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Thread: Are you morally superior to a crack whore?

  1. Top | #21
    Contributor repoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronzeage View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    I think I'm with Bronzeage on this. I don't see a necessary equivalence with law and morality. Still, I'm uncomfortable with the transactional nature of Bronzeage's questioning. What has transaction got to do with morality?
    Morality is transaction. Morality and moral codes allow us to live in close proximity to one another and not fear we will be murdered in our sleep, or have our possessions taken from us. All cultures and societies have the same foundation of their moral code, which is "Don't kill friends and don't steal a friend's stuff." After that, it's just a very long discussion about who is your friend and what are his property rights.

    Some cultures see a prostitute as a perfectly reasonable occupation and others see it as a threat to social stability. The prostitute's actions are the same in both cultures, but one is moral and one is immoral.

    In this country, there was a time when someone who helped a slave escape their enslavement, could be tried in a court of law and sentenced to prison. Things such as this make it difficult to argue any equivalence between law and morality.
    The illegality of prostitution leads to the dangers of it becoming stronger. More sexually transmitted diseases, more assaults of sex workers, more robberies of clients and so on. So in some ways the blanket prohibition of it is a bit "immoral" in that it makes things worse. But that is one level of abstraction higher.

  2. Top | #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    Me: (musing, to Dear Daughter as she passes by the sofa) Are you morally superior to a crack whore?
    DD: Yes.
    Me: (raising eyebrows): Oh?
    DD: I am morally superior to everyone.. I am a SkyBreaker. I am the law.
    Perhaps she has a serious point. Shouldn’t you logically think that you are morally superior to everyone else? If not, why haven’t you changed your behavior to be more like the person whom you feel is morally superior to you?

    SLD

  3. Top | #23
    Cyborg with a Tiara
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLD View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    Me: (musing, to Dear Daughter as she passes by the sofa) Are you morally superior to a crack whore?
    DD: Yes.
    Me: (raising eyebrows): Oh?
    DD: I am morally superior to everyone.. I am a SkyBreaker. I am the law.
    Perhaps she has a serious point. Shouldn’t you logically think that you are morally superior to everyone else? If not, why haven’t you changed your behavior to be more like the person whom you feel is morally superior to you?

    SLD
    You have a valid point!

  4. Top | #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLD View Post
    Assuming you don’t engage in such behavior that is.

    SLD
    So you mist think you are superior to crack whore who may have been victimized leading to prostitution?

    There is truly a very fine line between feeling in control and taking a long fall to the bottom. A line thinner than most may think.

  5. Top | #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SLD View Post
    Assuming you don’t engage in such behavior that is.

    SLD
    So you mist think you are superior to crack whore who may have been victimized leading to prostitution?

    There is truly a very fine line between feeling in control and taking a long fall to the bottom. A line thinner than most may think.
    I’m never impressed by this so called victimization crap. She made choices. Bad ones. Maybe if someone put a gun to her head, but I don’t see that happening here. At best she put herself in a position to be victimized.

    SLD

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    Quote Originally Posted by SLD
    Is it not measured by social convention?
    No, it is not, as it has already been explained. For example, there are societies where being an atheist, or an agnostic, or not a Muslim, or not a Christian, etc., would be considered immoral by nearly everyone. Similarly, sex between two men, or between two women, or between a Black man and a White woman, etc., would have been considered immoral by a majority (or a vast majority) in many societies. However, many instances of such behaviors or states of affairs were not immoral. Majorities, or even vast majorities, can get it wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by SLD
    Certainly though criminal behavior is immoral, IMHO.
    Usually, but not always. For example, there are places in the world that criminalize same-sex sex, but it is not always (or generally) immoral to have same-sex sex in those places. The same goes for interracial sex, or for deconverting from Islam, etc. America, in the past, provides also some of those examples. That is in addition to the slavery examples, etc., already provided.

    Quote Originally Posted by SLD
    Granted there are gradations. A murderer is not the equivalent of a speeder.
    I'm not sure speeding is a crime, even if it's an infraction, but sure, there are gradations. And also, not all murderers or speeders are the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by SLD
    I would suspect though that the vast majority of Americans would consider someone who sells their body and does crack to be an immoral person, even if you do not.
    That depends on a number of factors. But she does not sell her body. She provides sexual services. I do not know why that would be immoral. In general, I think it is not.

    The use of crack, however, may well be immoral, given that her behavior damages her brain considerably, significantly increasing the chances that she might hurt others either directly, or indirectly (e.g., by getting an STD and passing it to others). Additionally, she is giving money to people who very likely are dangerous and evil. But I would need more context to be sure (e.g., is her brain so damaged that her freedom is compromised to the point she actually can't stop doing crack?).

    Quote Originally Posted by SLD
    Is it not logical therefore that someone who does not engage in such activity, or worse, is in fact morally superior?
    All other things equal, and assumng her behavior is immoral, yes. But not all other things are equal. Nearly everyone behaves immorally at some point. Even if someone does not engage in something worse, they might engage in many things that are not individually worse, but add to something worse. Moreover, risk to others by use of cocaine isn't particularly heinous as far as immoral behaviors go, at least in most circumstances.

    Quote Originally Posted by SLD
    I don’t do illegal drugs and I don’t buy whores.
    She does not buy whores, either (slave traders do, but she is not one), so that's not a difference. As to the fact that you do not do illegal drugs, there are a number of issues, so I can't tell for sure, but that is an aspect in which she might be worse than you are, not because they are illegal, but because of risks to others. On the other hand, you do seem to blame people for providing sexual services, so that's a negative on your side.

    However, the key question isn't who is morally better, but whether it is morally acceptable to exclude her from the funeral. What were the reasons? You say you don't trust her. Okay, but that's pretty generic. Are you worried she might be violent because of her addiction? Has she been prone to violence before? Are you worried she might make a scene or something?

    Quote Originally Posted by SLD
    Where is it written that I have to like everyone? Why can’t I condemn behavior that I believe is both repugnant and immoral, regardless of whether it is illegal or even if everyone else thinks such behavior is OK?
    Even if it were written, you would not have to like everyone, and it is not the case that you should. By the way, here you imply (correctly) that morality is not measured by social convention. As to whether you can condemn it, sure, that is freedom of speech. The question is whether it is morally acceptable for you to condemn it. Providing sexual services? I do not think so. What reasons do you have to condemn it? Using crack? That's a more likely one, though I'm uncertain. It would depend on the information available to you, which I do not have.

    Quote Originally Posted by SLD
    I’m sorry but I do think people who violate criminal statutes are indeed immoral. We have an ethical duty to comply with the law, at least to the greatest extent we can.
    Usually, yes. Always, no. Providing sexual services is one of the "no" cases. Well, usually. At least, not due to its being illegal. There are other reasons that would make it immoral for some, but not for others.

  7. Top | #27
    Contributor repoman's Avatar
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    Seriously, no talk of spreading STDs?

    Where is the morality with that?

  8. Top | #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by repoman View Post
    Seriously, no talk of spreading STDs?

    Where is the morality with that?
    That depends on how the prostitute works. If she is careful, she is not likely to spread the most dangerous STDs. Still, I guess some less dangerous STDs might be spread regardless of the precautions, but then, it is acceptable to create some risks in one's pursuit of happiness (e.g., take a road trip). The question is how big the risks are.

  9. Top | #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLD View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SLD View Post
    Assuming you don’t engage in such behavior that is.

    SLD
    So you mist think you are superior to crack whore who may have been victimized leading to prostitution?

    There is truly a very fine line between feeling in control and taking a long fall to the bottom. A line thinner than most may think.
    I’m never impressed by this so called victimization crap. She made choices. Bad ones. Maybe if someone put a gun to her head, but I don’t see that happening here. At best she put herself in a position to be victimized.

    SLD
    I disagree. One can be immoral in many ways depending on the perspective. Back in the 70s I knew an accountant who became alcoholic. I actual met a high school teacher I had from another city. He too fell to alcoholism and died shortly after I ran into him.

    STD is spread outside of prostitution. In SF it spear quickly through the gay community and bath houses. You talk a drunk woman into giving you a blow job in a bar bathroom, is she immoral? Are you?

    It does not take much for anyone to fall. A few random occurrences or bad choices. We do not have nearly as much control as we think. Girls who experience verbal, physical, and sexual abuse growing up are at higher risk for drugs and prostitution.

    I feel no moral superiority at all. Consudering the way I grew up I feel likey to have turned out as well as I did. A few bad choices in then 70s and my life could have gone badly.

    I was out of money at one point with enough just for rent in a ramming house. I walked into a store to steal food but was scared off by a security guard following me.

    I am walking down the street and a dealer asks me to get on a bus and take a bag across the city, I declined.

    If you have not actually faced real moral pressure you have no idea what you are talking about. If you grow up without a positive self image you are wide open to bad choices.

  10. Top | #30
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronzeage View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    I think I'm with Bronzeage on this. I don't see a necessary equivalence with law and morality. Still, I'm uncomfortable with the transactional nature of Bronzeage's questioning. What has transaction got to do with morality?
    Morality is transaction. Morality and moral codes allow us to live in close proximity to one another and not fear we will be murdered in our sleep, or have our possessions taken from us. All cultures and societies have the same foundation of their moral code, which is "Don't kill friends and don't steal a friend's stuff." After that, it's just a very long discussion about who is your friend and what are his property rights.

    Some cultures see a prostitute as a perfectly reasonable occupation and others see it as a threat to social stability. The prostitute's actions are the same in both cultures, but one is moral and one is immoral.

    In this country, there was a time when someone who helped a slave escape their enslavement, could be tried in a court of law and sentenced to prison. Things such as this make it difficult to argue any equivalence between law and morality.
    Morality exists without transactions. if morality were transaction then it would be too specific to a situation. What is the good of a moral if one has to add qualifiers every time one applies it to a situation. For me transactions are what humans do in life. Transaction is process. A moral is a gatekeeper setting bounds to behavior. It is not the conduct of behavior, rather it is a guide to what one can do. Guides are applied to transactions but they are not the transactions. Those are behaviors one performs.

    Pretty good thoughts though Bronzeage. Pretty good thoughts indeed.

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