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Featured What would you do

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by Epic Beard Man, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    We didn't define morality. For example, you have pain and pleasure. We don't need to define what's good for our well-being and survival based on basic human needs.

    I actually don't see why there needs to be an origin for abstract concepts.

    That and isnt it odd we judge morality of people back when based on what we know today?

    Even in different cultures today morality isnt the same. I think it just grows from people interaction rather than isolated needing a defined origin.
     
  2. FirstandAmistad

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    I don't believe we're moral out of a vacuum, I just don't believe that good and evil necessarily come from a demiurge, but rather from the desire to create society. The appeal of society is obvious. It allowed early people to be safer, diversify resources, and create a broader sense of community with their neighbors. But to live in even the most basic societies, people needed to create order. These probably started off really simply, “don't take my stuff, don't eat my goats, don't, erm, kill me”, and later developed alongside our increasingly-complex societies by necessity because without complex morality to protect its citizens a complex society would collapse in on itself. Without the ability to have a basic level of trust in the people around you, society doesn't work.

    I'm not saying that there isn't a god or gods, because I don't know (and I do believe that there are metaphysical/spiritual forces that could be interpreted as god/gods at work in our universe). Perhaps the ability to have empathy and a sense of morality comes from a "divine spark" of some sort, I don't know. But what I do know is that systems of morality have developed all across the world, throughout all of history. The ancient Babylonians, Chinese, Greeks, Romans, and, hey look at that, every other society had and have systems of morality to coincide with keeping law and order, for the stability of society. And the vast majority of them did it without any promise of eternal reward or punishment.

    Just because you can't conceive of being a moral person without the thought of being punished, doesn't mean that others can't. It's not a perfect theory, but Lawrence Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development would place such thinking in the first level of moral development: staying moral out of fear of punishment and/or out of hope for reward. Which, if you're curious, is explained fairly well here: https://www.simplypsychology.org/kohlberg.html

    As for the question of what would make God angry... I don't know. I've wondered that many times, and the idea of it is one of the driving forces that pushed me away from Christianity. But that's an entirely different discussion.
     
  3. Epic Beard Man

    Epic Beard Man Bearded Philosopher

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    Yes phone typo.....

    In your first paragraph you got it.....

    The whole thread which flew over many people was hypothetical and mostly geared towards the theistic religious group who believe in a moral code based on their religious and spiritual beliefs. It begs the idea that humans who are religious and behave in accordance to a religious value system, do so under the conditions of a reward and punishment system.

    Is altruism acted out for the sake of altruism or is it because there is a reward behind it. Islamic theology espouses the idea of obtaining certain blessings for certain prayers and certain deeds. Christianity is no different as some Catholics believe wearing a scapula means if you die with it while wearing it you automatically go to heaven.

    Behaviors are conditionally determined based on beliefs. Give a man who lacks resources the tools to commit a crime and reassure them of no legal retribution I certainly think a lot of humans would forsake their moral beliefs to commit crime if they knew they could get away with it.

    I think ultimately that is the point here is we all are conditionally grounded on principles, principles we continuously condition ourselves and those around us. If I grew up in a household where I must remain obedient to God’s commandments those are beliefs that I will indoctrinate my psyche with, as well as those around me.

    I highly doubt based on just what humans do when it comes to avoiding jail, people would be moral for the sake of morality without being conditioned to belief such a way.
     
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  4. sealchan

    sealchan Well-Known Member

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    God said His creation was good. So are you saying that natural catastrophes are good and provide a model for our morality?
     
  5. Epic Beard Man

    Epic Beard Man Bearded Philosopher

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    Actually we do, because defining things and categorizing them are all processes of learning. This is how babies know when a stove is hot, and why construction workers wear helmets. We learn by the pain and pleasure principles. Knowing the origin of morality helps bring a greater understanding the psychopathology of human behavior and whether right and wrong actions are conditions of learned behavior not something objective of human reasoning.

    Because human development dictates we examine past behaviors to measure how far we have come as a society, so consequently we do in fact judge past societies.
     
