Why Be Moral?

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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RCSaunders
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Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by RCSaunders »

Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:08 am
RCSaunders wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 2:09 am One's values do not need to be proved to anyone else, one only has to know what is in one's objective self-interest.
Well, lets' clear up whether or not you actually believe that, once and for all.

Let's take all the traditional odious cases you wish...Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Castro, pedophiles, rapists, etc. Pick any one of them.

Is this person objectively:

A) Bad

B) Good
First of all, I do not have your view of moral principles. They are not for me to use to judge others, they are only a guide for how I should live my life.

What is objectively good for me is that which makes it possible for me to live, but not merely to exist, but live as the kind of being I am, a volitional, intellectual, rational being, who must consciously choose all I do, and must have knowledge and must use that knowledge to reason with to make those choices that will lead to the furtherance of my life, not its destruction. As a conscious, volitional, intellectual, rational being, it is impossible for me to live successfully and enjoy my life if I am not confident that all I choose and do is appropriate to the kind of being I am, because, no matter how much I try to evade the requirements of my nature to produce all that my life requires, I cannot evade the psychological consequences of evading what I am. If I am to live, not merely to survive, but to be a human being, my life depends entirely on what I do and achieve by my own efforts, and anything less than my best can only lead to disappointment, regret, guilt, despair, self-destruction and death.

I cannot judge whether others are good or bad. I only know, for me, good is whatever I do that meets the requirements of my nature as a human being to survive, be, and achieve all I can that leads to the furtherance of my life and my enjoyment of it and does not lead to my death or suffering, physically or pshychologically.

If I were to judge other's moral status, my list would probably include all those you listed, but it would also include a great many that you would regard as good, because the basis of my judgement would be, "if I lived that way it would be wrong because it would be in defiance of the requirements of my human nature," not because it violated some fictional set of rules dictated by a God. My list would include every individual whose life required a political power to supply their income, every individual who exercised coercive force against or intentional deception of others for their own gain, and everyone who intentionally attempted to influence others by appealing to anything other than those others' ability to reason, such as their feelings, sentiments, fears, desires, or gullibility. It would include anyone who made choices based on anything other than their best possible reason, such as feelings, desires, whims, sentiments, or baseless beliefs. My standards are much higher than yours and are ruthless, but I only apply them to myself.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by Immanuel Can »

RCSaunders wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 2:52 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:08 am
RCSaunders wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 2:09 am One's values do not need to be proved to anyone else, one only has to know what is in one's objective self-interest.
Well, lets' clear up whether or not you actually believe that, once and for all.

Let's take all the traditional odious cases you wish...Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Castro, pedophiles, rapists, etc. Pick any one of them.

Is this person objectively:

A) Bad

B) Good
First of all, I do not have your view of moral principles. They are not for me to use to judge others, they are only a guide for how I should live my life.
That's fine. You could do that. It would get you out of answering the present dilemma.

But it would mean you have no moral information to offer at all about the cases listed. And while you might say you don't care, then, and that would get you off the hook, you might still rightly feel that other people are going to be less than contented with that, and are going to expect that a moral person would at least be willing to condemn Hitler et al.

Of course, that makes trouble for your earlier supposition that people should be "benevolent," but maybe you only meant that was a preference of yours personal, not a duty you felt they owed to anyone.

It also makes trouble for your claim that people "must use reason." There's no possibility of "mustness" or "oughtness" in such a view, and using reason isn't requirable by you, on the basis of your proclaimed self-focused exclusivity of moral judgment.
I cannot judge whether others are good or bad.
Hmmm...most people would not regard that as an asset. :shock:

They would be concerned about anybody who said he was actually incapable of discerning whether others were good or bad. And they certainly couldn't look to such a one for any predictable benevolence or help, since such a person could not even tell when someone was being desperately wicked to other people.

But it would make that person a conventional "bystander," the sort of person who can watch dispassionately while the Jews march into the gas chambers, without feeling he has to pass a judgment. That much, it would do.
If I were to judge other's moral status,
Whoa, whoa...you just said "I cannot judge whether others are good or bad." And now, you show that you can? :shock:
My list would include every individual whose life required a political power to supply their income, every individual who exercised coercive force against or intentional deception of others for their own gain, and everyone who intentionally attempted to influence others by appealing to anything other than those others' ability to reason, such as their feelings, sentiments, fears, desires, or gullibility. It would include anyone who made choices based on anything other than their best possible reason, such as feelings, desires, whims, sentiments, or baseless beliefs.
And there it is! You just did it. But you said above that "I cannot judge." :shock:

Or did you mean that you still don't pass such judgments, but are only showing me that hypothetically, you could...but in practice, you'd still be fine with the gas chambers, so long as it was only other people who were involved? :?
My standards are much higher than yours and are ruthless, but I only apply them to myself.
I'm sure that the people marching into the gas chambers would be very impressed by your fierce moral rectitude applied only to yourself.

That's irony, RC. But it's also the logical application of your proclaimed indifference to the moral condition of others, if you actually DID think and live that way -- which, I suspect, you actually don't. You seem rather more morally concerned than that, to me.
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Re: Why Be Moral?

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Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:36 pm
RCSaunders wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 2:52 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:08 am

Well, lets' clear up whether or not you actually believe that, once and for all.

Let's take all the traditional odious cases you wish...Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Castro, pedophiles, rapists, etc. Pick any one of them.

Is this person objectively:

A) Bad

B) Good
First of all, I do not have your view of moral principles. They are not for me to use to judge others, they are only a guide for how I should live my life.
That's fine. You could do that. It would get you out of answering the present dilemma.

