What are the advantages to behaving morally?

Should you think about your duty, or about the consequences of your actions? Or should you concentrate on becoming a good person?

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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: What are the advantages to behaving morally?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Wed May 17, 2017 10:41 am

uwot wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 10:27 am
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 10:12 am
When it comes to children, what exactly is 'good' or 'bad' behaviour? Some people think children are 'bad' if they don't obey everything an adult says. Any adult. Some people think children should never argue with their parents, or express opinions. Some people don't seem to mind the horrible pointless screaming their children do in the supermarket, deafening everyone around them. Some parents even think their child is being 'bad' for wetting the bed, or not being out of nappies early enough. I don't think children can be 'bad'. They just have stupid parents who don't know how to enable them to be socially acceptable human beings.
Given that some people think this, some don't mind that, who exactly is included in the society you refer to that decides what behaviour is acceptable?
Being considerate of others is what holds society together. If you show your children that it's fine for them to scream for no good reason by ignoring it (and that's probably where the problem is--indifference is extremely distressing to children so they will do anything to get a reaction), upsetting everyone within earshot, then you are teaching them to not give a fuck about anyone else. What would you think if you went to see your child's teacher and they sat there picking their nose and eating it? Or masturbating?

ForCruxSake
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Re: What are the advantages to behaving morally?

Post by ForCruxSake » Wed May 17, 2017 11:23 am

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 10:12 am
ForCruxSake wrote:
Mon May 15, 2017 8:34 am
prof wrote:.... being nice is the easiest way for an individual to be.
Greta wrote:I'm not convinced by equating innocence with goodness. Much damage in this world was and is perpetrated by the naive.
My son was four, or five, years of age when we had a discussion about good and bad behaviour, which ended with him saying, "It's easier to be bad. It's hard to be good."

I took this to mean my boy was going to be one of 'those' boys and my thoughts about him were usually underscored by the 'Jets and Sharks' signature music, or 'Officer Krupky', from West Side Story.

On his birthday, when he had more than a few young friends over, I brought the subject up again and it turned out that all of them thought it was harder to be good than bad, whilst a few actually found it "too hard".
When it comes to children, what exactly is 'good' or 'bad' behaviour? Some people think children are 'bad' if they don't obey everything an adult says. Any adult. Some people think children should never argue with their parents, or express opinions. Some people don't seem to mind the horrible pointless screaming their children do in the supermarket, deafening everyone around them. Some parents even think their child is being 'bad' for wetting the bed, or not being out of nappies early enough. I don't think children can be 'bad'. They just have stupid parents who don't know how to enable them to be socially acceptable human beings.
You can say that about all people: how do we agree on what is 'good' or 'bad"? Who decides it for us? Without being as judgemental about it, the best choice example for me is 'cannibalism'. It's still practiced in Papua New Guinea, also in ritual and in war in various Melanesian tribes, whilst the rest of the world condemns it as deplorable. It's culturally relative.

We just learn to control ourselves, whether we think things fair or not, Children can voice how difficult it is to be good, in all innocence, as they learn the differences between good and bad. Adults, whether secular or religious, are expected to be mature enough to be able to do it and know why, or face the consequences. Not all adults are that mature.
Last edited by ForCruxSake on Wed May 17, 2017 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

uwot
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Re: What are the advantages to behaving morally?

