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Thread: Can thoughts be moral or immoral?

  1. Top | #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Metaphor View Post
    Not even in principle.

    moral

    /ˈmɒr(ə)l/
    Learn to pronounce



    adjective
    adjective: moral


    1.
    concerned with the principles of right and wrong behaviour.



    Thoughts are not behaviour.
    It may surprise you to learn that dictionary definitions are not facts about the objective meaning of ideas. They are nothing more than a record of the current state of unstable changing linguistic conventions. In addition, many thoughts are the result of willful control of one's attention, selective retrieval of information, etc., which can be classified as "behavior", since even the definition you blindly rely upon does not limit behavior to physical movement. And BTW, talking and writing are physical movements, so even a definition the required this would still include writing or speaking one's thoughts as potentially immoral.
    And the fact is, we as humans need the words to express certain ideas. So sometimes we split words that were treated as synonymous so that we can express such nuance instead.

    You are absolutely right insofar as language is a fabric that bends, shifts, tears. There are objective ways things are, but there is no objectively right way for language to encode ideas other than "whatever works".

    I have explained to metaphor, people here, people elsewhere, people out in the world, Uber drivers, friends, coworkers. When I have the time to discuss it in person, I tend to make a good impact and cleave the two concepts. I'm usually just more of an asshole about it here because I know I'll never convince Metaphor that he might just be ignoring an entire element of human behavior.

    I will note that when one utters "sociopath", one utters a phrase generally intended to communicate "someone with a dangerous lack of a primary human response to various stimuli, such as a lack of any feeling of responsibility to apply scrutiny to their own thoughts."*

    In fact, such behavior reminds me of a story titled "Candidae", or even another titled "The Stranger".

    *Though not solely. Generally this is just a single overwhelmingly common aspect of the cluster of concepts that swirl about "sociopath", major but not always necessary or sufficient.

  2. Top | #72
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Intresting. Should we consider Will as did Voltaire or should we consider happenstance as did Camus.

    I don't think we're that far along on understanding consciousness.

    Since it is not clear that any thought that can be said to be conscious, may be an articulated, sub-vocal or other level of muscle participation in closing link between what the brain creates and what the mind hears. If that is the case then any conscious thought is the result of an mechanical action.

    On the other hand if heard thought is pure neural activity processed as conscious entity - a fact I very much doubt to be true - then it too is must be considered an action.

    Having said both I'm holding off on the idea that thought is an action unless it is clearly enacted consciously. That is I believe conscious thought is observed.

    As for whether the precursor to conscious thought is also observed is an issue still in the lab as far as I can ascertain. Try looking through recent, last 20 years of research, on whether there is not consciousness is an agent. Will as illusion stuff.

    We're pretty sure humans act. Its just that do we do so out of volition or reaction.

  3. Top | #73
    Veteran Member Wiploc's Avatar
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    I remember another example of someone choosing to modify his thoughts.

    This is from Uncommon Therapy by Milton Ericson.

    A guy was, let's say, 34 years old. He was a virgin because whenever he was about to get in bed with a woman, he felt a powerful urge to kill her. He was afraid he would kill her, so he never got into the bed.

    He went to Dr. Ericson, who was into short-term behavior modification. Some people say we should do long-term psychotherapy, because behavior modification treats only symptoms, not causes.

    Ericson argues that symptoms are what we're supposed to treat. We all have causes. The people who go to doctors do so because of symptoms.

    Ericson gave his patient a thick rubber band. He instructed the patient to wear the rubber band on his wrist. Every time he thought of harming a woman, he was to pull on that rubber band as hard as he could, and then let go.

    Two weeks later, the man was no longer a virgin.

  4. Top | #74
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Studying mice in corn ricks can get one aroused. Whose to say what inspires as long as it can be traced in some way?

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