But it would mean you have no moral information to offer at all about the cases listed. And while you might say you don't care, then, and that would get you off the hook, you might still rightly feel that other people are going to be less than contented with that, and are going to expect that a moral person would at least be willing to condemn Hitler et al.
The last thing in the world I care about is whether anyone else is contented with what I believe or do. What you don't understand is that I regard moral principles those necessary for individuals to make right choices in living their own lives. I did not say I do not make judgements about others, I do not make moral judgements about them.

If someone is a threat to me, or is just unreasonable, I am certainly able to make a judgement that such are what they are and should be avoided. I would assume that such people probably do have moral problems, but it doesn't matter what their reasoning or motives are (I cannot read minds), and can only go by what others actually say and do.

I have experienced and observed others who have done atrocious things who claimed to hold very high moral standards and even defended their practices on the basis of those moral views, which quite clearly contradicted what they did.

I would regard Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Castro, as both dangerous and evil (not morally evil, but evil like diseases or vicious animals) whose ideas and practices were the cause of untold human suffering and tragedy. I'm certain no moral individual would choose to believe or do any of the things such evil men did, but it is not one's right or wrong ideology I can judge, only what they actually do.
Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:36 pm
If I were to judge other's moral status,
Whoa, whoa...you just said "I cannot judge whether others are good or bad." And now, you show that you can?
I thought English was your first language. Do you not know what the word, If means?
Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:36 pm
My list would include every individual whose life required a political power to supply their income, every individual who exercised coercive force against or intentional deception of others for their own gain, and everyone who intentionally attempted to influence others by appealing to anything other than those others' ability to reason, such as their feelings, sentiments, fears, desires, or gullibility. It would include anyone who made choices based on anything other than their best possible reason, such as feelings, desires, whims, sentiments, or baseless beliefs.
And there it is! You just did it. But you said above that "I cannot judge." :shock:

Or did you mean that you still don't pass such judgments, but are only showing me that hypothetically, you could...but in practice, you'd still be fine with the gas chambers, so long as it was only other people who were involved?
I know this is difficult for you, else you would not keep asking for these simple things to be explained. Morality is only for the sake of the individual that uses those principles to make one's own choices. One is immoral if they do not live morally, but the problem with immorality is it is self-harmful and self-destructive, so, while I can describe what an immoral person is, it is not mine to judge them, morally. What is mine to judge is what any other human being's actual practices are if they, in any way, affect me.
Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:36 pm
My standards are much higher than yours and are ruthless, but I only apply them to myself.
I'm sure that the people marching into the gas chambers would be very impressed by your fierce moral rectitude applied only to yourself.
Are you unable to identify something as evil unless you can attach some moral blame to someone? Say what you like about my views, but if everyone had them and lived by them there never would have been any gas chambers. What happened in Nazis Germany was supported by many Christians and altruists.
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Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by Immanuel Can »

RCSaunders wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:43 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:36 pm
RCSaunders wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 2:52 pm
First of all, I do not have your view of moral principles. They are not for me to use to judge others, they are only a guide for how I should live my life.
That's fine. You could do that. It would get you out of answering the present dilemma.

But it would mean you have no moral information to offer at all about the cases listed. And while you might say you don't care, then, and that would get you off the hook, you might still rightly feel that other people are going to be less than contented with that, and are going to expect that a moral person would at least be willing to condemn Hitler et al.
The last thing in the world I care about is whether anyone else is contented with what I believe or do.
I get that.

I just would point out that the logical consequences of that aren't very good.

I did not say I do not make judgements about others, I do not make moral judgements about them.
Um...you just said it, above, assuming "them" means "others". Did you mistype in the above line?
I would assume that such people probably do have moral problems,
On what rational basis would you "assume" that?
I would regard Hitler, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Castro, as both dangerous and evil (not morally evil, but evil like diseases or vicious animals) whose ideas and practices were the cause of untold human suffering and tragedy. I'm certain no moral individual would choose to believe or do any of the things such evil men did, but it is not one's right or wrong ideology I can judge, only what they actually do.
That would be odd. It would imply you can't reason from principle to practice. Most people can. There are bad ideologies, ideologies that also issue in bad practices, such as Nazism, most people would happily say. But even if nobody actually practiced it, Nazism would still be a morally bad ideology.

Nobody today, perhaps, practices live twin-burial out of an ideology that says "Twins are bad juju." But once, they did. I have no hesitation in saying that that ideology is bad, and would still be bad whether practiced or not.

But you say you are incapable of such judgments?

I quite frankly can't believe that. You don't seem amoral or cognitively impaired.
Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:36 pm And there it is! You just did it. But you said above that "I cannot judge." :shock:
Or did you mean that you still don't pass such judgments, but are only showing me that hypothetically, you could...but in practice, you'd still be fine with the gas chambers, so long as it was only other people who were involved?
I know this is difficult for you, else you would not keep asking for these simple things to be explained. Morality is only for the sake of the individual that uses those principles to make one's own choices.
No, I got that. I'm way past that.

You are saying you wouldn't condemn Nazis as they marched Jews into the gas chambers. They are, after all, individuals using their own principles to make their own choices.

I'm just astonished anyone would say it and think it was a morally recommendable view. But if you say so, I certainly get what you're saying.
One is immoral if they do not live morally, but the problem with immorality is it is self-harmful and self-destructive,
But never other-harmful and other-destructive? That never concerns you?
Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:36 pm Are you unable to identify something as evil unless you can attach some moral blame to someone?
It's not at all a personal thing. "Praise" and "blame" are issues basic to ethics. See https://www.iep.utm.edu/praise/

Now, I get that you suppose all philosophers are "idiots," as you say, and that consequently, you don't think philosophy is any good. I think you're wrong, but you're free to have that opinion, philosophically speaking.