Post by uwot » Wed May 17, 2017 11:39 am

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 10:41 am
uwot wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 10:27 am
Given that some people think this, some don't mind that, who exactly is included in the society you refer to that decides what behaviour is acceptable?
Being considerate of others is what holds society together.
Does being considerate of others extend to people sharing a forum with you?
I accept that being considerate is socially cohesive, but you haven't really addressed the question; who decides what is socially acceptable?
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 10:41 am
If you show your children that it's fine for them to scream for no good reason by ignoring it (and that's probably where the problem is--indifference is extremely distressing to children so they will do anything to get a reaction), upsetting everyone within earshot, then you are teaching them to not give a fuck about anyone else.
No doubt there are parents who are hopeless, but you are ignoring that there are illnesses, disorders, traumatic episodes and any number of other reasons why children might be a handful. You might also consider that parents have to learn on the job and are unlikely to get it right all the time.
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 10:41 am
What would you think if you went to see your child's teacher and they sat there picking their nose and eating it?
That they are unaware of rudimentary expectations in the particular society that I happen to be a part of, and that they are unlikely to remain a teacher for very long.
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 10:41 am
Or masturbating?
As above, but it could be very flattering.

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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: What are the advantages to behaving morally?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Wed May 17, 2017 11:50 am

:|

prof
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Re: What are the advantages to behaving morally?

Post by prof » Mon May 22, 2017 8:00 am

It seems that widespread agreement can be reached that it is advantageous to live morally; and that "living morally" is the same as "living ethically."

At this point I would like to go deeper into what it means to live morally.

One may live morally conceptually or one may live morally by one's behavior. Or - and even more valuable - one may live morally by experiencing a deep devotion to living an ethical life. In this case, one experiences the commitment one has made to have one's actions and intentions correspond closely with as many as possible of the Ethical principles (life-guidelines for harmonious interactions.)

Ethical scientists refer to this correspondence as "morality." What can we say (staying within the system) about this concept?

Morality is a matter of degree. If one has more than 50% of it, we may conclude that this individual corresponds to (lives up to) more than half of the Ethical principles listed in the chapter on that topic in the book by Dr. Katz, HOW TO LIVE SUCCESSFULLY.[See Ch. 16, pp. 62-66]. {These suggestions are also listed on p. 43 of ASPECTS OF ETHICS,a safe-to-open link to which is here: - http://tinyurl.com/jg29muj
More specifically, morality is defined as increasing correspondence with (increasing implementation of ) an improving set of self-ideals (moral principles.) This growth in morality is a process that could go on during a lifetime.

About the year 1560 Shakespeare wrote these lines:
`
To thine own self be true; thou canst not then be false to any man
.

Ethical Science practitioners interpret this as: Be true to your own true self. And they name this with the term: Morality. To conceive of the moral ideal is one thing, namely, to imagine it. To put it into practice, to implement it, is another. Still better ....to LIVE it is best of all !!

What I speak of as a moral ideal is what I earlier referred to as "a moral principle." Some examples of these are: Respect yourself and have respect for others. Or: Be considerate. Or: Seek harmony (rather than strife or conflict); and maintain your inner peace, your serenity, rather than get angry at people.

To manage to live up to these Self-ideals is to form good habits. To indulge in the opposite of such ethical ideals is to have bad habits. If an adult has bad habits then Life Coaching in self-management (successful living) is recommended.

What are your views?
Constructive comments are most welcome.

commonsense
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Re: What are the advantages to behaving morally?

Post by commonsense » Tue May 30, 2017 1:11 am

prof wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 8:00 am
It seems that widespread agreement can be reached that it is advantageous to live morally; and that "living morally" is the same as "living ethically."
There seems to be agreement as well that behaving politely is living ethically.

Is it immoral to be impolite? I suppose earlier posts, as far as socially acceptable behavior is concerned, were underpinned by a belief that politeness is ethical and rudeness isn't.

But does rude behavior stem from an intentional disrespect for others, or is it merely a lack of good manners? Is it immoral to lack something? For that matter, can one be unintentionally immoral? Does ignorance count as a cause of, or an excuse for, unethical behavior?

