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?

Moderators: AMod, iMod

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1468
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by RCSaunders » Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:31 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:01 am
Reality is interwoven with moral imperatives like those...things like, "do not harm others," and "do not lie"... If one refuses to respect those moral duties, then one will not merely harm others and disempower them; one will simultaneously harm oneself and deprive oneself of access to reality.
There is at least a partial answer here to the original question, "Why should anyone observe any moral standards?" that answer being: "one will ... harm oneself and deprive oneself of access to reality."

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1468
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by RCSaunders » Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:38 pm

odysseus wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:16 am
RCSaunders
..which is the whole problem with all current ethical and moral views and the reason for my question. It's fine to say, "be moral for its own sake, just because it is right," but unless it can be explained WHY anyone should do it, (or actually why it is right), it's just an empty suggestion.
Quite right about that, and there is no saving ethics unless there is a metaethical authority that speaks about and affirms what ethics is really about. ...What makes ethics obligatory and powerfully coercive is the metavalue of experience itself.
I'm not sure how something being, "obligatory," makes it something anyone would choose to do, and that is the question. So what if it's obligatory? Why should I choose to do it? [I'm not making an argument here, just emphasizing what the question actually is.]

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1468
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by RCSaunders » Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:41 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:45 am
RCSaunders wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 2:39 pm
Nick_A wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 5:18 am
Objective conscience is a universal principle a person can remember. You have to decide if it is worth making the sincere efforts necessary for remembering or continually debating man made morality.
Perhaps you need to read the post again. I'm not debating anything. I'm only asking the question of why anyone should observe moral principles. Is it so they won't suffer a bad conscience? If their conscience does not bother them (as it wouldn't for sociopaths and pschopaths) is it alright for them to be immoral?
There is no reason to be moral. But I thought asking on philosophy site asks why do so. Of course all you have to do is obey laws when people are watching and know how to avoid them,

But 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
Thanks for the succinct and clear explanation.

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1468
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by RCSaunders » Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:43 pm

henry quirk wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:57 am
conscience

As I see it: conscience is the compass and morality is true north.
If you are right, Henry, it does no explain why anyone should choose to go north, and that is the question.

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1468
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by RCSaunders » Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:45 pm

Age wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 5:28 am
If people want to live in peace and harmony, then that is why to be 'moral'.

But, if people want to continue living in discord and disharmony, as they are now when this is written, then continue on to be immoral.
That is certainly one answer to the question. Thank you!

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1468
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by RCSaunders » Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:50 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 7:32 am
Moral behaviour breeds collective trust. Immoral behaviour breeds collective distrust.

If you are an "individualist" and you depend only on yourself and nobody else, then you don't need others to trust you; you don't need others to cooperate with you; you don't need others to exchange value with you,

If you don't need other humans to survive and thrive, if you are totally independent from society as a whole then you don't need to observe moral standards.
That supposes someone already has a moral ideology. The question is, why should anyone choose to do what is moral whether from an individualist or collectivist point of view. But in either case, if I understand you, it is dependence on society that would be a reason for being moral. Is that right?

User avatar
henry quirk
Posts: 7181
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 8:07 pm

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by henry quirk » Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:01 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:43 pm
henry quirk wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:57 am
conscience

As I see it: conscience is the compass and morality is true north.
If you are right, Henry, it does no explain why anyone should choose to go north, and that is the question.
I gave you my (two) answers up-thread.

In other words: I opined, up-thread, about why we ought to head north, and pointed out, with my comment about conscience, that we have a compass should we choose to go north.

User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 8096
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:04 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:31 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:01 am
Reality is interwoven with moral imperatives like those...things like, "do not harm others," and "do not lie"... If one refuses to respect those moral duties, then one will not merely harm others and disempower them; one will simultaneously harm oneself and deprive oneself of access to reality.
There is at least a partial answer here to the original question, "Why should anyone observe any moral standards?" that answer being: "one will ... harm oneself and deprive oneself of access to reality."
Yes, that's a partial answer.

That part is insufficient in itself, of course, since it begs the question of why one shouldn't harm oneself or deprive oneself of access to reality, if one is more inclined to do so than to remain healthy or have true access to reality.

And there are incentives for both, of course: those who abandon truth do so because it affords them a temporary advantage, or prevents them having a temporary problem. Those who find reality too difficult, as Camus pointed out, often commit intellectual suicide by preferring comforting delusions.

And that's the problem: there are always temporary advantages, sometimes of considerable magnitude, for not preferring truth, goodness or morality. And there are often immediate penalties, often also considerable, for insisting on doing the good.

But in the long term, and for those who are correctly grasping the nature of reality, understanding what it is for and what human beings are for, there are incredible payoffs in terms of the development of the soul (or self) to those who persevere in choosing the true good over the temporarily-advantageous evil.

User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 8096
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:07 pm

henry quirk wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:01 pm
In other words: I opined, up-thread, about why we ought to head north, and pointed out, with my comment about conscience, that we have a compass should we choose to go north.
I'm wondering if this is something like what you're saying, Henry.