Everybody's got the right to state their views; and, of course, everybody's also got the right to be wrong.
Say what you like about my views, but if everyone had them and lived by them there never would have been any gas chambers.

I see no rational line of thought that warrants that sanguine confidence. Individuals are as capable of evil as crowds, though crowds certainly magnify the power of the evil that can be done.

But I certainly see how it would automatically make everybody a moral "bystander" who would watch the Jews march in, and never give it a second thought.

My "ideology" will not permit me to call that "moral." And I'm glad of it.
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Re: Why Be Moral?

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Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:04 pm
One is immoral if they do not live morally, but the problem with immorality is it is self-harmful and self-destructive,
But never other-harmful and other-destructive? That never concerns you?
Being harmful to others IS self-destructive. It's because, with your narrow view of morality, you can believe someone could actually gain something of value at someone else's expense. A moral, or independent, individual cannot choose to do anything that would in any way make him dependent on others. Seeking anything that he had not produced himself or acquired by trading what he produced for what others were willing to give in exchange, would make him dependent on those others who were his victims, violating the requirements of his own nature. Only a second-hander or parasite could have such a low veiw of his own integrity and character to believe he actually gained something of value at another's expense. You can believe it's possible, if you want, I cannot believe it. There is no need for me to be concerned about anything I do being harmful or destructive of others, because it's not possible. I cannot even get pleasure or satisfaction from another's discomfort or suffering, unlike those who eagerly anticipate the suffering of others and call it retributive justice.
Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:36 pm
Say what you like about my views, but if everyone had them and lived by them there never would have been any gas chambers.

I see no rational line of thought that warrants that sanguine confidence. Individuals are as capable of evil as crowds, though crowds certainly magnify the power of the evil that can be done.
It's not individuals, it is only, independent individuals that cannot be a danger or harm to anyone else, because they cannot seek anything from anyone except what others see is to their own best interest to give. They are never a danger because they never use force when dealing with others, never attempt to persuade others by any means other than reason, never seek anything another is not willing to provide, and understands, that among moral (independent) individuals there can never be a conflict of values. Nothing can be good for one individual that is bad for another.
Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:36 pm But I certainly see how it would automatically make everybody a moral "bystander" who would watch the Jews march in, and never give it a second thought.

My "ideology" will not permit me to call that "moral." And I'm glad of it.
But you don't mind having the anti-independent individual ideology that made the holocaust possible and calling that moral. The values of the independent individual would have made the holocaust impossible, but you oppose those values.
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Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by Immanuel Can »

RCSaunders wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:41 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:04 pm
One is immoral if they do not live morally, but the problem with immorality is it is self-harmful and self-destructive,
But never other-harmful and other-destructive? That never concerns you?
Being harmful to others IS self-destructive.
** Sound of the point flying past you. ** :wink:

I'm not worried YOU'D do anything, least of all anything that would harm yourself.

I'm asking what you think of the Nazis rounding up the Jews, the Bolsheviks rounding up the Kulaks, the Maoists locking up the intellectuals and landowners, the pedophiles grooming children, the rapists assaulting women, and so on.

How would being an amoral bystander to such things make you a moral person? :shock: To me, that would be doing yourself a moral injury...though the injury to the victims is obviously far, far greater than that, and is primary consideration.
....among moral (independent) individuals there can never be a conflict of values. Nothing can be good for one individual that is bad for another.
That's easily disprovable. There are lots of cases in which resources are limited; and in all such cases, what is the good for one stands to be harm for another. That's obvious. The problem is that being an individual gives us no guidelines for that all-too-common reality, since it takes no thought for anyone but the independent individual himself.
Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:36 pm But I certainly see how it would automatically make everybody a moral "bystander" who would watch the Jews march in, and never give it a second thought.

My "ideology" will not permit me to call that "moral." And I'm glad of it.
But you don't mind having the anti-independent individual ideology that made the holocaust possible and calling that moral.
I do not have that ideology. I can't imagine how you would ever think I did. I'm the one who's saying "It's not okay to be a moral bystander." And you're the one who, it seems at the moment, is saying "Yay, bystanders."

You know, of course, that the majority of Germans in WWII were not Nazis. They were bystanders, who allowed Hitler to do what he did, and didn't consider it in their individual interests to intervene.
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Re: Why Be Moral?

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Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:57 pm But you don't mind having the anti-independent individual ideology that made the holocaust possible and calling that moral.
I do not have that ideology.[/quote]
Then I apologize. I was sure from other things you wrote that you did not agree that the basis of moral values was independent individualism. You seemed to disagree with the opening statement of my article, Independence—Better Than Morality:
Individual independence is a, "moral," or, "ethical," view of life chosen by those who regard their own life as their ultimate value.
They choose it because the nature of every individual human being requires them to value their own life as their ultimate value, if they are to live successfully as a human being. Any view that places a higher value on anything other than the life of individual human beings is anti-independent individual and can be used to justify any oppression of individuals.

If that is your view, I do apologize for my criticism. If it is not your view, you are anti-independent individual and my criticism stands.
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Re: Why Be Moral?

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RCSaunders wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:11 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:57 pm I do not have that ideology.
Then I apologize. I was sure from other things you wrote that you did not agree that the basis of moral values was independent individualism.
There is no basis for morality in independent individualism. There's none in collectivism either.

Their common problem is that they are both secular ideologies, and secularity can provide no grounds for us to think there are any moral truths.

But I'm still interested in this issue of what you with obvious moral evils, like Hitler et al. You've stated that morality is strictly individual. If so, would you be a bystander, watching Jewish people get marched to the gas chambers and saying, "Not my problem" ?

I yet can't see how independent individuals could do anything but that, but if you have an explanation, I'm keen to hear it.
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Re: Why Be Moral?