If any poster would care to share some thoughts on any of my questions, that would be awesome.


prof wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 8:00 am
One may live morally conceptually or one may live morally by one's behavior. Or - and even more valuable - one may live morally by experiencing a deep devotion to living an ethical life.
Unequivocally so, prof. For those who aspire to live an ethical life, the reward for doing so is a deeply felt sense of fulfillment--a sense that strengthens the commitment to living ethically.


prof wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 8:00 am
[By living ethically] one's actions and intentions correspond closely with as many as possible of the Ethical principles... Ethical scientists refer to this correspondence as "morality."
Yes, and the correspondence between actions and principles is related not only to the number of principles one implements, but also to the amount of time one spends implementing those principles.


prof wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 8:00 am
More specifically, morality is defined as increasing correspondence with (increasing implementation of ) an improving set of self-ideals (moral principles.) This growth in morality is a process that could go on during a lifetime.
Growth in morality during a lifetime? Fantastic idea! This brings more questions to mind. I wonder if it could be that maturity is accompanied by an increasingly ethical way of living? Is that because living ethically becomes easier with time? More rewarding?

Belinda
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Re: What are the advantages to behaving morally?

Post by Belinda » Tue May 30, 2017 9:27 am

commonsense wrote:
Tue May 30, 2017 1:11 am
prof wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 8:00 am
It seems that widespread agreement can be reached that it is advantageous to live morally; and that "living morally" is the same as "living ethically."
There seems to be agreement as well that behaving politely is living ethically.

Is it immoral to be impolite? I suppose earlier posts, as far as socially acceptable behavior is concerned, were underpinned by a belief that politeness is ethical and rudeness isn't.

But does rude behavior stem from an intentional disrespect for others, or is it merely a lack of good manners? Is it immoral to lack something? For that matter, can one be unintentionally immoral? Does ignorance count as a cause of, or an excuse for, unethical behavior?

If any poster would care to share some thoughts on any of my questions, that would be awesome.


Sometimes it's impossible to be authentic without being also rude. Generally, I'd try to observe the social context and tell my truth according to who is there to hear it. Pearls before swine sort of thing. Humour is a great way to reserve one's truth for those who have ears to hear.

commonsense
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Re: What are the advantages to behaving morally?

Post by commonsense » Tue May 30, 2017 4:00 pm

Belinda wrote:
Tue May 30, 2017 9:27 am
commonsense wrote:
Tue May 30, 2017 1:11 am
prof wrote:
Mon May 22, 2017 8:00 am
It seems that widespread agreement can be reached that it is advantageous to live morally; and that "living morally" is the same as "living ethically."
There seems to be agreement as well that behaving politely is living ethically.

Is it immoral to be impolite? I suppose earlier posts, as far as socially acceptable behavior is concerned, were underpinned by a belief that politeness is ethical and rudeness isn't.

But does rude behavior stem from an intentional disrespect for others, or is it merely a lack of good manners? Is it immoral to lack something? For that matter, can one be unintentionally immoral? Does ignorance count as a cause of, or an excuse for, unethical behavior?

If any poster would care to share some thoughts on any of my questions, that would be awesome.


Sometimes it's impossible to be authentic without being also rude. Generally, I'd try to observe the social context and tell my truth according to who is there to hear it. Pearls before swine sort of thing. Humour is a great way to reserve one's truth for those who have ears to hear.
Well put.

Science Fan
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Re: What are the advantages to behaving morally?

Post by Science Fan » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:26 pm

We are evolved to have different mating strategies, so to speak. For some, this means being "nice" will be an advantage, while for others, being "nice" would be a disadvantage. You can't make a blanket assertion on what specific strategy an individual should utilize in the abstract. It will depend entirely on the specific set of circumstances the individual finds himself or herself embedded in.

Belinda
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Re: What are the advantages to behaving morally?

Post by Belinda » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:42 pm

Science Fan wrote:
Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:26 pm
We are evolved to have different mating strategies, so to speak. For some, this means being "nice" will be an advantage, while for others, being "nice" would be a disadvantage. You can't make a blanket assertion on what specific strategy an individual should utilize in the abstract. It will depend entirely on the specific set of circumstances the individual finds himself or herself embedded in.
But you need some criteria so that you can assess what you should do in the specific set of circumstances.

commonsense
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Re: What are the advantages to behaving morally?

