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morality

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Sergeant, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. Sergeant

    Sergeant IncGamers Member

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    morality

    In many threads this topic has come up many times. Your morality is not my morality, you can't tell me what morals to have or what to believe.

    What exactly are morals? Dictionary.com defines moral as:


    • [*]Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character: moral scrutiny; a moral quandary.
      [*]Teaching or exhibiting goodness or correctness of character and behavior: a moral lesson.
      [*]Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior; virtuous: a moral life.
      [*]Arising from conscience or the sense of right and wrong: a moral obligation.
      [*]Having psychological rather than physical or tangible effects: a moral victory; moral support.
      [*]Based on strong likelihood or firm conviction, rather than on the actual evidence: a moral certainty.

    For the purposes of this thread, these are the definitions I will use.

    So, the questions I will pose in this thread is: What place do morals have in government? Who decides what morals are good or bad? Who decides what morals are ok for elected officials to incorporate in their public service? Is it right or fair to subject people to ones' system of morals? Is it possible to have a fair, just society in which no one is subject to the morals of others if they contradict ones morals?

    Lots of questions I know but, I think you can't really discuss one thoroughly without touching the others.

    Personally, I believe morals have a very important part in society and thusly, in the governing body. I don't feel morals are based in religion. I think religious people tend to be identified by their morals and, as a consequence, their morals are identified by their religion.

    I think morals just are. There are some things that are wrong, no matter what your religion is, no matter what you might think or believe. Some morals are absolutes.

    Murder is wrong. I think we can all agree to that one right? Now I'm being very specific. I'm talking murder as the unlawful taking of innocent life. This is not including execution or the killing of someone who unlawfully endangers you or your family and property. It does include wreckless accidental killing but not purely accidental killing.

    **** is wrong. No matter what label you give it or the circumstances in which it happened, forcing someone into having sex with you against their will and taking something very personal from them is about the most horrid personal violation someone can be subject to. Can we agree to that?

    Theft is wrong. Taking something that does not belong to you because you want it. I don't think this is ever justified. I think it can be understood in extreme and urgent cases of need (food for hunger for example). Otherwise, theft is wrong.

    So the list could go on but I'll stop there. There are somethings that are right or wrong, regardless of where you grow up or what your culture says. This is not saying something may or may not be legal. This thread is not about debating the legality of any of these things or of other things relating to morality. This thread is strictly about whether something is right or wrong, not legal or illegal. That is another thread.

    So, without waxing all scholarly and making this a 15 page post, I'll just post my opinions and answers to these questions and open it up for discussion. Please keep discussion civil and respectful. We're duscussing morals, not something that can or needs to be proven. Much of what is expressed in here will be opinion. If you want your opinion respected, extend that courtesy to others. Even if you don't care about your opinion, others care about theirs. Respect the opinions and beliefs of others or don't post.

    What place do morals have in government?

    If the government is to govern, it should be just, lawful and moral. We've outlawed murder, theft and ****. Those are all issues of right and wrong, which makes them moral issues. It's my opinion that the government has a reponsibility and obligation to govern in a morally upright fashion first and to serve the people second. The will of the masses is not always the right way to go.

    Who decides what morals are good or bad?

    This gets into legislating morality and imposing it on others. Who decides what is morally right or morally wrong? I don't think any of us can. I think those are already determined. We are given a trait that tells us right from wrong. Religious people call it the light of Christ or the companionship of the holy ghost or conscience. Non-religious usually call it their conscience. What is right and wrong was determined long before any of us were here, long before any of our great-great-grandparents were here.

    If you are not a believer in God and creation. You believe morality evolved as man did. That humans as sentient beings are capable of choosing something to be right or wrong. If this were the case, it's easy to see how ones set of morals can and usually are mutually exclusive from another's. Since there is no one source for what is right or wrong, no one can tell another what is right or wrong. In that sense, morality cannot be legislated justly because no one set of morals will be identical to another. Close enough to agree on many things, but not all things. In this way, someone's morality will always be imposed on those who do not share it. If this was the way it was, I would not want that.

