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

Post Reply
User avatar
henry quirk
Posts: 7203
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 8:07 pm

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by henry quirk » Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:35 pm

Where in this...

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.


...does this...

being moral is about the self-maintenance of one's spirit.

...fit?

I, myself, can place it in A and B.

User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 8123
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Mar 15, 2020 7:03 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:31 pm
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 2:33 pm
I would not say so, neither do ethicists and philosophers generally. I'm no friend of Hume, obviously, but I have to give him his due in this situation. He's described the problem well.
There is no problem! You think so, because you accept the word of authorities, ethicists, and philosophers, who, just as I said, "swallowed Hume's deceptive question (and every philosopher who followed him) has propagated that lie," and you've swallowed it too.
Heh. :D You don't know me very well, obviously, despite all our talking.

Now, you probably should know from our previous conversations that I'm no "shrinking violet," and not likely to take anybody's word for things. And the fact that I've been here half a dozen years should tell you I'm not an easy man to make conform. But I suppose you may believe as you like about that, because you can't know for sure...

But consider again how unlikely it would be that I would ever agree with Hume about anything. Hume, he's actively AGAINST Theism, and on the opposite side from me, in no indefinite terms. Aggressively so, I might add. So if anybody had an incentive to argue that there was an alternate way to do moral thinking, it was Hume.

And in fact, that's what he did: he argued that Emotivism was the answer. Of course, we all now have seen the problems with Emotivism, and nobody thinks Hume's solution was any good -- but most philosophers are secular, and would be delighted if Hume had been right. In fact, secular ethicists would STILL be delighted if anyone had solved Hume's Guillotine...and they'd give that person a Nobel Prize.

Yet, they know he wasn't right about the solution he proposed. Emotivism, they can see, is full of logical holes. And still, against their wishes, they recognize he was right about the problem. :shock:

Now, you may not personally want to believe that. But either all the other moral philosophers are just fools, or else you've missed something there.
Hume's premise was wrong. What "is" [the empirical] does not determine any objectives, and without objectives there are no values. That is the point and the only point I made. Everything else you wrote is irrelevant to that point.
I addressed it, actually. "Objectives," "goals," "ends," "outcomes," -- call them what you will (and you've called them by several names), they themselves need justification.

And in fact, you're half agreeing with Hume already. Because if "the empirical does not determine any objectives," and "without objectives there are no values," then Hume was quite right: IS cannot be translated into OUGHT, under any circumstances. There, you and he agree.

Where you go wrong is that you suppose that people's mere HAVING of objectives can equal JUSTIFICATION of those objectives. But as I said, if that were true, then the Final Solution was justified by nothing more than the fact that Nazis chose it as their objective.

And neither you nor I is going to swallow any line of thought that makes that true, right?

IvoryBlackBishop
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:55 pm

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by IvoryBlackBishop » Sun Mar 15, 2020 7:20 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
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?
Fair enough, so you're arguing from a "neutral" position, there's no inherent reason to actively be moral, nor actively be immoral, is that right?

Nick_A
Posts: 4826
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by Nick_A » Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:21 pm

RC

To better understand you Tell me if you believe human life has continuity (after life) and if objective quality exists?

For those like Buddhists who believe in the wheel of Samsara, the essence of what we are continues and if they believe in objective quality, it determines the quality of the next life. I'll leave Christianity out of it since the word arouses negativity.

The value of morality or why be concerned bout it only relates to the future of what we are. So do you believe in objective quality that determines where we are on the Wheel of Samsara or do we just die: dust to dust? Then there is no objective reason to care about right and wrong. Might makes right.

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1479
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by RCSaunders » Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:02 pm

Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 7:03 pm
Yet, they know he wasn't right about the solution he proposed. Emotivism, they can see, is full of logical holes. And still, against their wishes, they recognize he was right about the problem.
But there is no problem! Hume just made it up. Of course there's no solution to a made-up problem.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 7:03 pm
But either all the other moral philosophers are just fools, ...
That's right!
Hume's premise was wrong. What "is" [the empirical] does not determine any objectives, and without objectives there are no values. That is the point and the only point I made. Everything else you wrote is irrelevant to that point.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 7:03 pm
I addressed it, actually. "Objectives," "goals," "ends," "outcomes," -- call them what you will (and you've called them by several names), they themselves need justification.
It's still irrelevant. If I say "fuel" is required for any kind of internal combustion engine, it is not necessary to specify what kind of fuel; it could be diesel fuel, naphtha, gasoline, hydrogen, ether, ethanol, or another. If I say values are needed only if there is some objective, it is not necessary to specify any particular objective, for it to be true that some objective is necessary. We were not talking about any particular objective (so none needs to be justified), ONLY that there must be some objective or purpose before there can be a value, and that is the principle that Hume ignored.

