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Thread: What are your personal moral principles?

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    Be polite and friendly to strangers and try not to harm others. Don't carry a grudge towards someone who has hurt you. That only hurts you both. Don't judge other people because you have no idea how their genetic and environmental influences have impacted their lives or made them the people that they are. When you don't judge others, it's just easier to be a decent person. Still, there are times when this is very difficult and you just want to smack the shit out of someone. Just calm down and move on.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Failing that - and you will - just be yourself - respond as charitably as possible to everything and make nice when you fail.

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    I am here! just_me's Avatar
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    My code of being me is to considering all people important enough to investigate further than who they initially seem to be and what others claim they are is one of the driving forces that I hope to achieve but sometimes fail miserably at. I have found myself, many times edited replies of posts that I've made in some childish need to get back at someone who had offended my sense of self, fully knowing that I've demeaned myself far greater, by my own actions than anyone else could ever do. I think that those times I failed to measure my responses I have made their point far better than they and I have no one to blame except myself.


    Hopefully others will offer me the same in return and we can get through most of the small minded drama queen episodes that humanity seems to enjoy inflicting on themselves and others.
    HE WHOEVER FIGHTS MONSTERS SHOULD SEE TO IT THAT IN THE PROCESS HE DOES NOT BECOME A MONSTER. AND IF YOU GAZE LONG ENOUGH INTO THE ABYSS, THE ABYSS GAZES INTO YOU.

    Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    I try to live in accordance with my best virtues, auch as I understand them, doing my utmost to cultivate them. The physical, moral and spiritual senses can be educated with patience and discipline, and I look for the company of books and people that bring out my best rather than my worst. Individual moral decisions I try not to obsess over evaluating as "good" or "bad"; things are seldom so straightforward, so I think it is important to learn whatever you can from each experience without rushing to categorize it too cleanly.

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    Don't do to others what you wouldn't want them to do to you.

    (The normal version of this stated in the positive has a big problem with people desiring different things.)

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    Veteran Member PyramidHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Don't do to others what you wouldn't want them to do to you.

    (The normal version of this stated in the positive has a big problem with people desiring different things.)
    How does your version avoid that problem? If I don't want anybody to give me any help because I'm a masochist and want to do everything myself, does that give me the right to deny help to people who want or need it?

  7. Top | #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Don't do to others what you wouldn't want them to do to you.

    (The normal version of this stated in the positive has a big problem with people desiring different things.)
    How does your version avoid that problem? If I don't want anybody to give me any help because I'm a masochist and want to do everything myself, does that give me the right to deny help to people who want or need it?
    That version says you are not obligated to help, only that you are obligated to not cause harm. You are not forbidden from helping people if you wish.

  8. Top | #18
    Veteran Member PyramidHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Harvestdancer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Don't do to others what you wouldn't want them to do to you.

    (The normal version of this stated in the positive has a big problem with people desiring different things.)
    How does your version avoid that problem? If I don't want anybody to give me any help because I'm a masochist and want to do everything myself, does that give me the right to deny help to people who want or need it?
    That version says you are not obligated to help, only that you are obligated to not cause harm. You are not forbidden from helping people if you wish.
    It seems to come down to semantics, though. If I wouldn't want somebody to ignore me in my time of need, I shouldn't ignore others in theirs. That's an obligation to help in all but name.

  9. Top | #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Harvestdancer View Post

    That version says you are not obligated to help, only that you are obligated to not cause harm. You are not forbidden from helping people if you wish.
    It seems to come down to semantics, though. If I wouldn't want somebody to ignore me in my time of need, I shouldn't ignore others in theirs. That's an obligation to help in all but name.
    No, it doesn't. One version is a prohibition against certain actions, saying "thou shall not". The other, the version you favor, is a mandate of positive action, a "thou shall". The "thou shall not" version that I favor doesn't prohibit helping, it does prohibit harming. It doesn't mandate helping either, which is what makes it different from yours.

    I think it is an important distinction for another reason too. I've seen people do some very horrible things "for your own good" or "for the public good". A positive obligation to do good gives moral justification to that.

  10. Top | #20
    Veteran Member PyramidHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Harvestdancer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PyramidHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Harvestdancer View Post

    That version says you are not obligated to help, only that you are obligated to not cause harm. You are not forbidden from helping people if you wish.
    It seems to come down to semantics, though. If I wouldn't want somebody to ignore me in my time of need, I shouldn't ignore others in theirs. That's an obligation to help in all but name.
    No, it doesn't. One version is a prohibition against certain actions, saying "thou shall not". The other, the version you favor, is a mandate of positive action, a "thou shall". The "thou shall not" version that I favor doesn't prohibit helping, it does prohibit harming. It doesn't mandate helping either, which is what makes it different from yours.

    I think it is an important distinction for another reason too. I've seen people do some very horrible things "for your own good" or "for the public good". A positive obligation to do good gives moral justification to that.
    First, I don't favor the Golden Rule, I'm just not sure how this rule avoids its problems. Your rephrasing of the semantic flaw that makes them basically equivalent doesn't help.


    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Okay, since I would like it if someone gave me a hand in my time of need, I will give others a hand in their time of need.

    Do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you. Okay, since I wouldn't like it if someone AVOIDED giving me a hand in my time of need, I WON'T AVOID giving others a hand in theirs.


    For every behavior that is prohibited by the second rule, there is a phrasing of the first that compels it, and vice versa.

    A better rule might be this:


    Do not do unto others what THEY would not have you do unto them.


    This places the priority where it belongs, on the recipient of my actions and what their preferences are, regardless of whether I have them as well. In both other rules, I must assume that what I want (or do not want) is valid grounds for what I should do (or not do) to others; if my wants are different than those of someone affected by my action, then both rules will run into this same problem since they both say the same thing. Only a rule that links what is not to be done to someone with what they would prefer I didn't do to them is immune to the problem of incompatible desires.

    However, even this rule has its problems. For, just as a negative injunction could become an obligation with the right semantics in the other rules, so too can this one be exploited. If another person tells me "I wouldn't want you to refrain from having sex with me," then by this new rule I would be obliged to have sex with that person, since I shouldn't do to others what they don't want done to them. As a result, we should stop bothering with gold, silver, platinum, or diamond rules because as I said in my first reply to this thread, morality is impossible anyway.

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