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Thread: Can thoughts be moral or immoral?

  1. Top | #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by laughing dog View Post
    One definition of moral is

    adjective
    adjective: moral

    1.
    concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness or badness of human character.


    It seems to me that means thoughts (since principles are thoughts) can be moral or immoral.

    Again, I am not asking about whether having a particular thought is moral or immoral. Just whether a thought can moral or immoral.
    Thoughts can be about morality but that doesn't make any thought moral or immoral.

  2. Top | #12
    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarhyn View Post
    ... let us suppose one day I am accosted by someone on the train who starts screaming bad poetry. This man is black, and from the depths of my mind, I have an invasive thought "what a ------..."

    This is a thought. It is most certainly not the sort of thought a person should want to have. It is so much a thought that I personally do not want to have that I spend the next ten minutes lecturing myself on why such thoughts are inappropriate....
    Yes, nothing is in and of itself objectively moral or immoral, these are judgements. And your own thoughts can be judged immoral, by you. No one else has to know them. Qed, I think.
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 12-18-2020 at 08:16 AM.
    "Let us hope that it is not so. Or if it is, let us pray that the fact does not become generally known."

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    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiploc View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Metaphor View Post
    Thoughts are not behaviour.
    Sure they are.
    I agree. Thoughts (or thinking) is literally the behaviour of your brain.

    And it can also be a deliberate, intended action or activity.

    For example: 'What did you do last night'? 'Oh I stayed in my room and spent most of the night just thinking; there were some things I knew I needed to think carefully about'.
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 12-18-2020 at 10:00 AM.
    "Let us hope that it is not so. Or if it is, let us pray that the fact does not become generally known."

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    All morality is a thought. There is no "moral" or "immoral" until someone assigns a moral judgement to an action, an act that occurs purely within their mind. And as such, it seems little different to me whether I say "I think that action is immoral" or "I think that thought is immoral", it's all in my head either way.
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

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    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laughing dog View Post
    One definition of moral is

    adjective
    adjective: moral

    1.
    concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness or badness of human character.


    It seems to me that means thoughts (since principles are thoughts) can be moral or immoral.

    Again, I am not asking about whether having a particular thought is moral or immoral. Just whether a thought can moral or immoral.
    Imagine two hypothetical scenarios. In both, a man is driving a car at night on a dimly-lit street. The car drives over a drunk man lying unconscious in the middle of the road. The scenarios are identical in every miniscule way, except that in one, the driver did not see the drunk man and in the other he saw him but drove over him deliberately. The only difference in the moralities is the thinking, legally the mens rea.
    "Let us hope that it is not so. Or if it is, let us pray that the fact does not become generally known."

  6. Top | #16
    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    All morality is a thought.
    That's another way to put it, yes.

    And we don't necessarily need anyone other than ourselves to morally judge our own thoughts.
    "Let us hope that it is not so. Or if it is, let us pray that the fact does not become generally known."

  7. Top | #17
    Super Moderator ruby sparks's Avatar
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    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.
    Ok. That's 1. How about...

    2. Holding or manifesting high principles for proper conduct.

    https://www.lexico.com/definition/moral

    So the holding of the principles can also be said to be included. And humans don't hold principles in their arses. Well, not usually.
    "Let us hope that it is not so. Or if it is, let us pray that the fact does not become generally known."

  8. Top | #18
    Veteran Member Wiploc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metaphor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Wiploc View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    This. The immoral action was expressing the thought, not having it.
    So lusting in your heart isn't a sin? Nor covetousness?
    ...no, of course they are not.

    A sin is a sin because it offends god. And there is no god.

    I agree with you (more or less -- that's not exactly how I'd define sin, because bible god loves sin, which is part of his plan) but the question was directed at Loren. If Loren also agrees with you, we'll have to work a different angle.

  9. Top | #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks 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.
    Ok. That's 1. How about...

    2. Holding or manifesting high principles for proper conduct.

    https://www.lexico.com/definition/moral

    So the holding of the principles can also be said to be included. And humans don't hold principles in their arses. Well, not usually.
    That thoughts can be about morality does not mean thoughts can be moral.

  10. Top | #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by laughing dog View Post
    One definition of moral is

    adjective
    adjective: moral

    1.
    concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness or badness of human character.


    It seems to me that means thoughts (since principles are thoughts) can be moral or immoral.

    Again, I am not asking about whether having a particular thought is moral or immoral. Just whether a thought can moral or immoral.
    Imagine two hypothetical scenarios. In both, a man is driving a car at night on a dimly-lit street. The car drives over a drunk man lying unconscious in the middle of the road. The scenarios are identical in every miniscule way, except that in one, the driver did not see the drunk man and in the other he saw him but drove over him deliberately. The only difference in the moralities is the thinking, legally the mens rea.
    Yeast makes bread fluffy, but yeast is not fluffy.

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