Does dawn finally break on Marblehead?
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 7:03 pm
And in fact, you're half agreeing with Hume already. Because if "the empirical does not determine any objectives," and "without objectives there are no values," then Hume was quite right: IS cannot be translated into OUGHT, under any circumstances.
I absolutely do not agree. Objectives are not, "determined," they are chosen and can only be chosen by beings capable of making choices. [We're still not talking about any particular objectives here.]
Immanuel Can wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 7:03 pm
Where you go wrong is that you suppose that people's mere HAVING of objectives can equal JUSTIFICATION of those objectives.
I certainly don't think that. I don't even know what it means. Justify to whom?

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1479
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by RCSaunders » Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:10 pm

henry quirk wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:35 pm
...does this...

being moral is about the self-maintenance of one's spirit.

...fit?

I, myself, can place it in A and B.
You know, Henry, I actually meant to comment on that, because I think it is one of the best reasons for being moral. Ultimately it is one's own sense of integrity and moral self-esteem that is at stake.

Whether it fits A and B depends, I think, on how you interpret A and B.

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 1479
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by RCSaunders » Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:17 pm

IvoryBlackBishop wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 7:20 pm
RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 4:15 pm
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?
Fair enough, so you're arguing from a "neutral" position, there's no inherent reason to actively be moral, nor actively be immoral, is that right?
For the sake of the question I took a neutral position, but that is not my personal view.

I've just posted my response to most of the answers so far: Why Be Moral?, My Answer where I briefly explain why I believe one must live morally if they wish to live successfully as a human being.

IvoryBlackBishop
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:55 pm

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by IvoryBlackBishop » Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:26 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:17 pm
IvoryBlackBishop wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 7:20 pm
RCSaunders wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 4:15 pm
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?
Fair enough, so you're arguing from a "neutral" position, there's no inherent reason to actively be moral, nor actively be immoral, is that right?
For the sake of the question I took a neutral position, but that is not my personal view.

I've just posted my response to most of the answers so far: Why Be Moral?, My Answer where I briefly explain why I believe one must live morally if they wish to live successfully as a human being.
Thanks, regarding higher-level moral philosophy, do you have anything in specific?

(For example, per the philosophy of the Common Law, as per Judge Oliver Wendell Holmes and others, specific popular moral sentiments or 'fads' may vary somewhat from culture to culture, or time period to time period, with there being 10s of 1000s of minor "laws" in the books, some even arguably silly or archaic, with the specific moral or legal reason for the specific law originally being forgotten).

The law, in addition being divided into "civil", "criminal", and so on and so forth, regardless has overarching moral philosophical principles or axioms, akin to the golden rule (e.x. the law is based on respect for people's personal autonomy, their families, their property, and so on and so forth, having developed out of older legal systems such as Rome, Exodus and others, as a chivalric or cultural 'evolution' up from more "primtive" times and systems, in which evils such as anarchy, mob rule, blood feuds, private vengeance and vendettas, and so forth existed sans the development of modern formal legal systems, rules, courts, proceedures, Constitutions, rights, and so on and so forth).

User avatar
henry quirk
Posts: 7203
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 8:07 pm

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by henry quirk » Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:41 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:10 pm
henry quirk wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:35 pm
...does this...

being moral is about the self-maintenance of one's spirit.

...fit?

I, myself, can place it in A and B.
You know, Henry, I actually meant to comment on that, because I think it is one of the best reasons for being moral. Ultimately it is one's own sense of integrity and moral self-esteem that is at stake.

Whether it fits A and B depends, I think, on how you interpret A and B.
Personally, I think my reason stands alone (well apart from the categories you listed), and that tickles me to no end.

The Quirk stands alone.

User avatar
bahman
Posts: 3083
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:52 pm

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by bahman » Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:33 pm

Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 3:54 am
bahman wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:56 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 6:21 am

The government is involved in politics, the legislature, the police, the judiciary which imposed laws and forced citizen to act in a certain way. It has nothing to do directly with Morality and Ethics.

