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Thread: No such thing as moral or immoral behavior. Only civilized and uncivilized behavior

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    No such thing as moral or immoral behavior. Only civilized and uncivilized behavior

    An objective person is a person with sufficient objectivity to understand that the universe does not revolve around their ego.
    A civilized society is a society whose laws do not revolve around any one person or any one group of people.
    The more a society treats everyone as equals the more civilized it is.

    But treating everyone as equals is not the same thing as treating everyone exactly the same.
    If we treated everyone the way that extroverts want to be treated then people who are introverted would suffer.
    Treating everyone as if they were exactly the same is pseudo-civilization.

    Civilization is an emergent property. It has emerged from the law of the jungle. It is not part of the law of the jungle. It is separate from the law of the jungle. It is beyond the law of the jungle. It is above the law of the jungle. It is something entirely new. Civilization is what separates man from the animals. Humans are (in varying degrees) civilized. Animals are not.


    There are 3 common positions:
    1) The Theist position: There exists a magical and totally selfless being called 'god' that is the source of all morality (godliness) and civilized behavior should be derived from this morality.
    2) The Hyper-empirical position: There is no 'god' therefore there is no morality (godliness) and therefore there is no such thing as civilized behavior (only mob rule) and everyone is free to do whatever they can get away with.
    3) The Rationalist position: Civilization and civilized behavior are emergent properties that arises whenever you have a large number of objective human beings interacting with one another. A civilized society is a society governed by proper laws. Proper laws do not give any one person or any one group of people any special rights. All people have equal rights in a civilized society. Civilized behavior is behavior that respects proper laws, rules, and expectations.


    In the hyper-empirical (autistic) world view, a person is seen as just a "collection of atoms" and since it is not improper to use, abuse, or manipulate atoms to one's own ends it is, therefore, not thought improper to use, abuse, or manipulate people to one's own ends.

    On the face of it, this almost seems reasonable. After all, we are indeed made entirely of atoms (or some other units that can be modeled mathematically). It fails, however, to take into account the emergent phenomena that make a human being so much more than "just atoms". Atoms don't have thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, or aspirations but people do. Clearly, being "made of" something (for example atoms) is not the same thing as "being" something.

    Sometimes hyper-empirical people will avoid the phrase "humans are just atoms" and will opt instead for "humans are just animals". Both phrases express the same underlying idea
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    I have come to the conclusion that there are five characteristics of civilized behavior. Not rules or laws that are imposed or enforced, but simple daily behaviors.
    1. Tolerance. Often characterized by "live and let live. It is the realization that the only reason to interfere in someone else's life is to protect yourself or another person from attack or abuse.
    2. Cooperation. It is the realization that we are all in this together and have to depend on each other to survive. "Me first" has never been as successful a survival scheme as "us together".
    3. Respect. Treating people with respect as well as respecting their rights, property, and freedoms.
    4. Responsibility. You have responsibility to yourself and to society. To become a better individual through education, study, health, etc, and a better citizen through involvement, activism, etc.
    5. Honesty and integrity. Because none of this works if people can't trust each other.

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    Morality flows from the emotions not from reason.

    The rational thing to do is gain the greatest advantage in any way possible.

    But if there is emotion, empathy for the other, then many ways of gaining an advantage are off limits.

    Morality comes from people not forgetting what they already know.

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    I think "civilisation" is simply another world for Darwinian survival advantage.
    Human civilisation is a manifestation of our drive to out-compete less organised, less cooperative species. And in Darwinian, law-of-the-jungle terms, humans are just another species of animal.

    We also see tribes of humans cooperating to out-compete other tribes. The clash of civilisations.
    That's law-of-the-jungle Darwinian natural selection writ-large. #selfish_DNA

    Look at all the once-great fallen empires. Decayed from the inside, many/most failed
    because they got too civilised.

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    The great empires never fell. They just moved.
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    In the abcient Japanese Samurai period public suicie was condiered an honorable civilized act.

    Beyond generic based behavior all morality and morality is based on the culture.

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    Veteran Member Wiploc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no-one-particular View Post
    1) The Theist position: There exists a magical and totally selfless being called 'god' that is the source of all morality (godliness) and civilized behavior should be derived from this morality.
    2) The Hyper-empirical position: There is no 'god' therefore there is no morality (godliness) and therefore there is no such thing as civilized behavior (only mob rule) and everyone is free to do whatever they can get away with.
    These two are both theist positions. It is theists who maintain that atheists would have no morality, that, in the absence of gods, one behavior would be as good as another.

    There's no reason for atheists to agree with the "hyper-emprical position."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiploc View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by no-one-particular View Post
    1) The Theist position: There exists a magical and totally selfless being called 'god' that is the source of all morality (godliness) and civilized behavior should be derived from this morality.
    2) The Hyper-empirical position: There is no 'god' therefore there is no morality (godliness) and therefore there is no such thing as civilized behavior (only mob rule) and everyone is free to do whatever they can get away with.
    These two are both theist positions. It is theists who maintain that atheists would have no morality, that, in the absence of gods, one behavior would be as good as another.

    There's no reason for atheists to agree with the "hyper-emprical position."
    "There is no god" is a theist position?
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    In the abcient Japanese Samurai period public suicie was condiered an honorable civilized act.

    Beyond generic based behavior all morality and morality is based on the culture.
    We have the death penalty here too. The difference is that they were shamed into killing themselves. Shame is believing that you did something immoral. There is no such thing as moral or immoral behavior. Only civilized and uncivilized behavior. Thats the whole point of this thread.
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    Veteran Member Wiploc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no-one-particular View Post
    "There is no god" is a theist position?
    Theists often claim that without gods there would be no morality. With gods, you can have morality; without gods, you can't .

    That's a common theist position. There's no reason for any atheist to agree with it.

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