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Featured Why is morality a problem?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by spirtual-philosophy, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. spirtual-philosophy

    spirtual-philosophy seeker of truth

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    Some seem to think there is no such thing as objective morality because no one can agree. Does this mean laws are immoral and that we should not have laws? (since they are arbitrary and promote the moral views of some but not others).

    But can we agree on enough? Things such as: murder, stealing, rape, racism, phobias against various groups of people. Is there really any controversy about these?
     
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  2. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    I say that there is no such thing as objective morality. We each choose our moral code, making every set of morals held by any moral agent subjective, even if we all happen to agree. The moral values do not have objective existence the way that the sun does. They're not out there in space to be observed or discovered. We must look within to decide what feels right and wrong to us.

    What is the objective moral value regarding abortion, same-sex marriage, or assisted suicide? There is none. If there were, what device would I use to discover it? A telescope? A Geiger counter?
     
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  3. Wu Wei

    Wu Wei ursus senum severiorum and ex-Bisy Backson

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    Don't confuse laws with morality, the terms are not interchangeable.

    Law - the system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties.

    Rules - one of a set of explicit or understood regulations or principles governing conduct within a particular activity or sphere.

    Morality - principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.
     
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  4. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    and of course....Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

    followed by the masochistic knee-jerk
    DO ME!.....DO ME!
     
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  5. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Everyone knows the difference between right and wrong. Problem is different people have different views as to what represents right and wrong.

    Example, the OT condones just about everything on that list you provided. Does that make them moral? Certainly there are people who consider the genocide, murder, rape, theft, slavery (including sex slavery) to be right because the bible says so.
     
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  6. spirtual-philosophy

    spirtual-philosophy seeker of truth

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    Yes, you are correct. But regarding moral questions, do you agree we use laws (among other ways) to regulate and enforce moral codes within society?
     
  7. spirtual-philosophy

    spirtual-philosophy seeker of truth

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    A good point. But I wonder whether narcissists or psychopaths or sociopaths have this capacity to distinguish between right and wrong?
     
  8. ADigitalArtist

    ADigitalArtist Well-Known Member
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    Of course there is.
    What killing does and does not constitute murder takes a load of our judicial system. But even further than that, abortion is murder to some of those against abortion, the meat industry is murder to some vegans, our military industrial complex is murder to some pacifists. In reality murder is legal term, and any of these could be murder depending on who is voting for them.

    Same with rape. Statutory rape and where age limits should be is argued over. Having sex with an unconscious person, or having sex with an unconscious person who drank too much is rape, people argue about that. Where the line should be on having sex with people with severe mental handicaps and what is protection from rape and what is ableism is argued about.

    Some people think taxes are stealing. Some people think you can't get to become a billionaire without stealing.

    People argue about what constitutes phobias and racism all the time.

    All of these things are controversial, and all of these things have nuance that need to be explored so that we don't create over simplified black and white scenarios where we rely on virtue ethics rather than the consequences of those actions.
     
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  9. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    By the definition, no
     
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  10. spirtual-philosophy

    spirtual-philosophy seeker of truth

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    Yes, ouch. :eek:

    Fortunately, many ignore these kinds of problematic passages. Good for the rest of us.
     
  11. spirtual-philosophy

    spirtual-philosophy seeker of truth

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    You make many good points. Perhaps the key is, the effect these actions have on others? If people think they are harmed by the "immoral" actions of others.
     
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  12. Wu Wei

    Wu Wei ursus senum severiorum and ex-Bisy Backson

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    For most, possibly all, felonies yes, but that I feel that relationship diminishes as the crime diminishes. In other words not as much for misdemeanors and less again for violations
     
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  13. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson ζει

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    "Why is morality a problem?"

    *Ahem* Mine ain't; yours may well be.
     
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  14. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Many do, many dont. They are there and taught even if subconsciously. Until the OT is scrapped then there are those who will consider such atrosities to be moral
     
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  15. ADigitalArtist

    ADigitalArtist Well-Known Member
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    The trouble is establishing tangible harms. Harms should be able to be demonstrated regardless of what anyone thinks about them. Which is a lot more difficult than it sounds, for the same reasons as the last post.
     
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  16. leov

    leov Well-Known Member
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    Laws can be immoral and discriminatory.
     
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  17. spirtual-philosophy

    spirtual-philosophy seeker of truth

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    Psychology articles often mention that psychopaths lack anything resembling a conscience. But the DSM-5 for Antisocial Personality Disorder doesn't mention conscience, or right and wrong.
     
  18. Wu Wei

    Wu Wei ursus senum severiorum and ex-Bisy Backson

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    This also brings about another question, is there a universal morality? In the definition of morality; "a particular system of values and principles of conduct, especially one held by a specified person or society."

    Morality is generally decided based on the society in which you live. So what one group sees as moral another may see it as immoral and vice versa.
     
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  19. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    I personally think that there are objective moral directives, but morality needs customized expression due to personal abilities, personal inclinations and other circunstances.

    I don't think so.

    Laws are tools of diffusion and enforcement of political will.

    They fulfill a necessary role. It just happens that this role has no moral significance, despite common misunderstandings to the contrary.

    Plenty. For instance, there is such a thing as ethical murder (euthanasia is an obvious example). Rape can be difficult for the perpetrator to acknowledge. Likewise for racism. Phobias proper are not immoral, and "Islamophobia" is a sorry, abused concept that ought to be retired for good.
     
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  20. spirtual-philosophy

    spirtual-philosophy seeker of truth

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    I like your graded approach. But does this mean that we should not have laws against "smaller" crimes, because such laws will be arbitrary (and therefore, I suppose, unjust to some)?

    And do we still have traffic laws? (If not, I'm gonna quit driving.)
     
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