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Author Topic: Moral, Immoral, or Amoral  (Read 7618 times)

Asch

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Re: Moral, Immoral, or Amoral
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2012, 04:39:50 pm »
Quote from: GaiaDianne;38731
GAIADIANNE:

Hi and Merry Meet, EJay --

I think first we need to distinguish between morality (which addresses  "good-versus-evil" behavior), and ethics ("right-versus-wrong").

SEcondly, -- Your point about the lioness and the gazelle is mostly true, But there are some surprising and fascinating stories (in the Natural world - as on Animal Planet) of natural "enemies" (as in prey-predator) making "friends" with each other.


EJay:



GAIA:

No, i don't agree it's a "majority rule" thing at all -- though it may often seem that way.  Morality is (at least partly) determined by world view, theology, culture, etc.

May i offer what i think are a couple of fascinating examples:  

a)  Nearly every culture in every era has had some kind of "Incest Taboo" morality -- but it's very different relationships that are considered incestuous.  For example, in some socieities where the Mother's brother is considered a primarily significant influence in the children's lives, HE (rather than the father or other adult male) is forbidden and punished for having incestuous relations with any of his neices or nephews.

It seems that these taboos developed to preserve and protect (healthy, appropriate) familial-kin relationships and social structures.

b)  Here's a very different kind of example:

Conservative Christians mostly say that their God has created moral laws regarding sexual behavior, and that anyone who violates those "laws" is being immoral  --

By contrast, most Pagans generally feel that to exercise social or religious pressure on anyone to express their sexuality in certain "approved" ways only, is immoral.

-- Very different perspectives on morality!


Blessings - GaiaDianne

 
There usually are incest taboos in most cultures however many of them also suspend them when it comes to things like royal bloodlines and as noted the nature of what constitutes incest also varies, for instance in some cultures a preferred marriage is one between first cousins - a situation that is banned in many U.S. states and would, at the very least, garner societal censure at the least.

Further the morality of sexuality runs a vast gamut, though in likely the majority of the world there are certain dynamics that are considered inherently wrong (i.e. children sexually involved with adults) and others that, depending upon the dominant culture's current moral outlook are subject to censure and condemnation, such as homosexual or multiple partner relationships consensual/open relationships.

In my experience morality is almost always tied up with religion whereas ethics seems to be more about right action vs. wrong action.

Gore

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Re: Moral, Immoral, or Amoral
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2012, 06:31:10 pm »
Quote from: EJay;6125

\snip/

 
Here's my thoughts. I think our concept of morality comes from our ability to reason. Our advanced ability to reason is what has ostracized us from the natural world of amoral thought so to speak. It's what makes us "human". We over think things to the point of creating these "morals". Should we? Shouldn't we? These questions had to evolve after years and years. I bet you anything the first homo-sapien had no real sense of "morality". I bet after years of adaptation and survival we sort of, for lack of a better term advanced in our thought process. The way we think eventually started to influence how we act. The way we think and the way we act influence our concept of morals. Every individual has different morals. Every individual has a different way of thinking.

That's my .02 cents anyhow. Thanks :D:

Dezdura

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Re: Moral, Immoral, or Amoral
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2012, 10:08:52 am »
Quote from: EJay;6125


So where does morality come from and is our morality different from the "natural" world and why would it be?  



Would a human in a completely natural state kill all people he or she met? Probably not. There is a need for companionship, and kinship in us. Maybe it is genetic, and differing in strength in each of us. We do not want to be alone. We want to love someone. Living in peace, is better. It is selfish because we all want to live without having to look out for assassins and thieves. It is natural to kill, but it is just as natural to want to live in a place where we are comfortable and happy and do not have to endure the stress of always being worried about the next attack.

Now, this is getting down to what is "more" biological. In a constant state of stress, you live a shorter life, and you also suffer from more illness. People do not want to die young, they want to live long, happy lives.

Human beings benefit from being "peaceful." They can have children, and raise children. When they are elders, they can help to take care of the family. Without peace, language would not have been. Too much talking would have given away your location. You notice that mice don't talk. They are everyone's prey. Delicious, tasty, fat mice are to most predatory animals what pizza is to us modern people.