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Veritas Aequitas wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:40 am
bahman wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:33 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 3:54 am
Surely you are not ignorant of the above?
Governments take power via elections, unilaterally seizing power as in a dictatorship and various means where they can exercise their power.
This is politics.

What has that to do with Morality and Ethics as a subject.
Equity, welfare, basic human rights, etc. are the main claims of most parties when it comes to the competition. Any party needs to please people in order to get power.
You still have not explain how the above has anything to do with Morality.
Think of gay marriage. Is it morally justifiable? Of course yes. Politicians, however, use gay marriage to get the vote depending on population opinion on the subject.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:40 am Btw, define Morality and Ethics specifically and specific their limits as a philosophical topic.
Morality is a set of codes that tells you what is right and what is wrong. Ethics is a branch of knowledge that deals with why we should follow morality.
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Re: Why Be Moral?

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If the question, "Why be moral?," is meant as, "Why should anyone be moral?" then a ready answer is less likely to have adherents. That is because this age of the individual prompts each individual to decide on morals for themselves. This age has freed each person to consider the question individually and answer individually.

"Why should you, or I, be moral?" might have more application today. This is not to say we can't or shouldn't conceive of acceptable, appropriate social morals, because they are needed for a stable society, whether the society is a republic or some other form of government.
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Re: Why Be Moral?, My Answer

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RCSaunders wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:10 pm To: pilgrim1917, Nick_A, henry quirk, Impenitent, Immanuel Can, Age, odysseus, Skepdick, IvoryBlackBishop, Veritas Aequitas, and bahman,

My View And Answer To The Question: "Why should anyone observe any moral standards?"

First let me thank everyone for your interesting, thoughtful, and good answers. As I promised, this is my response to your posts. Since I'm only interested in ideas, not personalities, and also have no interest in changing anyone else's views, my comments will be to the ideas expressed and my disagreements will only be to demonstrate my views, not to criticize yours. Having reviewed all the posts so far, there seem to be only eight different answers to the question which I identify as, The reason you should choose to be moral is:

A. Because there are eternal consequences to your behavior.
B. Just because it is right, as an end in itself.
C. To evade suffering a troubling conscience.
D. To avoid the wrath or punishment of law, determined by authorities or society (majority).
E. Because others will treat you the way you treat them.
F. Because it is your duty.
G. So you can live in peace and harmony with others.
H. For the future of mankind.

These are not meant to be explanatory, only a way of categorizing the different answers, most of which were much more detailed than implied by this list. If you think I have mis-characterized or misinterpreted any of these, please correct me. I'll address each briefly, than give my explanation of why one should live morally, or to be more precise, in my terms, rationally.

A. Because there are eternal consequences to your behavior. Theists (and perhaps those with other mystic views) will of course hold this as a reason to live morally. I'm not going to comment on this view. For those who hold this view, eternal consequences are a reason to be moral. Whether that view is correct or not is a question for a different thread.

B. Just because it is right. This is a very common view. It was espoused by Immanual Kant, among others. Unless why something is right and how it is right for the individual, even if true, it would not be a reason an individual should choose it.

C. To evade suffering a troubling conscience. This would certainly be a reason to live morally. No one wants to experience the unpleasant feelings of guilt and regret. There is a problem with conscience, however. I mentioned sociopaths and psychopaths as individuals without apparent consciences, and it was admitted, "there is no reason to be moral," and added, "there are those who ask what inspires me to feel conscience? That is a philosophical/psychological question some feel and some don't when guided by pragmatism."

The key words in that last sentence are, "a philosophical/psychological question some feel and some don't." Conscience is a feeling, a physiological response to one's thinking, beliefs, and values. Conscience cannot tell one what is right and wrong, it can only respond to what one already believes or thinks is right and wrong. If someone does something they believe is wrong they will experience what we call, "a guilty conscience," but someone who does the same thing and does not believe it is wrong will have no such feeling.

D. To avoid the wrath or punishment of law, determined by authorities or society (majority). If someone is afraid of such punishment of course it would be a good reason to live, "morally," or at least in conformance to whatever the law demands. Not everyone is afraid of punishment, however. Some would rather take a chance on not getting caught then to comply with society's moral rules, and others are willing to risk the punishment. "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime," is a common expression among those who are willing to do the time if they get caught.

E. Because others will treat you the way you treat them. If it is important to someone how others treat them, this might be a reason to be moral. The premise, however, is mistaken. Most of us have have had the opposite experience. After being very kind and helpful to someone else we have been repaid with ingratitude and contempt. (If you've ever worked in retail you have had that experience.) The opposite is common too. There are some people who despise all forms of vengeance and never return evil for evil.

F. Because it is your duty. A, "duty," is something one is supposedly required or obligated to do, which is not a consequence of anyone's choices or actions. It is not an obligation one has because of any agreement they have made (to pay their bills for example) or as a result of something they did (they caused the accident and are obligated to pay the damages, for example). A duty is something someone is obligated to do just because they were born, like one's duty to God, or their country, or to society, or to mankind. If there were such a thing as an undeserved, "duty," that would be, at least for those who believe it, a reason to be moral. Whether there is any such thing as an undeserved duty is another question.

G. So you can live in peace and harmony with others. This, of course, assumes that living morally results in peace and harmony. Since, at this point, what actual moral principles are has not been established, whether or not they would lead to peace and harmony has not been established either.
But actual moral principles have already been established. That you may not been aware of them yet does not mean that they have not yet been established. And, if those moral principles would lead to peace and harmony has already been established. Again, if you have not yet been made aware of them does not mean that whether they lead to peace and harmony has not yet already been established also.
RCSaunders wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:10 pm If moral principles would have that result it would be a reason to live morally.
Okay.
RCSaunders wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:10 pm H. For the future of mankind. It is, at least for me, very difficult to see how this could be a reason for anyone to live morally. Unless the lives of those living in the here and now is in some way improved by living for the sake of some, as yet, non-existent future generations, it is no reason to live morally.

