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Thread: Morality

  1. #1
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
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    Morality

    So let's say it's a given that society is largely corrupt; the powerful oppress the weak with greater or less degrees of awareness/wilfulness; this is how it has been and ever will be.

    Someone once said to me that at the end of the day, the question isn't "Did you succeed?" It's "Which side were you on?"

    That's something that I think about fairly frequently. I guess you could say that I have come to see it as my duty as a sentient being to try to, at least on balance, act on the side of justice and compassion. Which doesn't mean not concerning myself with effectiveness - I believe that you have to genuinely strive to be as effective as possible. But realizing that that's not what it's about. The practically inevitable failure doesn't have to mean failure. There are slow changes, small changes, changes unseen.

    And at the end of all days, all of this will end. Success or failure will be moot. I do believe that the question of "how did this universe play out" matters. How each individual conducts their life matters. The interplay of all the various greater and smaller interpersonal forces.

    What about y'all? Do you believe that there is meaning? Morality? Meaning without morality? Vice versa?

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    We're actually a highly moral species but we live in an environment that runs completely counter to the one we evolved in. When people live in small groups (the size of a tribe) they treat each other with respect because they know each other. Joseph Heath describes the experience of a woman who moved to a very small town and suddenly became a far better driver. She quickly realized that everybody recognised her car on the street and could link it to her.

    In to the asshole society we live in today we run into people we've never met, and are never going to meet, constantly. And so none of our bad behavior has any permanent effects. That same morality that's baked into us is still there but is now reserved for our own, personal tribe of loved ones, family and friends. To a lesser degree people we sympathise and identify with.

    Unless our environment drastically changes to select only psychopaths in the future we're always going to remain a social species, and so whatever morality we've externalised into law and human rights over the course of time - we'll retain or rediscover once circumstances are better.

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    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    I think morality is a predominantly J subject, while ethics is more of a P subject.

    As for meaning...I think it's a quality of one's experience that can be quite rewarding...but states without meaning can be rewarding (or depressing) too.

    I think there are states of imanent meaninglessness, and imanent meaningfulness, as well as states of transcendent meaninglessness, and transcendent meaningfulness.

    I think the states of imanent quality are either depressing (meaninglessness) or stressful (meaningfulness), while the transcendent states are more pleasant.
    ...the origin of emotional sickness lay in people’s belief that they were their personalities...
    "The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong." ~Carl Jung

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    Senior Member Limes's Avatar
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    Morality is a subjective paradigm.
    With the exception of sociopaths, most people have a good grasp of morality and know the difference between right and wrong, feel bad (or at least something) when they do bad, feel good when they do good.
    For me, secular humanism is the future in this area. I look forward to seeing the assumed stewardship of morality wrested away from religion and given back to mankind.

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    fluff2fluff GnarlFox's Avatar
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    I have to wonder if secular humanism can take the place of what religion gives people. I'm not religious myself but I don't know if secularism is much better. Many secular people seem to define their beliefs by what they don't agree with instead of what they do.
    The idea is quite.

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    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robcore View Post
    I think morality is a predominantly J subject, while ethics is more of a P subject.

    As for meaning...I think it's a quality of one's experience that can be quite rewarding...but states without meaning can be rewarding (or depressing) too.

    I think there are states of imanent meaninglessness, and imanent meaningfulness, as well as states of transcendent meaninglessness, and transcendent meaningfulness.

    I think the states of imanent quality are either depressing (meaninglessness) or stressful (meaningfulness), while the transcendent states are more pleasant.
    Please define:

    Morality
    Ethics
    Imanent
    Transcendent

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    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnarlFox View Post
    I have to wonder if secular humanism can take the place of what religion gives people. I'm not religious myself but I don't know if secularism is much better. Many secular people seem to define their beliefs by what they don't agree with instead of what they do.
    I think that you can definitely have a secular morality based upon simple projected awareness of others' consciousness. "Do unto others..." really doesn't need an "or else." On a small scale, that sort of compassion is already built in, as @Buddha pointed out.

    I think that it gets trickier when you start to think about morality on a larger scale. Being good to family and coworkers is hard enough, and then there are all of the agricultural workers, factory workers, enslaved children harvesting chocolate, etc... Everyone impacted by everything we do or fail to do. For me peronally, a sense of meaning is not necessary for morality but it does help to stave off the sense of overwhelming helplessness that often derails that morality.

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    The burden of morality, to me, is realizing every day that your actions have the capacity to harm and help others. In this busy day and age it's hard to get much further than examining the evil in others. There's probably no more addictive idea than: "I am a good person". That's why religions have traction. "Join our group and you get to belong to the group of people who are Good". It's an incredibly wrong but seductive idea that lies at the core of any succesful religion.

    The downside, of course, is that people in a religion buy into the franchise, and lose sight of what morality really is all about. The very core of moral behavior is realizing that we are all very similar, and through that realisation becoming aware of our own personal responsability to carry some of the burden of building a just world. A church has no place in that. It exists simply because we all share the same weakness to group pressure/group think.

    Can you fool people into thinking about morality? It seems paradoxical.

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    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeresaJ View Post
    Please define:

    Morality
    Ethics
    Imanent
    Transcendent
    Morality, to me is basically judging...while ethics leaves room for inconclusiveness...it favours discernment over righteousness, and as such, it is more sensitive to context than morality is...but that's just how I distinguish them. Basically, I see morality as a J thing, and ethics as a P thiing, as I said. Not too determined to say much more specific than that about the distinction I make between them.

    Imanent vs Transcendent...basically, imanent meaningfulness/meaninglessness is a calculated conclusion...or at least a conclusion that has been given some sort of consideration. I suppose it is mostly just mental...as opposed to transcendent meaninglessness/meaningfulness, which, to me, has a spiritual quality that makes it distinct. It is experiential, and not tied to one's immmediate experience of the tangible.
    ...the origin of emotional sickness lay in people’s belief that they were their personalities...
    "The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong." ~Carl Jung

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    fluff2fluff GnarlFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeresaJ View Post
    I think that you can definitely have a secular morality based upon simple projected awareness of others' consciousness. "Do unto others..." really doesn't need an "or else." On a small scale, that sort of compassion is already built in, as @Buddha pointed out.

    I think that it gets trickier when you start to think about morality on a larger scale. Being good to family and coworkers is hard enough, and then there are all of the agricultural workers, factory workers, enslaved children harvesting chocolate, etc... Everyone impacted by everything we do or fail to do. For me peronally, a sense of meaning is not necessary for morality but it does help to stave off the sense of overwhelming helplessness that often derails that morality.
    You are correct that it breaks down as it becomes applied to larger groups and anonymity is added to the mix. What I was specifically referring to though was a sense of community and purpose. I am secular and I believe in humanism, but we'll all be in for a treat if community is replaced with dissent. When dissent from religion becomes the norm, what then? Society functions because we have reasons to pull together and as we drift apart humans becomes more treacherous. Discontent is not a pleasurable thing, and is only worthy if the goal is contentment. The widening divide between the rich and poor for example is something I view as very immoral, and a real detriment to society. Capitalism inherently breeds immorality because it is based on a false premise. Hoarding is the basis and holiness of Capitalism, and is flaunted around as the value of worth. Gross Domestic Happiness makes a lot more sense for everyone below the top rung.
    The idea is quite.

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