Post by commonsense » Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:25 am

Belinda wrote:
Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:42 pm
Science Fan wrote:
Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:26 pm
You can't make a blanket assertion on what specific strategy an individual should utilize in the abstract. It will depend entirely on the specific set of circumstances the individual finds himself or herself embedded in.
But you need some criteria so that you can assess what you should do in the specific set of circumstances.
My take on Sci Fan's position is that morality is situational and as such it relies on a fluid set of rules, to be applied as circumstances require. It seems to me that Belinda's point of view is more of an absolutist's perspective, i.e. that a moral compass is needed to provide consistent guidance.

As for me, I have ambivalent thoughts here. I believe that there has to be a true north to which moral standards adhere, in most situations, but there also must be exceptions on a case-by-case basis when complexities demand. For me, this is a personal conflict for which I have not found a resolution.

prof
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Re: What are the advantages to behaving morally?

Post by prof » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:45 am

commonsense wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:25 am
Belinda wrote:
Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:42 pm
Science Fan wrote:
Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:26 pm
You can't make a blanket assertion on what specific strategy an individual should utilize in the abstract. It will depend entirely on the specific set of circumstances the individual finds himself or herself embedded in.
But you need some criteria so that you can assess what you should do in the specific set of circumstances.
My take on Sci Fan's position is that morality is situational and as such it relies on a fluid set of rules, to be applied as circumstances require. It seems to me that Belinda's point of view is more of an absolutist's perspective, i.e. that a moral compass is needed to provide consistent guidance.

As for me, I have ambivalent thoughts here. I believe that there has to be a true north to which moral standards adhere, in most situations, but there also must be exceptions on a case-by-case basis when complexities demand. For me, this is a personal conflict for which I have not found a resolution.
You express that very well, and speak for many of us! The idea of 'Moral Growth toward a higher degree of moral health' is relevant here. That concept arises in my discussion of "morality" as it is understood in the Science of Ethics.
Critics have argued that such a science cannot exist. Are they akin to the same folks who, years ago, would insist that Humans will never fly; and today will tell you that 'Climate Change caused by human activity' is a hoax? --Or are they, obviously, using the term "ethics" in a different sense than the scientific Ethicists do?
Last edited by prof on Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Greta
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Re: What are the advantages to behaving morally?

Post by Greta » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:05 am

How many here speaking of morality eat more meat than is needed for good health? Should morality apply only to humans? If not, where is the line drawn, and why? What are the criteria for an entity to qualify as being worthy of moral treatment?

NB. I'm not a vegetarian.

commonsense
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Re: What are the advantages to behaving morally?

Post by commonsense » Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:42 pm

Greta wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:05 am
Should morality apply only to humans? If not, where is the line drawn, and why? What are the criteria for an entity to qualify as being worthy of moral treatment?
These questions get at the core of any discussion of morality.

I suppose that all species deserve a degree of moral treatment. There's likely a hierarchy in which we have placed ourselves first.

Why human beings have done so may be a related issue of enquiry. My best guess is that it is a matter of self-preservation--not a very lofty pursuit, but I suppose a necessary one nonetheless.

commonsense
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Re: What are the advantages to behaving morally?

Post by commonsense » Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:59 pm

prof wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:45 am

Critics have argued that such a science cannot exist. Are they akin to the same folks who, years ago, would insist that Humans will never fly; and today will tell you that 'Climate Change caused by human activity' is a hoax? --Or are they, obviously, using the term "ethics" in a different sense than the scientific Ethicists do?
I am curious to know in what sense the term is intended by such scientists.
prof wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:45 am
See the first few chapters in https://www.amazon.com/LIVING-SUCCESSFU ... B01NBKS42C
Those chapters are relatively brief, wouldn't you say?
But not so curious as to purchase a Kindle. The chapter headings are quite appetizing. Is there another way to obtain & read this piece?

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