My Reasons

A very long time ago, when becoming a teenager meant it was time to get a job, one of my first full-time jobs, while going to school, was selling photo equipment and supplies for a large retail chain. The company sent all it's young, "salesmen," to Kodak School in Poughkeepsie, New York. The key message that sales course emphasized was to first discover what a customer wanted, then show the customer how the product you wished to sell would fulfill that customer's wishes. Unless a customer was convinced your product was in his own best interest, you didn't make the sale.

I am convinced, unless it can be shown why living morally is in the best interest of the individual, he will not choose to live morally.
If children were not shown that being greed and self-interest is what one "naturally" does, then they would not grow up to be selfish nor greedy. And, if they were not selfish and greedy, then that would just be living morally, naturally, anyway. They then would not have to choose to live morally. They would just be living morally.

See, the "best interest of the individual" is very subjective, and relative. Most people see a short term gain as the so called "best interest" and this can be seen as being better than achieving a long term goal for them. Also, because people do not even know who nor even what they are, so they have absolutely no idea at all what their "best interest" could even be anyway. Most people just want what they can get, and want that 'now', which ends up in reality not being for their actual 'best interest' at all.

What is in the actual best interest of every human being is that they get want they all truly want and desire. That is; to be heard and listened to, so that they are recognized and accepted for who (and what) they really are. When they are getting this want fulfilled, then they will get what else they desire. That is; living in peace and harmony with every one.
RCSaunders wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:10 pm I am also convinced that it is in the best interest of an individual to live morally.
Only adults need to learn how to live morally, as children just copy and follow adults' behaviors anyway.

If, and when, adults are living morally, then they will not be stressed out, when that is happening, then children will be far more and even truly happy, and when children are truly happy, then adults are fulfilling what is in their best interest.
RCSaunders wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:10 pm I am also convinced that all supposed problems with human relations and society can only be solved by individuals choosing to live morally, not for the sake of society or others, but because it is in their own best interest to do so.
When an adult is living morally by doing what is right in Life, which makes others happy, then that is in that adults self interest, because doing what is right in Life is in our best interest. If we doing things for our self, then that is what is best for our self. If we are doing things for all of us, then that is what is best for our True Self.
RCSaunders wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:10 pm If every individual chose to live morally, there would be no inter-personal or social issues.
Choosing to do some thing, and then actually doing it and keep on doing it, can be two completely very different things.

Just living morally, then there would be no inter-personal nor social issues.

Thee Truth IS the only so called "problems" in Life are only the ones human beings make up and create.

A 'problem' is just a question posed for a solution. And, for every problem there is a solution.

The only 'real problem in Life' that needs solving is the problem: What is the solution that will solve all of our (human beings') problems?

The answer, and thus solution, to that problem is: Through Honesty, Openness, and a serious Want to change, (what one is doing for the better).

Obviously no adult hitherto, when this is written always lives morally, so that means they need to change the wrong they do in order to do what is right in Life, or to live morally. In order to do this they have to want to change themselves, for the better. But, in order to do this, they have to first admit that they have a "problem". That 'problem' being; How can I change for the better?

The answer to the one and only 'real problem in Life', which solves all of our problems is just; Honesty, Openness, and a serious Want to change. For every problem there is a solution. For every solution there is a formula. So, the formula that does and will solve all of our problems is HOW.

So, the formula needed to solve the problem of: How can I change for the better is: By being Totally and Truly Honest about the wrong one does, by doing this then one just naturally becomes Truly OPEN, and one who is Truly OPEN then cannot not stop learning. From learning comes understanding, and from and with understanding of one's True Self, then what naturally flows is how and why to live morally.

In order to live morally people do not need to hear about how good one is and what they do right in Life. We all know that absolutely every one does some right things in Life, and, we all know (although it is contrary to popular belief) that every one is essentially good. In order to be living morally, what we all to need to hear from one another is the wrong that ALL adults are doing, and the processes they are taking to change for the better. That way we know they are sincere in their apologies for doing the wrong thing in Life. The 'problem' now, however, is: How and why would an adult human being be open and honest about the wrong they do, especially with the amount of fear and ridicule that will obviously overcome them, which is placed on them by others when they start judging and punishing that person?

We now know that the formula H-O-W, (Honesty, Openness, and a serious Want to change, for the better), will solve ALL our problems. But how and why would someone put them self in that position of pain, harm and damage, when one does not want to be fearful nor ridiculed? Obviously, if adults were not being judgmental and ridiculing, then others would not be to fearful to be Honest, Open, and seriously Wanting to change. But, this will only change when adults, themselves, are first being Honest, Open, and seriously Wanting to change the obviously wrong behavior they do of judging and ridiculing others.

See, adults do not like to admit they do wrong. In fact they will do absolutely anything, including lying, deceiving, minimizing, and "justifying" their own wrong behaviors, instead of just being Open and Honest.

No adult likes to admit that they do wrong, especially when to live a moral life one would need to admit that they abuse children for any and all of this to even take place and begin.

So, if you can work out how to convince any one that what is in their own best self interest is to be just be Truly Honest, Open and seriously Want to change for the better, then I have the KNOW-HOW to solve ALL of their problems in Life for them so that can all live peacefully together in harmony as One, which I KNOW is and will be beyond their wildest of dreams that they have now.

But, from what I have found so far, even with the promise of showing people how they could live beyond even what their biggest dream now, which is what is really in their best interest that they are not ready to listen yet.