We might say that conscience, when correctly calibrated (for it is apparent some people have damaged consciences, or less sense of conscience than others do), is an intuition of our own deep moral responsibilities, and ultimately, of what is in the interests of the development of the soul or self.

User avatar
henry quirk
Posts: 7181
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 8:07 pm

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by henry quirk » Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:28 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:07 pm
henry quirk wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:01 pm
In other words: I opined, up-thread, about why we ought to head north, and pointed out, with my comment about conscience, that we have a compass should we choose to go north.
I'm wondering if this is something like what you're saying, Henry.

We might say that conscience, when correctly calibrated (for it is apparent some people have damaged consciences, or less sense of conscience than others do), is an intuition of our own deep moral responsibilities, and ultimately, of what is in the interests of the development of the soul or self.
Yep, that's mostly what I'm sayin'.

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1468
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by RCSaunders » Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:39 pm

henry quirk wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:01 pm
RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:43 pm
henry quirk wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:57 am
conscience

As I see it: conscience is the compass and morality is true north.
If you are right, Henry, it does no explain why anyone should choose to go north, and that is the question.
I gave you my (two) answers up-thread.

In other words: I opined, up-thread, about why we ought to head north, and pointed out, with my comment about conscience, that we have a compass should we choose to go north.
I know, Henry. I just commenting on you last post. I'm not disagreeing with you.

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1468
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by RCSaunders » Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:53 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:04 pm
RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:31 pm
There is at least a partial answer here to the original question, "Why should anyone observe any moral standards?" that answer being: "one will ... harm oneself and deprive oneself of access to reality."
Yes, that's a partial answer.

That part is insufficient in itself, of course, since it begs the question of why one shouldn't harm oneself or deprive oneself of access to reality, if one is more inclined to do so than to remain healthy or have true access to reality.
The question is not about what is good, or right, (or moral), the question is "Why Be Moral?" The reason I said yours was a partial answer refers only to the part: "one will ... harm oneself and deprive oneself." A reason for an individual to choose to be moral might be because he was convinced he would otherwise harm or deprive himself of something, whether he was right or not about what actually would harm or deprive him of something. Why would anyone choose anything if they believed it would deprive them of what they wanted?

User avatar
henry quirk
Posts: 7181
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 8:07 pm

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by henry quirk » Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:54 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:39 pm
henry quirk wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:01 pm
RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:43 pm

If you are right, Henry, it does no explain why anyone should choose to go north, and that is the question.
I gave you my (two) answers up-thread.

In other words: I opined, up-thread, about why we ought to head north, and pointed out, with my comment about conscience, that we have a compass should we choose to go north.
I know, Henry. I just commenting on you last post. I'm not disagreeing with you.
And I was just clarifyin', tyin' my posts together.

By the way: I'm not that prickly or stupid: you don't have to keep pointin' out how you're not disagreein' with me.

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1468
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by RCSaunders » Fri Mar 13, 2020 4:15 pm

IvoryBlackBishop wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:19 pm
If you're arguing affirmatively that they shouldn't, ...
I'm sorry I missed your comment earlier, IBB.

I'm not arguing anything, only asking a question. If there is no good reason for one to be moral, that would not mean they would or should intentionally be immoral, would it?

odysseus
Posts: 155
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:30 pm

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by odysseus » Fri Mar 13, 2020 4:15 pm

RCSaunders wrote
I'm not sure how something being, "obligatory," makes it something anyone would choose to do, and that is the question. So what if it's obligatory? Why should I choose to do it? [I'm not making an argument here, just emphasizing what the question actually is.]
Put it this way: if a moral imperative did in fact issue directly from God, with a capital 'G' then you would be obliged to obey. Such a directive is, in the jargon of epistemology, indefeasible, and this simply follows from the assumption that god is the final and absolute moral authority, so there is no deferring or second guessing. This is what an absolute is all about. If the the authority did in fact have this grounding, it would be irresistible.

But of course, there is no God doing this. I use the idea to demonstrate the moral grounding you're looking for.

The idea here is that exactly this kind of moral grounding is present in the material, if you will, "presence" of a moral issue, and the moral authority issues from the value essential to the matter: whether it is torture or just telling a convenient lie, what makes the matter moral at all, is the material ground that is value-in-the-world, that IN the matter at hand, for telling the lie, e.g., puts one in the cross fire of competing obligations, adn when this is given it moral analysis, and what is valuatively arbitrary is dismissed, as this refers to the facts, as Wittgenstein would put it (see his Lecture on Ethics, Tractatus), or, the factual entanglements like you sister's busy schedule that you might obtrude on were you to lie, or a previous promise you will be breaking and so on, all relevant to entangled moral issues, but not relevant to the metaethical/metavalue issue here, and what remains is value qua value, and THIS is the essence of ethics, what makes ethics even an issue at all. No value, no ethics.

Value is not a contingent matter; it is absolute. This is a thesis that can be elaborated on, but it depends on if you are interested enough in the thing you seek: an absolute basis for moral obligation that is grounded in the world and not dogmatically. Let me know.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests