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vondskapens_makt
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:23 pm
Posts: 567
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:44 pm 
 

(Inspired by the school shooting just a few minutes ago)

I firmly uphold the belief that there is no moral good or evil. To me, it all rests solely on two things; the exact reason you did something, as well as how other's perceive your actions and interpret them. For instance, it won't be long until people are crying the usual cries of 'what an evil, horrid person, blah blah murderer blah blah spawn of satan'. Though in the perpetrator's mind he is doing no wrong; in fact, he may see himself as pure and just. A quote which relates to this is 'One man's hero is another man's terrorist.'

What are your thoughts on this, MA?
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Thorgrim_Honkronte
Imperius Rexxz

Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2005 4:40 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:46 pm 
 

vondskapens_makt wrote:
For instance, it won't be long until people are crying the usual cries of 'what an evil, horrid person, blah blah murderer blah blah spawn of satan'.


And you just described why those people would be saying that. In their mind, he is an evil being.

While I also agree that morality is subjective on an individual basis, there are sociopathic actions and behaviors that can be labeled as "bad" for the community that they take place in.
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Nahsil
Clerical Sturmgeschütz

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:06 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:46 pm 
 

I doubt anyone here believes in a higher moral authority.

Alright, that's not true, there are a couple, but most don't.
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vondskapens_makt
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:23 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:49 pm 
 

Thorgrim_Honkronte wrote:
vondskapens_makt wrote:
For instance, it won't be long until people are crying the usual cries of 'what an evil, horrid person, blah blah murderer blah blah spawn of satan'.


And you just described why those people would be saying that. In their mind, he is an evil being.

While I also agree that morality is subjective on an individual basis, there are sociopathic actions and behaviors that can be labeled as "bad" for the community that they take place in.


That's just it; it may be bad for the community it occurs in, and while negatively affecting some, to others (including the individual executing it) it may be beneficial. I just feel there is no absolute right or wrong, even if the majority feel one way, it doesn't necessarily make it so.
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Thorgrim_Honkronte
Imperius Rexxz

Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2005 4:40 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:50 pm 
 

It isn't absolute, but to the people labeling such actions as evil, it is relative to them. That is the reason behind their words.

Osmium said something in the video game thread that I think is relevent here.

Osmium wrote:
Any proclamation about a non-cognitive (aesthetic, emotional, etc.) subject is pretty much an expression of one's view toward it. If the standards for declaring something mediocre, piss-poor, or brilliant is how much an individual finds it to his or her liking, the statement will lack a truth value. Investing serious argumentative effort into what's really nothing more than a contradictory expression of personal preference strikes me as somewhat strange.
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Lorean
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 8:57 pm
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Location: Chile
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:11 pm 
 

Sadly we all live in society...
like or dislikely is a human need and with that need comes rules established by the society it's own...

So they are the ones who may decide what is good or evil depending on mayority tendencies...

I really understand your posture, and may say that I share it, but I know that the other big mass called world will tell you that you are as insane as the one who pulled the trigger.


Sorry fellow :headbang:

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MikeyC
Official Greeter of Broken Hills

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:16 am
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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:17 pm 
 

vondskapens_makt wrote:
(Inspired by the school shooting just a few minutes ago)

I firmly uphold the belief that there is no moral good or evil. To me, it all rests solely on two things; the exact reason you did something, as well as how other's perceive your actions and interpret them. For instance, it won't be long until people are crying the usual cries of 'what an evil, horrid person, blah blah murderer blah blah spawn of satan'. Though in the perpetrator's mind he is doing no wrong; in fact, he may see himself as pure and just. A quote which relates to this is 'One man's hero is another man's terrorist.'

What are your thoughts on this, MA?


As a society, aren't all shootings automatically regarded as a negative act? Not necessary evil per se, but definitely negative? Of course people will cry foul over it, because as a society, we want to believe we have evolved beyond the need for senseless killing.

Personally, I think it is bordering on evil.

I didn't hear about this latest shooting until now, though. I'll see if there's an article on it.
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MazeofTorment
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:33 pm 
 

Mostly agreed. Thats a great book as well, by the way.
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Avestriel
Butterfly Sister Petunia

Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 3:42 am
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:42 pm 
 

Moral does not exist. Ethics, on the other hand, does.

And it's a big and sad mistake to mistake one from the other.
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Last edited by Avestriel on Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Thorgrim_Honkronte
Imperius Rexxz

Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2005 4:40 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:43 pm 
 

Avestriel wrote:
Moral does not exist. Ethics, on the other hand, does.


Morality does exist, just not universal morality.
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Deaths_Design
Anti-Christian Miscreant

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:32 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:07 pm 
 

Indeed.

Morality is really too subjective to have any truly definitive discussions on. Just bickering back and forth from opposing ideals.

Anyway...

Well, here's a weird thought. What about some people that KNOW what they're doing is evil, but they feel it's deserved and just nonetheless?

I know I have personally done some terrible things that I know are awful, but for good reasons. However, I still don't think they were the right things to do, just nothing else could be done.

Now, is this because people's personal willpower is weak at best and although they know it's wrong they do it anyway? Or is it because we think it's right, but our ethics tell us otherwise?

Ugh... morals and ethics... pretty damned confusing sometimes.

Then again, we could always just live our lives by "if it makes ya feel good: do it!" :lol:
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MasticateTheNecro
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 9:29 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:26 pm 
 

vondskapens_makt wrote:
I firmly uphold the belief that there is no moral good or evil.


I think there is moral good/evil, but no universal things, as Thorgrim said.

For example: I heard on the radio this afernoon that genetically modifying sugar beets is morally wrong.
Another ex.: Alot of people say that abortion is morally wrong.

There is no objective truth that is always correct, the only morals that mean anything are one's personal morals, and they should not interfere with anyone else's.
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vondskapens_makt
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:23 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:50 pm 
 

MasticateTheNecro wrote:
vondskapens_makt wrote:
I firmly uphold the belief that there is no moral good or evil.


I think there is moral good/evil, but no universal things, as Thorgrim said.

For example: I heard on the radio this afernoon that genetically modifying sugar beets is morally wrong.
Another ex.: Alot of people say that abortion is morally wrong.

There is no objective truth that is always correct, the only morals that mean anything are one's personal morals, and they should not interfere with anyone else's.


True. Though when one attempts to impose their set of morals upon others it becomes a problem. For instance, Christianity has its own set of morals which it has, undoubtedly, imposed upon millions, rather than letting people sort it out for themselves.
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Deaths_Design
Anti-Christian Miscreant

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:57 pm 
 

Pfft. that's not the best example.

Look how well it worked out for Christianity. They have an insane amount of followers from pushing their morals onto others with a bit of bloodshed for flavour...

Perhaps we should follow in their footsteps and implement our own set of morals on the world through a little manipulation and bloodshed, haha.
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hey
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:03 pm 
 

well when you live in any given society I think you should go with what that society says to be right and wrong. Not necessarily just what the government says but also what the majority of the people in it think.

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vondskapens_makt
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:05 pm 
 

hey wrote:
well when you live in any given society I think you should go with what that society says to be right and wrong. Not necessarily just what the government says but also what the majority of the people in it think.


And why, pray tell, would you just 'go with what that society says'?
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Avestriel
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Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 3:42 am
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:11 pm 
 

Thorgrim_Honkronte wrote:
Avestriel wrote:
Moral does not exist. Ethics, on the other hand, does.


Morality does exist, just not universal morality.

That's what I ment
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Deaths_Design
Anti-Christian Miscreant

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:32 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:34 pm 
 

vondskapens_makt wrote:
hey wrote:
well when you live in any given society I think you should go with what that society says to be right and wrong. Not necessarily just what the government says but also what the majority of the people in it think.


And why, pray tell, would you just 'go with what that society says'?


Because that's what society said to do.
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ThrashingMad
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:11 am 
 

vondskapens_makt wrote:
hey wrote:
well when you live in any given society I think you should go with what that society says to be right and wrong. Not necessarily just what the government says but also what the majority of the people in it think.


And why, pray tell, would you just 'go with what that society says'?


So you aren't outcasted or marked as a "bad person". Although it really comes down to is how you want to be seen by society. If you don't care what the majority of the people around you think of you then by all means do whatever you like.


Last edited by ThrashingMad on Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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norilor
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 7:27 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:08 am 
 

Well, I look at this in two ways.

Good is an action that has beneficial and positive(must be both) actions towards others, while evil is an action is hurts others and brings about negative reactions/consequences.

Good and evil can be distorted by the mind, as one person can perceive something whilst another person can perceive something differently. People can choose for themselves what action is good and what action is evil; good and evil are just words used that embody a philosophy of WHAT TRULY IS GOOD OR EVIL. IIRC, there was a famous French Philosophe who talked about this; I cannot recall the name, as I had learned this last year.

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mpawluk
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Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:00 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:15 am 
 

ThrashingMad wrote:
vondskapens_makt wrote:
hey wrote:
well when you live in any given society I think you should go with what that society says to be right and wrong. Not necessarily just what the government says but also what the majority of the people in it think.


And why, pray tell, would you just 'go with what that society says'?


So you aren't outcasted or marked as a "bad person". Although it really comes down to is how you want to be seen by society. If you don't care what the majority of the people around you think of you then by all means do whatever you like.

It takes a lot of courage to be different from the norm. For a lot of people, being accepted is one of the most important things that they can achieve in life.

That raises the question, though: You're always going to find a few people with the same ideas and morals as yourself. Does that really differentiate you from society? Or, by that point, are you just joining a sub-group of society?
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ThrashingMad
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:34 am 
 

mpawluk wrote:
ThrashingMad wrote:
vondskapens_makt wrote:
hey wrote:
well when you live in any given society I think you should go with what that society says to be right and wrong. Not necessarily just what the government says but also what the majority of the people in it think.


And why, pray tell, would you just 'go with what that society says'?


So you aren't outcasted or marked as a "bad person". Although it really comes down to is how you want to be seen by society. If you don't care what the majority of the people around you think of you then by all means do whatever you like.

It takes a lot of courage to be different from the norm. For a lot of people, being accepted is one of the most important things that they can achieve in life.

That raises the question, though: You're always going to find a few people with the same ideas and morals as yourself. Does that really differentiate you from society? Or, by that point, are you just joining a sub-group of society?


Well when it comes to seperating yourself from society one must remember that some seperations (such as the one the OP was suggesting) can be dangerous to yourself or to those around you. And there definitely are times when someone can't find other like them.

But to answer your question, I'd say that it really depends on how large to group of people is.

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Osmium
The Hateful Raven

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 2:05 am 
 

I want to clarify about morality and ethics. Morality is what we usually understand it to be: a code of conduct that is intrinsically desirable because it is the right thing to do. Ethics is the philosophical study of morality, and deals with it on three basic levels: meta-ethics, or the study of what moral claims mean at all; normative ethics, such as deontology and consequentialism; and applied ethics, which is the employment of ethical theories in case studies in the real world.

I'm a non-cognitivist: moral claims constitute preferences for certain behavior. There is no observation that we could make of nature that can imply what we ought to do. We have moral feelings because they are an important element of our survival as social organisms in groups.

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Kruel
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 2:39 am 
 

I think it's pretty obvious that there is no absolute good/evil/morailty. Especially on a metal forum(the kvlt kid may argue that there is absolute evil, though). Metal incorporates a lot of 'evil' themes, and thus metalheads usually ge to think about the existence of good and evil, which results in a conclusion that such abstract concepts bear no absolute authority.
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saintinhell
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 2:40 am 
 

I think morality is a necessary evil. It allows the establishment, the social elders to intrude more into our lives and subject us to more scrutiny than is rightfully desirable. However, the danger in jettisoning morality completely is than everybody can then play God. No matter how right you are, for me, you are always in the wrong, and I am always in the right.

Man is the most dangerous beast created by God :lol: for animals do follow an instinctive sense of rules and decorum to go through their lives smoothly. If you are a hyena walking into the territory of a pride of lions, the punishment is death and the hyena does not appoint a lawyer to defend its cause, it merely tries in vain to escape its death. Man, by the devilish gift of reason, seeks to circumvent these unwritten rules to suit himself and morality is the imaginary force holding him back from turning into the cruel animal that he really is deep within.

It is no wonder then that Governments all over the world seek to increase moral policing and know more about who you are and what you do as people are not as God-fearing as they used to be and the force of morality is weakening with the day. It is going to be an interesting passage in the annals of mankind...the next few decades that is.

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Kruel
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 2:54 am 
 

saintinhell wrote:
I think morality is a necessary evil. It allows the establishment, the social elders to intrude more into our lives and subject us to more scrutiny than is rightfully desirable.


I don't know if you were being sarcastic, but "allowing the establishment, the social elders to intrude more into our lives and subject us to more scrutiny than is rightfully desirable" is neither good nor evil, in the absolute sense; it's just that you(and probably most of us) happen to hate it.
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JackFliegler
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 3:52 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:46 am 
 

There is good and evil in this world.

Calling someone or something evil is like calling someone "stupid"

It's your view on their morals just as much as stupid is a view on their intelligence

Evil is when you truly feel pain, confusion, or fear from another individual, idea, place, or object..

Good is when any attempt or brainstorming to stop the evil is being executed.

One person can perceive something as good and another can perceive it as evil. And both people are right.

These are my views.

I fight evil almost every day. And by this logic, so do you.


regarding the idea of fitting in being a goal. My biggest goal is to be appreciated by the norm of society for being an outcast. Noticed how i said appreciated not scorned. Being different can be a great thing if you still have respect for the norm. Alot of people don't wish to be different and that's perfectly respectable. By me trying to be a different person but still be a good person is in my opinion trying to stop evil.

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Dasher10
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:16 am 
 

As someone who attended NIU last year and still has friends there, I think that I should have a bit more credibility here. While the shooter definitely didn't see himself as "evil" per se, he was a total doushebag.

He felt that since he was a 22-year-old virgin who was single on Valentine's Day, AGAIN, he had a right to shoot up the majority of people out of jealousy. A have a friend whose cousin died over there today and there is no justification for this guy's actions other than the fact that he was a total loser who let the fact that he was a socially inept dumbass get the better of him. It has nothing to do with government, morality or society. All that this has to do with is somebody being a complete dick.

He acted of his own accord and chose a dumb decision since he decided to take his pain out on himself and others rather than actually try to go to a bar and actually meet women so that he wouldn't be alone on Valentine's Day. He chose to end his existence rather than even put up an unwinnable fight against the police because he was too afraid to die in battle. He was a coward and while it does take courage to kill someone who has never done anything to you just because you can, it's even more courageous to go into a fair fight.

Don't attempt to not demonize a coward and a dick and sympathize with the victims families unless you too are truly that desperate to get some pussy this Valentine's Day. I'm sure that plenty of people can empathize with him, but sympathy for a total moron who committed an act of idiocy worthy of a Darwin Award shouldn't be made into a hero or even a neutral figure.

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saintinhell
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:54 am 
 

Kruel wrote:
saintinhell wrote:
I think morality is a necessary evil. It allows the establishment, the social elders to intrude more into our lives and subject us to more scrutiny than is rightfully desirable.


I don't know if you were being sarcastic, but "allowing the establishment, the social elders to intrude more into our lives and subject us to more scrutiny than is rightfully desirable" is neither good nor evil, in the absolute sense; it's just that you(and probably most of us) happen to hate it.


When you allow society to dictate how you must behave, you get moral policing, you get religious fanaticism, you get racial/gender/linguistic discrimination. Maybe I am painting with sweeping strokes but it is not too far-fetched to say that groupism and club mentality and the resultant problems take root when a vocal minority takes it upon themselves to dictate how the aloof majority should behave.


To demonstrate what I say, if I am responsible and aware of what I should be doing, nobody can ask me WHY I came home an hour or two later than usual, or rather they can, so long as the question does not take on incriminating or accusatory connotations. It is this tendency of the senior patriarch to make the younger ones submit to what rules he divines that leads to bigger things. I also think that Western society is affected less by this problem than Hindu - I cannot speak for Muslims - families because our society is still patriarchal in nature. Then again, the young Indian male is a lot less likely to go bang-bang-bang in his school/campus though such incidents are beginning to be reported here too.

Bottomline: Which path is better? Your guess is as good as mine. :thumbsup:

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ksbluesfan
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:02 am 
 

Michael Shermer covers this topic in The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share, and Follow the Golden Rule. I highly recommend this and all books by Shermer.

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Scorpio
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:43 am 
 

vondskapens_makt wrote:
hey wrote:
well when you live in any given society I think you should go with what that society says to be right and wrong. Not necessarily just what the government says but also what the majority of the people in it think.


And why, pray tell, would you just 'go with what that society says'?


You needn't, but that is what 'morality' is. I consider myself a modest moral realist, which is to say that moral judgments have objective truth conditions and are often true. The moral thing to do is what is conducive to realizing the ends of a given society, although, of course the ends can vary from one society to another depending upon what the members of the societies value. I don't think that moral claims are categorical, meaning that if an act is moral, that doesn't mean that it's in your rational interest to do it. Nonetheless, if someone doesn't care about the values of his society and acts contrary to them, his actions represent a moral failure.
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Scorpio
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:45 am 
 

Quote:
Don't attempt to not demonize a coward and a dick and sympathize with the victims families unless you too are truly that desperate to get some pussy this Valentine's Day.


So you're telling us that if we sympathize with the killer and not the victim's families, we'll get pussy? This is a valuable insight into the female psyche.
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swineeyedlamb
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:35 pm 
 

^By that logic, the fact that virtually all people are connected somehow to the "wider" world means that, ultimately, "we" are all under account to the current miasma of a world order.

I think morality does not mesh with an abstract civilised society anyhow. We evolved dealing with our kin around, and few else; one knew one anothers' foibles and virtues intimately, and this would be the basis of judgment. That's not to say that law is worthless or unnecessary in the context of civilisation (I certainly don't have a better idea), but that institutionalised morality runs basically counter to the good in human nature.

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Scorpio
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:46 pm 
 

Quote:
^By that logic, the fact that virtually all people are connected somehow to the "wider" world means that, ultimately, "we" are all under account to the current miasma of a world order.


I don't think the situation is that dire. It will be muddled around the edges, it's clear to me that the dominant values in Iran are unlike those in Canada in various ways.
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Scorpio
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:50 pm 
 

Quote:
I think morality does not mesh with an abstract civilised society anyhow. We evolved dealing with our kin around, and few else; one knew one anothers' foibles and virtues intimately, and this would be the basis of judgment.


I agree with you there. In order for morality to work, the group needs to be relatively homogenous, otherwise there will be insurmountable conflicts of interest. Huge, diverse countries like the US are moral disasters because there are so many groups with interests that directly conflict with the interests of other groups. I suspect that real morality is impossible in such a situation.


BTW, this should be in my last post, but I'm too lazy o fix it.
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It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this. -Bertrand Russell

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swineeyedlamb
Boiling in the Hourglass

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 6:49 pm
Posts: 650
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:06 pm 
 

Scorpio wrote:
Quote:
^By that logic, the fact that virtually all people are connected somehow to the "wider" world means that, ultimately, "we" are all under account to the current miasma of a world order.


I don't think the situation is that dire. It will be muddled around the edges, it's clear to me that the dominant values in Iran are unlike those in Canada in various ways.


But are they, really? A given Iranian may live in greater fear and/or piety, but his life is ruled by the same technologies and civilised values (meaning deference to an abstract authority, which is induced by terror, ideological collusion or both). More to the point, human interconnectedness will continue to grow and merge civilisations relentlessly until any idea of a sovereign society, at least in the Westphalian sense, is obsolete.

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thomash
Metal Philosopher

Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:31 pm
Posts: 1855
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:16 pm 
 

To me, there's rational and irrational. These are objective terms regardless of anyone's misuse of them because they are tied directly to concepts of logic, which underlie all experience. At its foundation, logic can be reduced to the principle of non-contradiction. Thus, a thought is irrational if it contradicts a previously held premise on the part of the thinker. For example, belief in miracles contradicts belief in physical "laws;" I'm sure most people on this board would agree that theology doesn't adequately explain this contradiction. The point is that the principle of non-contradiction is something that can be said to be objectively true because, if false, it may also be true and because it's impossible for anyone to actually negate it; it literally forms the basis for all thought and experience.

The problem with labels of "good" and "evil" is that, while they represent attempts to describe this dichotomy, they tend to inhibit rationality because they are not explicitly tied to rationality. Nonetheless, there is an objective standard but it is one that is extremely difficult for the bulk of humanity, in its appalling weakness, to perceive; even the most rational are, on occasion, irrational. However, the extent to which one tries to be rational does, to some extent, demonstrate how "good" a person is.

The reality is that most notoriously "evil" people are paragons of weakness and irrationality. They commit their crimes because they either have little self-control or because they are incapable of reasoning well enough to determine the most advantageous course of action. Regardless, I find it hard to feel anything other than pity or, in the worst of cases, disgust towards them. Either way, the only way to deal with irrationality is to try to train the irrational to think more rationally, as difficult as that is.

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swineeyedlamb
Boiling in the Hourglass

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 6:49 pm
Posts: 650
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:21 pm 
 

Scorpio wrote:
Quote:
I think morality does not mesh with an abstract civilised society anyhow. We evolved dealing with our kin around, and few else; one knew one anothers' foibles and virtues intimately, and this would be the basis of judgment.


I agree with you there. In order for morality to work, the group needs to be relatively homogenous, otherwise there will be insurmountable conflicts of interest. Huge, diverse countries like the US are moral disasters because there are so many groups with interests that directly conflict with the interests of other groups. I suspect that real morality is impossible in such a situation.


I mean that civilisation is the root of the problem. It tends to be more humane and pleasant to live amongst one's own ethnicity, but I would argue that this is because of a trick one's mind plays in thinking that ethnic similarity = kinship. Indeed, if one looks at the arc of civilised history, civilisation's way of consolidation has been to manipulate feelings of kinship, at first with ethnicity, then more insidiously with symbols (from the Christian cross to the Nike swoosh).

If I see a man I do not know and have never known him by my familiars' description, I have little basis by which to judge him, save for the impression he makes directly on me. This is, to my mind, an inherently immoral state of affairs.

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swineeyedlamb
Boiling in the Hourglass

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 6:49 pm
Posts: 650
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:28 pm 
 

swineeyedlamb wrote:
Scorpio wrote:
Quote:
I think morality does not mesh with an abstract civilised society anyhow. We evolved dealing with our kin around, and few else; one knew one anothers' foibles and virtues intimately, and this would be the basis of judgment.


I agree with you there. In order for morality to work, the group needs to be relatively homogenous, otherwise there will be insurmountable conflicts of interest. Huge, diverse countries like the US are moral disasters because there are so many groups with interests that directly conflict with the interests of other groups. I suspect that real morality is impossible in such a situation.


I mean that civilisation is the root of the problem. It tends to be more humane and pleasant to live amongst one's own ethnicity, but I would argue that this is because of a trick one's mind plays in thinking that ethnic similarity = kinship. Indeed, if one looks at the arc of civilised history, civilisation's way of consolidation has been to manipulate feelings of kinship, at first with ethnicity, then more insidiously with symbols (from the Christian cross to the Nike swoosh).

If I see a man I do not know, and have never known him by my familiars' description, I have little basis by which to judge him, save for the impression he makes directly on me. This is, to my mind, an inherently immoral state of affairs.

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Scorpio
Healthy Dose of Reality

Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 3:30 pm
Posts: 3654
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:02 pm 
 

swineeyedlamb wrote:
Scorpio wrote:
Quote:
^By that logic, the fact that virtually all people are connected somehow to the "wider" world means that, ultimately, "we" are all under account to the current miasma of a world order.


I don't think the situation is that dire. It will be muddled around the edges, it's clear to me that the dominant values in Iran are unlike those in Canada in various ways.


But are they, really? A given Iranian may live in greater fear and/or piety, but his life is ruled by the same technologies and civilised values (meaning deference to an abstract authority, which is induced by terror, ideological collusion or both).


To reiterate, yes, it is clear to me. If one society is characterized by the belief that the highest good is adherence to fundamentalist religious dogma and another society values personal freedom above all else, I detect real differences between their evaluative criteria. The fact that they both have governments does not render these differences immaterial. According to my ethical stance, they could scarcely be more important for morality. What a people values means everything when it comes to determining the ethical system that is appropriate for them.

Quote:
More to the point, human interconnectedness will continue to grow and merge civilisations relentlessly until any idea of a sovereign society, at least in the Westphalian sense, is obsolete.


I doubt it. There are still genuine conflicts of interest all over the globe. Even if a global superstate officially had the entire world under its jurisdiction, there would still be groups bound by commonality(race, religion, culture, etc.) that would have conflicts with other groups or the state, itself. Such a hypothetical state would be riddled with divergent, incompatible interests more so than any other in history, so we have every reason to believe that it would eventually splinter into many different pieces.
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