So, you having the selling experience, how do you convince someone of what is in their best interest? Do you try as hard to convince someone of this if you are not going to get some monetary reward for doing this "work"?

What would convince you, to start informing people of what is in their best interest, if you will not get money?

If I promised you I can show you EXACTLY how you could live in a "world", which is richer beyond what you are imagining now, where you are richer beyond your wildest dreams, and where it is in your best interest, then would that get you to listen to me?

I am not here to convince anyone of anything. But, if you truly do want to be happy and truly do want to be living in peace and harmony with everyone, then I am just here to inform you of HOW this is actually possible.

I cannot convince you of what is in your own best interest. I can only know what is in your own best interest by letting you tell me what is in your own best interest, and then if you do not yet know how to achieve this, then I can show you how to achieve that. But, that is; only if what is in your own best interest is what you really and truly do want in Life.
RCSaunders wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:10 pm Moral Nature

In my introductory comments I wrote: "The possibility of moral principles assumes individuals have a choice about how they behave. If human behavior were determined by something other than individual choice, whether there were moral principles or not would not matter, since no one could choose either to observe or evade them."
Free will AND determinism BOTH play an equal part.

As an adult we are absolutely FREE to choose how we want to behave, or misbehave. BUT, we can only choose from the list of behaviors that have been programmed into us when we were children.

For example I, as an adult, want to choose to start eating dog if I was brought up being taught that it is perfectly okay, all right, and acceptable to eat sheep or cows but you will be punished and ridiculed if you kill and eat dogs. Although I have the complete freedom and thus free will to choose the behavior of killing and eating dogs the fear of being punished and/or ridiculed for choosing to do this behavior is a deterministic factor in me not choosing to do, but this is only in this society and in these times. For obviously in another society in another time this is just a perfectly normal, okay, all right, and truly acceptable behavior. in fact, in this society one could be ridiculed for not eating dog, but if so chose to eat a sheep, a cow, or a pig instead.

Children do not have a choice. Children do what they are taught to do. Children are absolutely absolved of any and ALL responsibility.

Adults, however, have absolutely no restrictions at all in what they can choose to do. The only limitations they have are of the amount of choices that they can choose from. The amount of choices they can choose from was pre-determined and is so of a deterministic nature, but the ability to choose is of absolute freedom, and so is of free will nature.

How one behaves is completely of one's free choice, but the consequences of how one behaves is of determining factors, such as the way others of that particular society will judge you, and/or ridicule you or praise you.
RCSaunders wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:10 pm It is that aspect of human consciousness that requires human beings to live by conscious choice I refer to as the moral nature.
To me, adults have the ability to live by conscious choice. Children do not yet have this ability. To me, children are free from responsibility, whereas adults are not.
RCSaunders wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:10 pm It is what differentiates human beings from all other forms of life. We do not hold the animals morally accountable for their actions because all their behavior is determined by their instinctive nature.
Human beings behavior is also determined by their instinctive nature, which, to me, is having the ability to learn, understand, and reason absolutely any thing and every thing. This to me is what separates human beings from every other animal.

This ability to learn, understand, and reason absolutely any and every thing is also why human beings are so quick to learn to do what is wrong, but also reason (and "justify") that it is actually all right and okay behavior. In fact, human beings ability at this learning and reasoning is so truly amazing that they can even actually end up doing what is clearly so obviously WRONG in Life, but have themselves actually believing that that is actually perfectly acceptable and anyone who says otherwise is laughed off as being a total loony and fool.

Adult human beings putting their own personal 'love of money' of human beings and other animals lives, being just one of example of this "justified" perfectly "acceptable" behavior by human beings.
RCSaunders wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:10 pm What I mean by instinct is that total behavioral program that determines all an animals behavior, from what it eats and how it acquires it, to how it lives its life. All of an animal's behavior automatically fulfills the requirements of its nature as the kind of animal it is. A fish's instinctive program guarantees all its behavior fulfills the requirements of its nature as a fish, and a deer's instinctive program guarantees all its behavior fulfills the requirements of its nature as a deer. So long as an animal's environment is appropriate to its instinctive program its survival is guaranteed, and it cannot choose to act against the requirements of its own nature.
Obviously EVERY animal's environment is appropriated to its instinctive program otherwise that animal would not have evolved into and with that environment. And as soon as an environment is appropriate to an animals instinctive program, then that animal either continues to evolve with the environment or is wiped out completely, which again is just the environment doing what it does. That is creating species through evolution.

For reasons, which can be explained, some human beings think or believe that animals come before the environment, or that an animal's instinctive program is separated from the environment and that as long as that animal's environment is appropriate then that animal's survival is guaranteed. Whereas, what is actually the case is that animal is ONLY around because of the environment. Every animal's so called "instinctive program" is because of the environment.

The environment creates ALL things, through an evolutionary process. Things are not just created, with some "survival program", which could somehow not be aligned with the environment. The so called "survival program" within every living thing is because of the environment, which it evolved from.
RCSaunders wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:10 pm It is that total behavioral program human beings are not born with. None of the behavior required for human being's survival, much less their fulfillment as human beings, is provided.
If none of that so called "survival behavior" is provided in a species, then how is it surviving?

Of course that so called "survival behavior" is within human beings. How do you think human beings have survived for millions of years so far? By chance and by luck?