Morality and Ethics are matters for the individual[s] mental developments e.g. one's Moral Compass and Conscience.
Where I made the attempt to improve my moral competence voluntarily, that is because of my human nature and has nothing to do with the government.
And how does the government take power?
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.

User avatar
bahman
Posts: 3083
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:52 pm

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by bahman » Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:02 pm

IvoryBlackBishop wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 5:11 pm
bahman wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 11:59 pm
Why be moral? Because otherwise, the government will punish you. So you are basically afraid of the society who is blindly making the rules.
At the lowest level of human motivation, maybe, but generally society expects or prefers individuals to be moral of their own accord, or "free will", but of course will forcibly impose a "bare minimum" of morality on those otherwise too socicopathic or immoral to do so of their own accord, such as forcing a rapist not to rape, or a murder not to murder (which is one of the biggest argument I hear against "religious legalism" anyway, that morality is solely done out of "fear of divine punishment" or "desire for reward in the afterlife").
There are immoral acts even in well-developed systems. Morality is rooted in our nature among all other desires. That is why there is a conflict of interest even in single individual when it comes to different interests. For example, a person is married and he has sexual desire to someone else rather than his spouse. He suffers because his needs are not fulfilled. He will be punished if he gets involved in a love affair. How about being open and let him have sex?
IvoryBlackBishop wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 5:11 pm
Plus the idea that a civilized, 1st world government which forces rapists not to rape, or murders not to murder is "no different" than a fascist, totalitarian, or tyrannical government (e.x. a Nazi government which forces people to rate out Jews to the Gestapo) is rather naïve and hypocritical, along with the notion that the rules are made "blindly" for "for no reason".
Does a rapist rape as a matter of surge of a strong need? People are equal in their essence but why people should be ranked equally when it comes to social hierarchy? I don't agree with Nazi government when it comes to killing individuals but what a heck, why everybody shouldn't follow the most intelligent person?
IvoryBlackBishop wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 5:11 pm
(e.x. In Common Law countries, books on the subject such as by Oilver Wendall Holmes outline what the legal and moral philosophy is, as well as the system of judicial precedents, and whatnot).

So I take it your arguing from an "anarchist POV", but even then you're arguing that it's inherently "immoral" for others to make moral rules or "impose" morality on people who have none of their own.

So do you believe it would be more moral to let a rapist rape women, or a Nazi gang member murder black people and Jews, than for the state to "impose morality on them arbitrarily"?
You need to put yourself in the shoes of a rapist to realize how difficult is to resist temptation, urge, etc. I know how difficult is. I didn't rape but there are people who simply fail. Are we treating rapists well?

IvoryBlackBishop
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:55 pm

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by IvoryBlackBishop » Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:40 pm

bahman wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:33 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 3:54 am
bahman wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:56 pm

And how does the government take power?
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.
Who cares? "Power" is just the ability to influence or change someone or something.

If "life is meaningless" there's no reason to care about it at all, other than just another satiation of an unstated feral or bestial impulse, like masturbation. Plus the silly notion of getting "power" merely being "claiming" to fulfill a social need, rather actually doing, unless one is too unintelligent, unstable, or otherwise socially worthless, archaic, and defective enough to do the former, rather than the latter, whatever that means to begin with.

IvoryBlackBishop
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:55 pm

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by IvoryBlackBishop » Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:47 pm

bahman wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:02 pm
There are immoral acts even in well-developed systems. Morality is rooted in our nature among all other desires. That is why there is a conflict of interest even in single individual when it comes to different interests. For example, a person is married and he has sexual desire to someone else rather than his spouse. He suffers because his needs are not fulfilled. He will be punished if he gets involved in a love affair. How about being open and let him have sex?
I don't understand what you mean, this isn't Saudi Arabia so we don't stone people for adultery; as far as I'm aware of, a person could have a consentual affair and not be "thrown in jail for it". So nothing's stopping him.

As far as "human nature" goes, have you ever watched Jerry Springer or Maury? What do you honestly think the odds are of people simply "letting" him do it with full approval?
IvoryBlackBishop wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 5:11 pm
Does a rapist rape as a matter of surge of a strong need? People are equal in their essence but why people should be ranked equally when it comes to social hierarchy? I don't agree with Nazi government when it comes to killing individuals but what a heck, why everybody shouldn't follow the most intelligent person?
I don't understand that logic, and that seems totally at odds with your other sentiments. This was just an example, but as far as more "serious" discussions of intelligence go, there are different types of intelligence (e.x. "Standard, emotional, and so on and so forth).