  6. sealchan

    sealchan Well-Known Member

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    I suspect that animals and humans also have innate factors which support a moral awareness simply because our branch of the evolutionary tree is deep into social species. We may be psychologically configured such that our will enacts the needs of others which is altruistic even if not a choice.
     
  7. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    I don't see the connection.

    Without god, how would we be good and by whose definition or what criteria would you go by to define whose good and who isn't (if god didn't exist)

    As for natural disasters what's the connection between that and morality and what I posted?
     
  8. Epic Beard Man

    Epic Beard Man Bearded Philosopher

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    I’m far too familiar with Kohlberg and had to write many papers on his stages of moral development along with writing on Jean Piaget. I’m questioning further whether moral actions are conditioned by something.

    I mean, why don’t you steal?

    Is it because it’s wrong or you were taught that it is wrong?

    What came first? The teaching or the reason? Most would obviously say the teaching, and the reason provides the supplemental reasoning. I guarantee most people here who are lecturing me about my sense of morality would not turn in a bag of money of forty-million dollars if they knew they would get away with it.
     
  9. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Morality what's bad and good, is part of self survival: pain hurts/is bad and pleasure does not/good. It exists without us, we just label it to interact, make laws, and teach children.

    We're not the center of the universe; good and bad (as labels) exist as part of life not defined by us.

    The last part each culture and era has their own definition of morality. Killing is justified in one era but not in another.

    Applying our morality on someone else got us killed throughout history.
     
  10. sealchan

    sealchan Well-Known Member

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    You said,

    If we take the Jewish/Christian God and read Genesis 1 we see God pronouncing His work as good. Presumably, then, the believer who reads this would look at God's creation as an example of what is good. That creation is nature. There are things which happen in nature that are good or bad for human survival.

    So if God judges that nature is good, then nature would be a model for moral behavior.

    Now I know this isn't the standard understanding. But it escapes me at the moment why what I said above shouldn't be self-evident.

    Any thoughts?
     
  11. Epic Beard Man

    Epic Beard Man Bearded Philosopher

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    Let’s see if I understand you correctly.

    If morality is attached to survival then why am I wrong for wanting to rob banks? Is it not from my perspective that with that excess amount of money I can take care of myself? If I do not hurt anyone while taking money how am I hurting anyone aside from the corporation who will most certainly not go out of business if I take a few hundred thousand. How am I hurting the consumer? After all I’m merely trying to survive.
     
  12. Epic Beard Man

    Epic Beard Man Bearded Philosopher

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    I think most people are forgetting that even without God or gods, you are moral based on circumstantial conditions and that alone has a similitude of someone who acts good for the sake of God and to prevent punishment. The conditions of wanting to do good are taught and the idea of rightness and wrongness does carry an essence of “obedience to authority.”
     
  13. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    You didn't answer my question.
     
  14. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    That's basically what I'm saying, though. Without god morality (anything good like creation) wouldn't exist. When you say something is good, there would need to be some criteria to which we can determine what creation is besides it just being in and of itself.

    Creation is not good or bad. It just is. Pain and pleasure are good and bad depending on the person.

    As for why it isn't self evident, there is no sticker that says creation is good and comes from god. That creation is good is from creation-believers not something apparent in life independent from people. A lot of things from god are from humans.


    Basically. We just label things good and bad based on culture laws and societal norms. It's good to take care of yourself. It's not when you are taking money for anything not relates to survival.

    Im just using good and bad to differientiate what' healthy or pleasure and the opposite. The words good and bad isn't something I'd use to describe the nature of life.

    I guess if you say morals are created, I can only see that based on societal normals in different eras and locations.

    But if you really think of the words good and bad they basically describe the nature of pain and pleasure. Thats all throughout nature so I guess in making it more complex than what it is.
     