Just because most of the human beings, in the days of when this is written, think that they have lost the ability to survive without money, then this does not mean that they have. Obviously, every human being as a 'survival instinct' within them, because if they did not, then they would not be surviving.
RCSaunders wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:10 pm Instead of instinct, human beings have minds, that unique attribute of human consciousness that we call volition (the necessity and ability to consciously choose all one's behavior), intellect (the necessity and ability to gain and hold knowledge), and rationality (the necessity and ability to use knowledge to ask and answer questions, and make judgements). Unlike all other animals human beings must learn or discover what their nature requires for their survival and success as human beings and, if they are to live and succeed, they must choose to use that knowledge to live as their nature requires.
The want and desire of being 'human' is be able to live together in peace and harmony with everyone, as One.

Now, the reason why human beings are still not there yet, is because human beings learn best by, from, and through experiences. Only when human beings start admitting the wrong they do, and seriously want to change that behavior, only then they will start learning and seeing what is actually right in Life. Only when they have gained this understanding this is when they can start living the life that we all truly want and desire anyway.

But adult human beings are not fully open and honest partly but mostly for the reasons given above.
RCSaunders wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:10 pm While an animal's survival is guaranteed by it's instinctive nature, human beings have no such guarantee, and must discover how to live and then choose to do what is required to live.
But human beings' instinctive nature is to learn. They are ALL born extremely inquisitive with an absolute "thirst" and "hunger" for knowledge. This instinct, however, sadly and unfortunately diminishes. This is because of the human brain's amazing ability to gather, store, and hold received information. Any information received, which is ridiculing, and which is associated with not yet knowing something or associated with providing a wrong answer, then is stored, and is recalled each time when inquiries are made to learn more or learn something anew. Some of the thoughts stored within the brain can and do literally prevent and stop human beings learning.

There is nothing to learn in order to just live. Any new born human child can tell you what is needed to survive:
1. Clean enough air.
2. Clean enough water.
3. Just enough nutrients.
4. Attention.

These are the only four things, which human beings need for their survival. Nothing else. Every human baby is born with this instinctive nature. This is how human beings have survived for millions of years so far.

However, if you human beings want to live in that wanted and desired dream state of Peace and Harmony, then yes they just need to discover how to live this way, and then just choose AND just do 'it', (whatever that is that takes to create this "dream state"). By the way, discovering what is actually needed in order to actually create and live this way of life is really a very simple and a very easy thing to do. One just needs to be Honest, Open, and seriously Wanting to change, for the better.

But, in order to be able learn how to do any and all of this, one needs to be Honest about their abusive towards children. And, how many adults are there who really are going to freely admit that they abuse children?
RCSaunders wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:10 pm For human beings, the ultimate question always is, "to be or not to be?"
This might be true. But, if one has not yet discovered nor learned 'how to be', then they obviously cannot yet be.

Also, if one does not yet know who one IS exactly, then they can not yet BE that.
RCSaunders wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:10 pm That is the ultimate moral question.
Also, one would have had to have discovered or learned what is is needed in order to 'live morally' first because they could even do that.

Absolutely every behavior is learned behavior. Obviously, a world in which everyone is living together in peace and harmony has not yet come about. Human beings learn from the environment/society that they grow up in. Therefore, if a environment/society like this has not yet come about, then that means no one has learned how to live that way of life yet, so, someone has to discover HOW to live that way, and share that way with others.

But, what has to be remembered absolutely every thing new that has been discovered just takes some time to become shared knowledge.

Also, some people have grown up learning how to communicate better than others have.
RCSaunders wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:10 pm This is not a question of suicide. For a human being, to not discover what one's life requires and choose to do it is suicide.
Nothing in the Universe is 'required'. But, if, for example, some people want to live a certain way, then they need to require this knowledge.

By the way, the way to require the knowledge needed to live in peace and harmony what is also obtained is the reason WHY they would not choose to anything else other than to do what is right in Life.
RCSaunders wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:10 pm Remember the question of this thread is: Why should anyone observe any moral standards? My answer is, because your life and your enjoyment of it depend on it.
But this does not make any sense. No human being observes moral standards always, so their life does not depend on it all. For example everyone lives their whole life, obviously, but some rarely if ever observe any moral standards. So, one's life does not depend on observing moral standards at all.

Also, the more money some people have the more enjoyment they have, which absolutely contradicts any and all moral standards. Withholding any amount of money at all, which could have been used to keep a child alive, is not living by observing any moral standard at all.
RCSaunders wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:10 pm If you do not live morally you will not survive and as long as you do survive you will not fully enjoy your life.
And this is EXACTLY why and how ALL human beings do not survive for as long as they could and do not fully enjoy their shortened lives.
RCSaunders wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:10 pm I have made no attempt to identify what those moral principles are, only to identify what moral principles are for and why one would choose to live according to them. Moral principles are not mandates, not obligations, not one's duty, they are not for the sake of society, or one's neighbor, or mankind. Moral principles only identify how an individual can choose to live successfully as a human being, but the choice must be made by each individual. If an individual chooses to live successfully and enjoy his life, he not only "ought" to live morally, he must live morally.
Once people discover, learn and KNOW what is right in Life, then they will just live that way voluntarily and naturally anyway. This way of life and living just becomes natural, and so will not conscious choices anyway.
RCSaunders wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:10 pm I will provide a brief outline of what moral principles are in another post.
Okay.
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Re: Why Be Moral?

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Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:25 pm If so, would you be a bystander, watching Jewish people get marched to the gas chambers and saying, "Not my problem" ?
What would you have done? What are you doing about the atrocities that are happening every day right now? Like the "war that has displaced 13 million people and taken hundreds of thousands of lives, and ranks among the largest in recent history," in Syria. What have you done about the atrocities committed by Boko Haram in Nigeria? Or did you just stand by and watch? What did you do about the Rwanda genocide? Or was it not your problem? What are doing about the ongoing atrocities in South Africa that had already (by 1015) murdered more than 70,000 whites?