For example, Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber) was extremely gifed mathematically, but was too socially or emotionally inept to form normal relationships with others (and is speculated to have been on the high-functioning autistic spectrum), which may have been a source in his resentment and psychopathology, not that this in anyway "excuses" his murders.
You need to put yourself in the shoes of a rapist to realize how difficult is to resist temptation, urge, etc. I know how difficult is. I didn't rape but there are people who simply fail. Are we treating rapists well?
Do you identify with the "incel" community, just for the record? I'm sorry you've honestly felt that much of a need to want to "rape" someone, and weren't simply joking or being sarcastic.

As far as that goes, how about castration of males who can't meet their sexual needs consentually? In ancient times, kings or "high status men" simply had "low-status" men castrated and forced to serve in the harem.

No balls, no "unmet needs" - what's not to like?

User avatar
bahman
Posts: 3083
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:52 pm

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by bahman » Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:54 am

IvoryBlackBishop wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:40 pm
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.
Who cares? "Power" is just the ability to influence or change someone or something.
People who are manipulated care.
IvoryBlackBishop wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:40 pm
If "life is meaningless" there's no reason to care about it at all, other than just another satiation of an unstated feral or bestial impulse, like masturbation. Plus the silly notion of getting "power" merely being "claiming" to fulfill a social need, rather actually doing, unless one is too unintelligent, unstable, or otherwise socially worthless, archaic, and defective enough to do the former, rather than the latter, whatever that means to begin with.
Life is meaningless at its core. You have the option to stay or die. You need a way of living if you choose to live. I cannot follow what do you mean with the rest.

User avatar
bahman
Posts: 3083
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:52 pm

Re: Why Be Moral?

Post by bahman » Mon Mar 16, 2020 1:07 am

IvoryBlackBishop wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:47 pm
bahman wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:02 pm
There are immoral acts even in well-developed systems. Morality is rooted in our nature among all other desires. That is why there is a conflict of interest even in single individual when it comes to different interests. For example, a person is married and he has sexual desire to someone else rather than his spouse. He suffers because his needs are not fulfilled. He will be punished if he gets involved in a love affair. How about being open and let him have sex?
I don't understand what you mean, this isn't Saudi Arabia so we don't stone people for adultery; as far as I'm aware of, a person could have a consentual affair and not be "thrown in jail for it". So nothing's stopping him.

As far as "human nature" goes, have you ever watched Jerry Springer or Maury? What do you honestly think the odds are of people simply "letting" him do it with full approval?
I heard that there are couples who open to sex outside of marriage. Wife can always get jealous though and that causes problem in marriage. By the way, I haven't watched the movie.
IvoryBlackBishop wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 5:11 pm
bahman wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:02 pm
Does a rapist rape as a matter of surge of a strong need? People are equal in their essence but why people should be ranked equally when it comes to social hierarchy? I don't agree with Nazi government when it comes to killing individuals but what a heck, why everybody shouldn't follow the most intelligent person?
I don't understand that logic, and that seems totally at odds with your other sentiments. This was just an example, but as far as more "serious" discussions of intelligence go, there are different types of intelligence (e.x. "Standard, emotional, and so on and so forth).

For example, Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber) was extremely gifed mathematically, but was too socially or emotionally inept to form normal relationships with others (and is speculated to have been on the high-functioning autistic spectrum), which may have been a source in his resentment and psychopathology, not that this in anyway "excuses" his murders.
People should be assigned hierarchically to different positions depending on their interests and intelligence on the subject. Agree? If yes, isn't that racist?
IvoryBlackBishop wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 5:11 pm
You need to put yourself in the shoes of a rapist to realize how difficult is to resist temptation, urge, etc. I know how difficult is. I didn't rape but there are people who simply fail. Are we treating rapists well?
Do you identify with the "incel" community, just for the record? I'm sorry you've honestly felt that much of a need to want to "rape" someone, and weren't simply joking or being sarcastic.

As far as that goes, how about castration of males who can't meet their sexual needs consentually? In ancient times, kings or "high status men" simply had "low-status" men castrated and forced to serve in the harem.

No balls, no "unmet needs" - what's not to like?
There are all sorts of problems like this.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests