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Thread: Immorality

  1. Top | #11
    Veteran Member George S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    I once heard it said that immorality is something that causes unnecessary harm to another individual. If something doesn't do that, it's tough to argue that it's wrong.
    On Hannity's forum we came up with a morality that commenters felt encompassed morality.

    Simplified morality.

    Respect human life. Promote the well being of other humans. To make your life meaningful make others' lives meaningful to them. No first use of force from a slap in the face to war. No taking others' property by force, stealth or deception. No sex without consent (children cannot consent); that is, not by force, stealth or deception. Violation of an oath is immoral.

    Sandbox morality.
    No hitting nor throwing sand. Don't take a toy another is playing with. Keep your clothes on. Keep your promises.

    ETA: Note that insulting or offending is not immoral. There is no such thing as "fighting words." Words and ideas are immoral only when converted into immoral actions. eta: Although false accusations are immoral, being lies and all. Reputation is a kind of property.
    Last edited by George S; 12-20-2018 at 07:34 PM.

  2. Top | #12
    Veteran Member Lion IRC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    I once heard it said that immorality is something that causes unnecessary harm to another individual. If something doesn't do that, it's tough to argue that it's wrong.
    Killing an unborn baby seems like unnecessary harm.

  3. Top | #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    I once heard it said that immorality is something that causes unnecessary harm to another individual. If something doesn't do that, it's tough to argue that it's wrong.
    Killing an unborn baby seems like unnecessary harm.
    I feel it lacks the "harm" aspect, but if you disagree about that, then it would be an excellent example.

  4. Top | #14
    Veteran Member Lion IRC's Avatar
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    Well you just invalidated your own (simplified) moral framework.

    Everyone agrees harm is bad but we don't know or agree what constitutes "harm". And everyone agrees we should avoid unnecessary harm but we don't know and can't agree on an (unselfish) definition of "unnecessary"

  5. Top | #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    Well you just invalidated your own (simplified) moral framework.

    Everyone agrees harm is bad but we don't know or agree what constitutes "harm". And everyone agrees we should avoid unnecessary harm but we don't know and can't agree on an (unselfish) definition of "unnecessary"
    Ummm ... yes? The meaning of those terms and when and how to apply them would be the entire context of moral philosophy. It would serve as a base concept to analyze what would or wouldn't fall under the definition.

  6. Top | #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by George S View Post
    Promote the well being of other humans.
    This is an interesting one because it implies a constraint:

    - promote the well being of others at what sacrifice to my own well being? And who falls within the bounds of my sacrifice?

    Which brings us back to the need for moral thinking in the first place. But by nature and necessity we need to look out for ourselves, and our relations, before others.

    What is nature's solution? Social acceptability. Not giving at all? Not ok. Giving while maintaining my own security, no problem. So in practice we end up giving the appearance of benevolence, while we comfortably hoard our excess. That's not a moral failing, imo, just the reality of people living in a community.

    Given the above I think the best moral line would be 'if you can, help, if you can't, at least do no harm'. Which in practice is usually what we see most people doing.

  7. Top | #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by George S View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by George S View Post
    His lie is his claim to others that he owns his stolen goods, his to use, his to sell.
    No lie.

    He does own them.

    What does ownership mean beyond control and ability to use freely?

    And since he does own them he is free to sell them.

    The immorality of theft is based on the idea of personal property.

    It is a violation of the principle of personal property. That a person owns something when they either buy it or exchange something for it or are given it.

    Nothing about lying.

    And of course going to war based on lies, as the US did in 2003, is about lying.
    He does not have the right to claim ownership. His ownership was illegally or immorally acquired. Even the personal use of stolen merchandise is a tacit statement of "I not only own it by possessing it, but it is right and proper that I do." It is deception.
    If you possess it and control it you own it.

    It is no lie to say you own it.

  8. Top | #18
    Shrunken Member WAB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by George S View Post

    He does not have the right to claim ownership. His ownership was illegally or immorally acquired. Even the personal use of stolen merchandise is a tacit statement of "I not only own it by possessing it, but it is right and proper that I do." It is deception.
    If you possess it and control it you own it.

    It is no lie to say you own it.
    If someone stole your car, and the police found the thief, would you tell the police that the thief "owned" your car, since he possessed and controlled it while he had it?
    If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to a library. - Frank Zappa

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    Super Moderator Bronzeage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    I once heard it said that immorality is something that causes unnecessary harm to another individual. If something doesn't do that, it's tough to argue that it's wrong.
    Killing an unborn baby seems like unnecessary harm.
    That depends upon whether a woman wants to graduate from college on time.

    The problem humans have with determining what is moral and what is immoral stems from two things. First, we want to think ourselves to be moral, so it's a simple matter to shift the definitions and put our actions inside the boundaries.

    The second is more difficult to grasp. Any moral code and the morality it sanctions, only applies to the group. Our problem today is, the whole world is now our group. When Samson killed thirty men, in order to pay off a bet, he didn't kill fellow Hebrews. It was no harm, no foul.

    The purpose of morality is to allow humans to live in close proximity. Humans must live in cooperative groups, or we will quickly drop to one of the lower links in the food chain. We're so good at cooperating, the chances of be eaten by a beast of prey is just not a realistic concern. Our biggest threat is each other. Moral codes develop in every human society to allow a human to fall asleep without fear of being attacked and robbed by someone in his group. After that, it's just a matter of definitions.

    The severity of any moral code is directly related to the threat level the group faces. In harsh environments, where starvation is a constant threat, property rights are particularly strict. In places such as that, a grown woman might be stoned to death, if she had sex with an unapproved partner. To do otherwise, would be immoral.

    For a species as intelligent as we are, there are times when we are very slow learners. Our moral codes are created to deal with threats that existed thousands of years ago, but change very slowly as old threats are replaced with new ones.

  10. Top | #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by WAB View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by George S View Post

    He does not have the right to claim ownership. His ownership was illegally or immorally acquired. Even the personal use of stolen merchandise is a tacit statement of "I not only own it by possessing it, but it is right and proper that I do." It is deception.
    If you possess it and control it you own it.

    It is no lie to say you own it.
    If someone stole your car, and the police found the thief, would you tell the police that the thief "owned" your car, since he possessed and controlled it while he had it?
    Ownership exists as long as control exists.

    If some charlatan talking about souls and heaven controls your mind they own it.

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