do moral compasses actually exist?

#45

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:30 am

ahimsa42 wrote: to summarize -do you consider human slavery and harming and killing other humans neither moral or immoral and neither right nor wrong?


It depends on the circumstances. Have you ever had someone try to kill you? I have on more than one occasion. I have both saved lives and helped take lives. I don't consider myself immoral for my actions, as my purpose was based on my moral code.

My personal, subjective moral code is that it is wrong to kill and therefore will protect myself and others from being killed. My moral code is to stop others from doing harm. If in the process of stopping someone from violating my moral code they are hurt or killed, I am not acting against my morals, i.e. my actions are not immoral.

For example, if a person had a gun and was about to kill a pacifist, I would stop the person. If in stopping that person they were killed, it would not violate my moral code. Maybe the pacifist gets angry with me for saving their life and violating their moral code of pacificism, but my moral code is not their moral code and I respect that. Do you? Do you respect that my moral code can be different than the pacifist and different than the person about to kill the pacifist? Do you respect or even understand that all three people in the scenario each live by a different moral code?

Does that answer your questions? If not, let me know and I will try to clear up any misunderstanding.
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#46

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:55 am

ahimsa42 wrote:another example came to mind today when i was reading a news story about a mother who killed her children. you stated previously that choosing to kill and eat animals when there is no need to do so to survive is justifiable because in nature some non-human animals kill and eat other non-human animals. wolves will sometimes kill their own cubs so according to your previous answers a human mother killing her kids is also natural and therefore neither right nor wrong, neither moral not immoral.

it seems that moral relativism can be used as justification for just about any action.


And having moral certainty can be used to justify the condemnation for just about any action.

Is it never morally acceptable for a mother to kill her children? You can't imagine a possible scenario where it might be the morally correct option? You provided no details other than a mother killed her children. I will hazard a guess that her actions were contrary to my moral code as well as your moral code, but you are simply submitting a blanket statement as if it is never acceptable, that it is a moral certainty that 100% of the time, under no circumstances ever might it be conceivable that a mother might kill her children without it being immoral.

I understand you want a definitive moral code, one that holds true regardless of circumstance. You are not alone. Plenty of people are uncomfortable with morality not being what they would like it to be. I get that. But, it doesn't change the reality of nature. Rivers don't flow uphill.
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#47

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:43 am

ahimsa42 wrote: to summarize -do you consider human slavery... neither moral or immoral and neither right nor wrong?


Thinking about the slavery question. Can you not imagine a scenario where slavery would be the acceptable moral choice? I can. Don't get me wrong, slavery is absolutely against my moral values, but I completely understand circumstances that would make it acceptable.
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#48

Postby ahimsa42 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:56 am

you still have not answered the questions as they require simple yes or no responses. according to your responses you are of the opinion that genocide and human slavery may be either moral or immoral depending upon the circumstances which means you think that under certain conditions they are justifiable actions..

the example you gave about killing others is one of self defense from your perspective and is not only a special case exception even for most pacificts, but it also does not address the perspective of your attacker(s). is it ever moral to harm and kill other human animals in order to merely take what you wish from them? humans who assault, rob, rape and kill oher humans for their own gain believe they are justified in doing so and therefore since morality is subjective, their viewpoint is just as correct as the viewpoint of their victims.

because non-human animals rape and kill other non-human animals to get what they want (even though in most cases it is a matter of survival and not just gain as it is for human animals), there are cases when it is acceptable for humans to rape and kill other humans as it is only natural to do so.
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#49

Postby ahimsa42 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:59 am

when would human slavery ever be a moral choice? personally i cannot think of any cases in which it is justified to own another human being (or sentient non-human being either) as property.
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#50

Postby ahimsa42 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:05 am

no one is expecting a strict moral code 100% of the time as there are always exceptions to every rule. the idea you are suggesting is that since there is no 100% strict moral code it is acceptable to kill non-human animals in the name of pleasure and convenience (which are the reasons why the overwhelmingly vast majority of humans consume the flesh, milk and eggs of non-human animals) is the same as saying that it is acceptable to kill other human animals in the name of pleasure and convenience. if one's main measure of what is right or wrong is dependent upon the species of the victims, it is no better than using race, gender or sex t o determine what is moral and immoral.
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#51

Postby ahimsa42 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:09 am

btw, in what cases would genocide be acceptable in your moral code. i asked you about the Jewish Holocaust as an example and you never answered.

you are welcome to google the mother from South Carolina killing her children story o get the details-it is one of many which have been repored recently. i also would like to know in your mind under what circumstances would a mother be justfied in murdering her own children? she obviously believed that it was her right to do so and therefore moral objectivity would say that her actions were not immoral and she should not be judged by them.
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#52

Postby quietvoice » Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:42 pm

quietvoice wrote:^_^, have you read any of Ayn Rand's works?