I'm not asking you these questions seriously; I'm pointing out how absurd such back-handed accusations are.

The truth is, the few independent individuals there had been in Germany had fled long before the, "final solution," was implemented. The question is meaningless and disingenuous.
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Re: Why Be Moral?

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RCSaunders wrote: Tue Mar 17, 2020 1:45 am
Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:25 pm If so, would you be a bystander, watching Jewish people get marched to the gas chambers and saying, "Not my problem" ?
What would you have done?
I'll happily tell you. But first, I need to reassure myself concerning your position. And the purpose is not to accuse you; it's to discern how far down with the logic of your declared position you would be prepared to go.

If I had to guess, I'd say it's "Not very far." I do not think you would be content to watch people exterminated, dispossessed, molested, raped, or whatever, and to say, "Not my problem." But then, your claim that morality is an individual matter has definite limits. On the other hand, if you make it unlimited, then it rationalizes exactly those sorts of abdication of moral responsibility for others.

It should be a simple question to answer. I wonder why it's not...

Check that. No I don't. Not really. I'm pretty sure it's because you can see the horrid logic of your declared position, and aren't willing to ride the thing to the ground.

But if you're not going down with your position, then at some stage you'll have to parachute out. And I want to know when you'll do that.
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Re: Why Be Moral?

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Immanuel Can wrote: Tue Mar 17, 2020 3:24 am
RCSaunders wrote: Tue Mar 17, 2020 1:45 am
Immanuel Can wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:25 pm If so, would you be a bystander, watching Jewish people get marched to the gas chambers and saying, "Not my problem" ?
What would you have done?
I'll happily tell you. But first, I need to reassure myself concerning your position. And the purpose is not to accuse you; it's to discern how far down with the logic of your declared position you would be prepared to go.

If I had to guess, I'd say it's "Not very far." I do not think you would be content to watch people exterminated, dispossessed, molested, raped, or whatever, and to say, "Not my problem." But then, your claim that morality is an individual matter has definite limits. On the other hand, if you make it unlimited, then it rationalizes exactly those sorts of abdication of moral responsibility for others.

It should be a simple question to answer. I wonder why it's not...

Check that. No I don't. Not really. I'm pretty sure it's because you can see the horrid logic of your declared position, and aren't willing to ride the thing to the ground.

But if you're not going down with your position, then at some stage you'll have to parachute out. And I want to know when you'll do that.
Morality is fundamentally about good over evil conditioned upon optimal for humanity.

RCSaunders' model of Morality grounded on the independent individual is too flimsy.
Human beings as they are, are very fallible individuals. The neurosciences had shown the human brain is too 'malleable'. Any individual person can turned from the best or average person to a mad person the next moment.

Each individual person will claim s/he is highly independent but their acts could end up as evil like Hitler, Stalin, Mao and the likes. Someone could claim s/he is independent, so can stay away from Nazism, Islamism, but WHO ARE THEY to decide their acts are deemed to be morally good.
The question is how and on what grounds can an individual rely upon to decide what is morally good for them.
RCSaunders' model of Morality [independent individual] is groundless thus immature and inefficient. Yes, a certain percentile of individual say 5% may be successful on this approach, but it cannot be consistently and sustained for the whole or majority of humanity.

The critical requirement ultimately must rest on an efficient model, framework and system not dependent on an individual's view, regardless of how great the individual imagine or rationalize himself to be.

For morality and ethics to be efficient, it must be grounded on moral oughts/standards that are objective and justified within an established model, framework and system of morality, independent of the individual's subjective view.

At present there are many so-claimed 'moral' systems but the question is are their ideological oughts justified soundly and adopted voluntarily i.e. not enforced upon individuals members without threats.
Note the so-called 'moral' systems like Nazism, Communism, Fascism, Islam, and the like which has contributed to terrible evils throughout human history.

I believe Christianity with its pacifist maxims within its theological moral model is optimally effective at present but not for the future due to its inherent weaknesses, i.e. its morality is grounded on an illusory God who threaten believers with hell if they do not comply.

The way to moral efficiency in the future must rest on a foolproof framework and system of morality and ethics grounded on the secular approach of soundly justified moral absolutes, laws and standards as a GUIDE to guide individuals progressively toward the impossible-to-achieve-ideals.
At the same time each individual must be guided to increase their moral competency by improving the neural connections within their inherent moral faculty in the brain/mind.
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Re: Why Be Moral?

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bahman wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:21 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:40 am
bahman wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:33 pm
Equity, welfare, basic human rights, etc. are the main claims of most parties when it comes to the competition. Any party needs to please people in order to get power.
You still have not explain how the above has anything to do with Morality.
Think of gay marriage. Is it morally justifiable? Of course yes. Politicians, however, use gay marriage to get the vote depending on population opinion on the subject.
Politics [Collective -> individual] is independent of Morality and Ethics [individual -> collective].

Note the difference between Morality [Pure] and Ethics [Applied].
In terms of Pure Morality, gay marriage is theoretically wrong on moral grounds.
THEORETICALLY, if gay marriage is made universally* right, the human species will be extinct.
* universal means applied to every human being.

But given the circumstances, gay marriage is ethically acceptable. Homosexuality is a natural occurrence - perhaps a necessity. There is a natural limit to homosexuality, i.e. 10-15%, thus the other majority will ensure the human species is not likely to be extinct in theory.
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:40 am Btw, define Morality and Ethics specifically and specific their limits as a philosophical topic.
Morality is a set of codes that tells you what is right and what is wrong.
Ethics is a branch of knowledge that deals with why we should follow morality.
Ethics is not about 'should' nor 'ought'.
Ethics is about maintaining optimal morality within the natural constraints as guided [enforced] by absolute moral oughts and ideals.
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