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Is there a universal morality?

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by MoonWater, Oct 12, 2007.

  1. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    One interesting article (and site) offers:
    "God is humans' attempt to hold that the ought is an is, and we do this because we do not trust ourselves. If God does not exist, then everything is permitted. We are weak animals, at the mercy of our impulses, and require empirical moral rules rather than normative ones, to stop us."[source]​
     
  2. MoonWater

    MoonWater Warrior Bard
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    What i'm getting at is are there certain circumstances where a sin could be justified? If the sin is justified does it become moral?

    Why is it wrong?
     
  3. ChristineES

    ChristineES Tiggerism
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    Because even if it consenting, later on down the line there is a chance that it will destroy a marriage. I have heard cases of swinging marriages, that at first they had a great time and later it caused resentment and pain. But this is a whole different discussion.
     
  4. MoonWater

    MoonWater Warrior Bard
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    Certain drugs have a chance of causing stroke or heart attack. Does that make those drugs immoral? How does the chance of future harm make something immoral? Can something be immoral even if there is no chance of it harming anyone?
     
  5. ChristineES

    ChristineES Tiggerism
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    Please, you are grasping at straws! Someone who walks in traffic isn't necessarily going to get run over, but most people don't just walk around in traffic because it may happen. If you know that harm may come your or someone else's way, wouldn't you try to prevent that? Would you give your sixth month old baby beads to play with because there is a chance he or she won't choke?
    I don't know about you, but if my actions may cause someone else pain, then I wouldn't do it if I could help it.
     
  6. ChristineES

    ChristineES Tiggerism
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    And yes there are sins that can be justified. Any mother would stop someone from harming her children, including killing someone. And telling a white lie, for instance, may help stop hurt feelings (But only if knowing the truth isn't going to help said person because then a white lie isn't right).

    But is a sin that is done for a positive reason really a sin?
     
  7. rojse

    rojse RF Addict

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    There is no universal morality, it is merely a construct of our own imaginations and ideas.
     
  8. Pardus

    Pardus Proud to be a Sinner.

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    Do not kill your own kind is on the list, all higher lifeforms have an aversion to homicide.
     
  9. Nanda

    Nanda Polyanna

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    I don't see how she's grasping at straws, it's a valid arguement. Take alchohol for example. It has the potential to kill you if overused (and it can also effectively destroy marriages) and most people don't see alchohol as immoral. A consenting open marriage may lead to problems down the road, but it may not, just like alchohol. Bottom line is, just because you think something is immoral, it doesn't make it so.
     
  10. MoonWater

    MoonWater Warrior Bard
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    I was about to something similar but it looks like you beat me to it.:bow:
     
  11. Nick Soapdish

    Nick Soapdish Secret Agent

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    You may know that you don't know some particular, however, you made a universal statement:

    It's impossible to "truly know" anything.

    How can you "truly know" this absolutely about everyone? Wouldn't that be impossible following your own assertion?

    Thanks for clarifying. :)
     
  12. Daniel Burbank

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    Haha, I haven't read most of the posts in this thread but I think it's funny because my 20th Century Civilization teacher asks questions like these (and including this one) and he plays devil's advocate all the time.
     
  13. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    By repeating your term, "truly know", I meant to know with absolute certainty (I assumed this is what you meant by your use of that phrase). The only way we can know anything with absolute certainty would be to know everything there is to be known (so that we could be certain that what we don't know wouldn't change what we do know if we were to come to know it). Since we do not know all there is to be known, we can logically surmise that we cannot be absolutely certain of the accuracy of what we do know. And since this is the point of my statement, it is unreasonable of you to call my statement an absolute statement (which is what I presume you to mean when you call it a "universal statement").
    I can't. But then I did not perceive my statement to be an absolute truth claim. You did. In fact, the statement itself says that I can't know for certain what the statement is claiming. So I don't understand why you're taking the statement as an absolute truth claim. To do so is irrational.
     
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  14. Nick Soapdish

    Nick Soapdish Secret Agent

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    That was my entire point. :)
     
  15. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    I think the principles enunciated in different ways by Bertrand Russell and Kendrick Fritz (as quoted by William Least Heat Moon) are universally applicable and the best basis of morality:

    Bertrand: [FONT=arial, helvetica, sans serif]"The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge."

    Kendrick:
    [/FONT][FONT=arial, helvetica, sans serif]"But the Spider Grandmother did give two rules. To all men, not just Hopis. If you look at them, they cover everything. She said, 'Don't go around hurting each other,' and she said, 'Try to understand things.'"[/FONT]
     
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  16. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Then you agree with the statement.
     
  17. Nick Soapdish

    Nick Soapdish Secret Agent

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    No I don't. As you said, the statement cannot be known by its own admission.

    I find the philosophical stance that the truth cannot be known as deconstructive and fundamentally disagrees with Western progress over the past 2500 years. I tend to be more pragmatic. I think it is for all practical purposes possible to have a meaningful grasp of what is really true.
     
  18. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    That's not what the statement, nor I meant at all. What the statement said was that we could not know anything with absolute certainty. We can know all kinds of things to be true relative to other things. What we can't know is how what we don't know would change what we do know if we were to come to know it. And because we can't know this, we can never be certain that what we think we know to be true, is absolutely and certainly true.
    I can't for the life of me understand why you keep insisting on taking this idea of truth to it's most absolute extreme. Again, no one here is even remotely suggesting that we can't know anything with a relative sureness of accuracy. Or that we can't live our lives successfully based on this relative knowledge. We can and we do. That's obvious.

    But this discussion began with the idea of there being an absolute universal truth, and that we can know it. And although there may be some absolute universal truths, it is not logical to presume that we humans could know it, because we don't have the capacity to verify such a truth, if it exists, and if we were to encounter it.
     
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