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  15. QuestioningMind

    QuestioningMind Well-Known Member

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    Of course I don't know you. Everything I know about you has been derived from what you wrote in the OP. However, based upon what you DID write (that the only thing stopping you from stealing or assaulting other people is a fear of God's punishment) you describe a person without the ability to empathize. Whether or not how you grew up contributed to this lack of empathy, I have no idea and it really doesn't matter for the purpose of this discussion.

    And this is ALL about empathy. IF the only reason you don't treat people in negative ways is because you're afraid that you won't get away with it, THAT indicates a serious lack of empathy. Atheists such as myself have no fear of any god punishing us, yet we do NOT indulge in robbery or assault every time we think we can 'get away with it'. That indicates that it's our ability to put ourselves in another person's shoes that prompts us to do the right thing, not a fear of retribution.

    I'm sure that you've done great things for humanity, but it's rather childish to start claiming that you've done more for humanity that I have in my entire life x2. But even if you could establish that, from what you wrote in the OP it has little to do with empathy and everything to do with pleasing a god figure.
     
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  16. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    I do not believe in stuff after I die. So I would do the same as I do now. I like to be a nice person, because that is my nature.
     
  17. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    Incorrect. I know for a fact I am morally superior to you, because I don't believe in a god that will judge my "sins" and yet I treat people with decency and kindness. You said that if you believed what I believe, you'd be a bank robber, and that the only thing that stops you from harming others is the belief that a god will punish you. I believe in not harming others because I have this thing called empathy and a conscience.
     
  18. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    I think we all live in unjust systems of one type of the other. Unjust systems breed despair and despair creates all kinds of bad things, both in those who suffer and everyone else.

    Toxic environments lead to toxic thoughts. I often think that the world isn't supposed to be like this, but not many people are working to fix it. As long as someone's trying though, it's worth living. That's my thoughts at least.

    I think everyone has the feelings sometimes. We can think what makes us different from those who act on those feelings though. Talking to people who "lost it" at one point or another makes us realize how thin the line can be. Yet for some reason we don't cross it. I'd like to think that conscience is the strongest. I keep thinking about honor sometimes... some people think it's a throwback to a primitive time, but I think it's much more than that. Our societies have just lost their honor codes of the past... I can't help but think that the baby got lost with the bathwater.
     
  19. Epic Beard Man

    Epic Beard Man Bearded Philosopher

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    You never asked one, you said

    This was not in question format therefore I assumed it was a statement of an opinion therefore I addressed it as such.
     
  20. Epic Beard Man

    Epic Beard Man Bearded Philosopher

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    I see your point and I’m not confused by it, although we’re both saying the same thing the usage of the word survival makes things sometimes complicated.

    Remember I grew up in the inner city, so my perspective of survival is different than yours. So although you may not consider me robbing a bank is not essential to my survival, consider the circumstances of the poor and the hopeless.

    Skid row is very famous in Los Angeles for having rows of homeless families on a sidewalk. Consider their circumstances and what they’re willing to risk to rid themselves of being impoverished. Some homeless people are willing to lie to rid themselves of their circumstance even if it’s for three days.

    I remember at work I get irritated every time our frequent flyers would come in and lie about being suicidal and after I would evaluate them, would ask for an inordinate amount of food. Well, it took me a good four years to come to terms with the fact that people use the system to rid themselves of their circumstance even if it’s for a few days.

    We place them on 5150 holds and they have room and board for three days. Some “play crazy” to avoid jail time, but I used to get angry (sometimes I still do) why people like these use the system. To me, in my mind this is excessive, for them it is survival. For these people who some use drugs which in turn does create real psychosis develops the problem of sustaining oneself on the streets.

    People do what they can to survive from moment to moment so in going back to my example, a person like me who is in a desperate position and who has lives the inner city life and understands the lack of opportunities for many individuals with criminal records from their perspective, robbing a bank is excessive. It only appears that way because robbing a secured banking system is not the norm (although sadly poverty is) so to us “normal people” it’s excessive but what about the desperate?

    I think that is the element people miss here in the hypothetical. Even an authority figure like God has not stopped people from committing the most heinous crimes in human history.
     
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