapient person is to do as s/he pleases, whenever this occurs?

    We have total control over our minds, and as sapient beings we can reason without limit. I don't believe in free will, but sapience does exist nonetheless (as a tangential point I believe that scientists who use neuroscience to push that free will doesn't exist are merely pushing a sinister ideological agenda).
    Morals is just a set of rules designed to control social order. A lot of morals have been constructed for relationships between one human and another. But virtually no morals for the relationship between a human and a fly. That is because there is no social structure for humans and flies, but there is for groups of humans. "Thou shalt not kill." is a moral that works for a tribe of humans because it helps build cohesion and makes the tribe work more effectively as a unit.
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    (Original post by darsen)
    And? Life is tough. As life is tough, people can cause others hardship.
    And would be even tougher without some sort of morality. Without morality you probably would have died a brutal death when you were 5.


    (Original post by darsen)
    Who says we need to exist in communities?
    You don't, but your life would be much more difficult without the assistance of other people. When you got sick there would be no doctor to treat you, when you were injured there would be nobody to help you find food to stay alive. You do exist in a community, so unless you plan to go and live by yourself in a jungle somewhere then it would help to at least have some sense of morality.
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    (Original post by ilikenamitha)
    Why do there need to be "morals" or limits in life?

    Surely the mark of a sapient person is to do as s/he pleases, whenever this occurs?
    You could argue that every action we undertake is a result of the preceding state of our brain biochemistry and that doing something "moral" is necessarily the most selfish thing we could have at that moment (otherwise we wouldn't have done it).

    Morals came into existence because altruism increases evolutionary fitness. We keep them today because we still need them to function.
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    If everyone dismissed the idea of morality the human race could kill itself off in the next 20 minutes, it's something to maintain peace etc and needed in society


    jojotheflower, meow, over and out
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    Without morality, we'd be living in a world full of criminals and society as we know it would be non-existant.

    I think it's also a bit silly to suggest we have no control over our minds, or certainly the actions we carry out as a result of our thoughts. For example, if someone really p*sses me off I could be thinking of physically harming them. But I control my mind and tell it that my initial violent thought is coming purely from anger and is irrational; there would be serious consequences in doing what I may have wanted to do in my mind, therefore I took a moment to calm down and not act upon these angry thoughts. That's me controlling my mind, physically controlling my thoughts to get one part of my brain to say to the other "no, you can't do that, calm the f*ck down".
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    If you don't believe in free will hoe is it that right now you are able to express your opinion? Ask a question? Write on here? Or even brush your teeth?

    Unless you are a Christian and believe god has your life planned and it is a test.


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    (Original post by darsen)
    I agree with the OP. Most scientific studies are not conducted out of innocent inquiry, but to push social and ideological agendas. Scientists have no more right to dictate society than professional footballers, bricklayers or yoga teachers.
    Yay, scientist bashing. :mad: Scientists merely provide factual evidence that can be used for creating theories about the world around us. Yes they could be used for ideological agendas but you can't blame scientists for that. It is quite simply the current climate which dictates that you can't just do research to add to the body of human knowledge but must find some applied purpose for it, which I assume is what you are getting at.

    It is clear to me from my study of neuroscience that there is medical evidence behind the idea that we don't *entirely* have free will. For example, the neurotransmitter levels in your brain affect your emotions; if one specific one is low you will be depressed, if it is high you will be overexcited. This change in your emotional state occurs irrespective of your situation at the time. You can be depressed after you just won the lottery because your neurotransmitter levels are screwed up. However, your environment does affect your neurotransmitter levels so there is some kind of feedback process that occurs so it is not the case that everything is pre-determined, as such.

    We don't really know enough about how brains work to know, but do you really think it is a co-incidence that someone whose parents are both alcoholics and are separated from them at birth is highly likely to become an alcoholic? That is due to genetics, to the way your brain is modelled. There is no such thing as truly free will in my view, only some level of choice. Maybe that's enough
 
 
 
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