Families gathering in a group and living together creates culture, and self defense.
The need to live in a culture, among other people gave rise to rules and laws against things like killing and stealing from others? Why? People should not kill because life would be miserable for them if they did.

Without a certain constraint of behavior, we would always be stressed out and worried that the next person was going to stab us or steal our stuff.

Having rules like these is for the comfort and happiness of everyone. We follow rules because it is simply better to follow rules. We are taught from the time we are infants to follow rules. If we behaved like babies we would all just take, and also have tantrums each time we could not get anything we wanted. Our parents teach us to be generous, and to not roll on the ground screaming when we do not get our way.

In order to live in close proximity with other people, mankind decided that it was "self-evident" to follow certain rules. This was not always the case. In Renascence Italy, for instance, if you spoke out against a top family, you could be quietly killed off and no one would be punished. If a woman had an affair, the father could just kill her. Even up to the 1940's if a girl went with a boyfriend that the parents disagreed with, she could be put in a mental institution, or put out on the streets. Even a child who refused to do what the parent said, could be taken out and killed.

We live in the present, so these facts of history seem backward to us, and yet they used to be the way it was done.

Everyone benefits from people behaving properly. Is this genetic? Possibly some is. Even early humans felt better living in a group. There is mutual safety. If someone becomes sick, they will be tended to. Large projects like hunting for food can be done much more easily. Things like making houses, and storing food for the future is more possible with a larger group.

As far as Dogs and cats not having "ethics." The animal brain is different from the human brain. They have the lower "reptilian" brain which is where you would call "basic instincts" come from, but their grey matter (thought and memory) is very small compared to the human brain. no one should even expect for them to rationalize as human beings do. They just do not have the ability to do that.

The same with pigs, cows, elephants. They simply do not have the brain they would need to do the human act of rationalizing.

stephyjh

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Moral, Immoral, or Amoral
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2012, 12:06:11 pm »
Quote from: dezdura
Even up to the 1940's if a girl went with a boyfriend that the parents disagreed with, she could be put in a mental institution, or put out on the streets. Even a child who refused to do what the parent said, could be taken out and killed.


Do you have a source for this claim?
A heretic blast has been blown in the west,
That what is no sense must be nonsense.

-Robert Burns

Dezdura

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Re: Moral, Immoral, or Amoral
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2012, 09:43:16 am »
Quote from: stephyjh;46292
Do you have a source for this claim?


To answer your post

This was common knowledge when I was younger, but not so much today, go to any college professor who teaches women's issues and they will be glad to refer you to some nice citations.

Here is an article found after about 10 seconds of Google.

60 years ago a 17 year old girl ended up in a mental institution because she had a baby with her boyfriend. The child was put up for adoption.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1364656/Missing-woman-reunited-family-60-years-disappearance.html
 
Going back in time, where this practice was more common,
here is a quote from the Tennasee Geneological Society:
 
"When researching our women ancestors, one place is often overlooked: the
insane asylum. Some of the reasons our grandmothers were institutionalized
are quite unbelievable. In the early 1800's wives and daughters were often
committed for not being obedient enough to their husbands or fathers."

Here is the rest of that article:

http://www.tngs.org/library/asylum.htm

I know it sounds nutty, and younger women of this generation do not get it, they think women always had rights, but women, I would say up to the 1970's were under the threat of either institutionalization, or being cast out into the streets if they became pregnant while unmarried, or "disobeyed" authority. (It is seen in literature a lot as well). I am in my 50's and heard a few things about girls disappearing this way. They were also sent "to the country" or to live with grandparents. Not all women were treated this way.

cigfran

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Re: Moral, Immoral, or Amoral
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2012, 09:16:52 am »
Quote from: ToddGrove;43072
I think our concept of morality comes from our ability to reason.


It appears to me that "reason" is usually a post-facto rationalization for what one strongly feels.

Dezdura

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Re: Moral, Immoral, or Amoral
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2012, 06:59:14 am »
Quote from: cigfran;46777
It appears to me that "reason" is usually a post-facto rationalization for what one strongly feels.