^_^ wrote:@quietvoice
Haven't read that no, what's it about?

It's been at least 30 hours since you've heard this author's name invoked. Did you have enough intellectual curiosity to do a 10-second internet search on it?
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#53

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:20 pm

ahimsa42 wrote:you still have not answered the questions as they require simple yes or no responses.


Uh, apparently they do not require simple yes or no answers.

the example you gave about killing others is one of self defense from your perspective and is not only a special case


A special case? So it is not a simple yes or no? There are "special cases", but outside of special cases morality is objective?

You lose. You may not realize your logic and understanding of morality is so far off the charts it is embarrassing, but one day maybe you will begin to wake up.
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#54

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:29 pm

ahimsa42 wrote:when would human slavery ever be a moral choice?


Simple. In hunter/gatherer societies, prior to agrarian culture. You had a choice, kill the enemy or enslave them. Prisons were not an option, letting them go after attacking you was not an option, so you either killed them or enslaved them. Which is the more moral solution?

We don't live in nomadic societies anymore, but that does not change the fact that morality is subjective based on the situation, the context and conditions under which you found yourself.

Maybe you will once again say that is a "special case" or maybe you will wake up and realize that morality is not objective, because most situations are special, that they are all different in some way and that is what makes morality such a grey, subjective challenge.
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#55

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:37 pm

ahimsa42 wrote:btw, in what cases would genocide be acceptable in your moral code. i asked you about the Jewish Holocaust as an example and you never answered.


No, I don't think genocide is moral. So what? Once again, can you not possibly fathom a plausible scenario where genocide might be the morally correct choice? Given you were incapable of envisioning when it would be plausible to enslave rather than to kill, most likely you are equally incapable of understanding a scenario that might involve killing some to save the many.

Once again, I am absolutely, positively against any form of genocide, but I'm not so ignorant as to be incapable of understanding a tough moral dilemma that may involve such a horrific scenario.
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#56

Postby ^_^ » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:14 pm

@Richard@DecisionSkills
Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:
^_^ wrote:Well those who go about killing in the name of morality usually don't take their own subjectiveness and fallibility into account. And there's probably even more than just that. So yes if you limit it down to those two options, accepting that there is no ultimate moral code is better. But that is a false duality.


I agree, it is a false duality. Yet that is kind of the point. There can be no ultimate objective morality, because it is based on our species and we are subjective and fallable. It is hard enough to state an objective truth let alone an objective moral code. Once again that takes us full circle to the fear of the subjective, and the emotional appeal or desire of the objective. Lack of clarity makes us feel uncomfortable, so we refuse to accept that clarity doesn't exist.

Yeah I see your point. Thanks for the talk, you've broadened my perspective :)

@ahimsa42
ahimsa42 wrote:it seems that moral relativism can be used as justification for just about any action.

Well just because it can be used as such, doesn't mean it should be used as such, nor does it mean the idea itself is flawed for allowing to be used as justification. In fact people tend to be quite creative in terms of justifying every whim with mental gymnastics. If the usability for justification were a criterion, we'd have to throw out almost all off human knowledge.


@quietvoice
It's been at least 30 hours since you've heard this author's name invoked. Did you have enough intellectual curiosity to do a 10-second internet search on it?

No, not really. But in my defense just a name is not much to stimulate intellectual curiosity. And to be frank I don't really know you, nor do I know how reliable you are in referring relevant books, :)
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#57

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:19 am

^_^ wrote:Yeah I see your point. Thanks for the talk, you've broadened my perspective :)


Cool. If you haven't already, check out the research on morality. If you are looking for objective morality the Trolley problem is a good place to start.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem

Ultimately I do believe there are some morals that one could argue are universal or nearly universal. Across all cultures, across all generations and times, things like suicide are largely considered immoral. There are exceptions, but if you are seeking an objective morality that is where I would start my search. I would look for things that are universal morals and go from there.
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#58

Postby ^_^ » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:01 am

Yeah the famous trolley problem, rember that from school. I also remember always having a perfect (subjective) answer in my head when discussing such problems in class :p
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#59

Postby quietvoice » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:28 pm

^_^ wrote:But I'm not ready to give up on the concept of an objective morality.

quietvoice wrote:^_^, have you read any of Ayn Rand's works?

^_^ wrote:@quietvoice
It's been at least 30 hours since you've heard this author's name invoked. Did you have enough intellectual curiosity to do a 10-second internet search on it?

No, not really. But in my defense just a name is not much to stimulate intellectual curiosity. And to be frank I don't really know you, nor do I know how reliable you are in referring relevant books.

I understand.
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