I feel, and assure I am backed up by critical thinking texts, the dictionary and other primary texts, that reason, and rationalization are two different things. Strong feeling also is not on exactly the same footing as either. Strongly feeling about something can be based in "non-reality" for instance, overwhelming racism, and psychological anomalies like irrational anxiety are also strongly felt.

cigfran

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Re: Moral, Immoral, or Amoral
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2012, 10:33:36 am »
Quote from: Dezdura;46907
Strongly feeling about something can be based in "non-reality" for instance, overwhelming racism, and psychological anomalies like irrational anxiety are also strongly felt.


Of course. That's rather the point.

On the main topic, I particularly like Adam Savage's recent speech at the Reason Rally:

"I believe that rules do not make us moral, loving each other makes us moral. And finally, I have concluded through careful, empirical analysis and much thought that somebody is looking out for me... keeping track of what I think about things, forgiving me when I do less than I ought, giving me strength to shoot for more than I think I'm capable of. I believe that they know everything I that do and think and they still love me, and I've concluded after careful consideration that this keeping score... is me."
 

Elani Temperance

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Re: Moral, Immoral, or Amoral
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2012, 08:06:58 am »
Quote from: EJay;6125
Just wondering where y'all think morality comes from?  Is it a social convention to keep us in line?  Is it holy law from the god/desses?  Do different beings have different moral codes?

Best~
EJay

 
As humans, the only thing in evolution we have going for us are our big brains. This means we survived where we should have been exterminated by animals countless years ago. We made the weapons and shelter we didn’t naturally possess.  We formed a community so we could all watch each other’s backs when we were still way down on the food chain. The need for kinship and culture became ingrained in our way of thinking, passed down through generations. We learned to get along in order to survive.

This survival mechanism led to our modern morals; go against the group and we send you out there to die, stick with us and you will live. This is also why we protect our sick; we are taught to stick together, no matter what.  

I see morals as rules that have social ramifications when broken; they are acts that are not only frowned upon but considered completely not-done. They come from society at large, from religion, from culture and out of our own need to survive as a species.

Every generation gets taught these rules; I don’t believe morality is in our DNA. What’s in our DNA is the ability for social behavior. Sociopaths (who lack this ability) have far less trouble killing, for example. Because people change, morality changes with us. Phoenix_Sacred (page 1) had some fantastic points on this that I wholeheartedly agree with.

Animals have their own moral, I believe, based on their needs in life; submitting your morality to the Alpha is also a moral decision. We seem to judge the morality of animals by our standards and that, of course, is doomed to fail. Wolves have no need to stick together in large packs and debate everything; they have teeth and claws. They establish hierarchy. An amoral decision for a wolf could be to go against the Alpha without the direct intention of establishing dominance over the pack.
 
My two cents.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2012, 08:08:07 am by Elani Temperance »
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EJay

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Re: Moral, Immoral, or Amoral
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2012, 08:05:00 am »
Quote from: LittleWitchMagazine;50905
As humans, the only thing in evolution we have going for us are our big brains.


I thought it was our opposable thumbs.....!  :whis:

This has been a really interesting thread for me to come back to.  Y'all have given me a lot to think about, but I've got it straight in my own head now.

Morality is a personal thing, going with or against your own nature.  Society has nothing to do with morality, "they" only use the term to try to intimidate you to follow "their" strictures.  There are definitely societal rules in place, to help us live together, but those aren't morals.  They're rules or guidelines, like traffic laws.  They help us work together and avoid as many accidents as possible.

Morality is how I judge each thing that comes my way personally.  If I go against my own nature, I'm doing an immoral act.  To stave off the next response, I think we all know when we go against ourselves.

Taking it to the extreme, a serial killer may not actually be immoral.  That may be the person's nature.  However, we as a society also have a right to protect ourselves when someone breaks the rules and affects our safety.

So my personal conclusion is that morality comes from on high only from our own higher self.  Morality is following who you are.

Best~
EJay
If you understand, things are just as they are.  If you do not understand, things are just as they are.

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