    If you are a believer in God and creation, you know what is right and wrong has existed long before the creation. It is given to each of us to know right from wrong, from the time Eve partook of the tree of good and evil and convinced Adam to do likewise, man has had the ability to know good from evil. In this way, morality can be legislated fairly because it comes from the same source. It is why we all agree ****, murder, theft are wrong. In this sense, the only people who are against the legislation of morality are the ones who would want to violate it. This is why most religious people are adamantly against abortion, homosexuality and *** marriage. Because it violates some of our deepest held morals and standards. People who are not religious sometimes have a hard time understanding how we can be so narrowsighted and bigoted but, from the eyes of a religious person, we are simply upholding our morals and standards.

    Who decides what morals are ok for elected officials to incorporate in their public service?

    We do. We elect the people who serve. The people who are in office are there because enough people thought they should be there. If someone is elected to office, by default, they are there because it was the will of the people. This is why I don't agree with the relentless bashing of some of our government officials. If we don't want someone there, we take them out of office, it's that simple. If we can't, then obviously enough people don't want them out. So, if we elect someone to office, we give them authority to govern in accordance with their conscience and morals.

    Is it right or fair to subject people to ones' system of morals?

    From my point of view, yes. It's also impossible to not do. If you put a person in office who's religious and whose decisions are influenced by their morals and beliefs, the people will be subject to those morals. Some will agree and some won't. If you put a non-religious person in office who does not govern in accordance with their beliefs and morals, some of the population will still be having morals they do not agree with imposed on them because the will of the majority will be followed and some of those choices will be contrary to the morals of some. It is impossible to rule a people and not have morals imposed on people who don't agree with them.

    Is it possible to have a fair, just society in which no one is subject to the morals of others if they contradict ones morals?

    In my opinion, no. A just and fair society cannot exist without morals, without rulers who govern with high morals and standards. In my opinion, our society is not just and fair because our government does not govern with high morals and standards. It has bent itself too far to the will of the people; which is nice for some because it allows them to do as they want, legally with no reprocussions. For others, it is a sign and reminder of what happens in every society and nation before it collapses from within and is finally destroyed from without. I would not and do not want to live in a society where the will of the people was obeyed at every turn. There needs to be a line drawn and that line needs to be unbending, even if it offends and inconveniences some people.

    Feel free to comment on my thoughts and/or add discussion of your own. However, I would as again that you remain respectful of the opinions of people in here. If you make a statement of fact, please support it. If it is your belief or opinion, make it known that it is such. Have at it.
     
  2. Freemason

    Freemason Banned

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    What is a moral? The arch enemy of liberalism.
     
  3. Ezcabe

    Ezcabe IncGamers Member

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    Well said, I wish I were as smart as you. ps check your pm.
     
  4. Nastie_Bowie

    Nastie_Bowie Banned

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    *chuckle*

    Morals, are dieing in our society. The almighty buck, rules peoples morals, today.

    Politicians are worse, they are hippocrites. Claiming high moral standards.
     
  5. Sergeant

    Sergeant IncGamers Member

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    Congratulations! Sadly Bowie, I think you are right. Money and instant gratification seem to be the rule rather than the exception anymore. Politicians serve those who fund their campaign and serve their own desires for fame and power.

    The end is nigh, I'm mixing kool-aid, who's with me! :drool:
     
  6. Dutchman

    Dutchman IncGamers Member

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    I did have a few issues with what you posted.

    Either both believe, or both know, it is skewed way to phrase the difference.

    This person who is not religious has a hard time understanding why you think your beliefs matter more than the people actually involved. In other words, why you can't mind your own business instead of legislating your version of morality.

    I don't want to get into a big quote battle so I will simply ask why we can't legislate the items that everyone outside of societies fringes agree on, murder, ****, theft, and leave people to make the contentious decisions for themselves. Abortion, mercy killing, *** marriage, etc.

    In other words, unless everyone agrees, why can't the law mind its own business. Why expect the law to follow specific subsets of morality when it gaurantees alienation? Why is it that people wish to enforce their views on others rather than just mind their own business?

    The law, and government could certainly accomplish this if the right people were in charge. People who could seperate their personal beliefs from making decisions that best serve the entire public interest.

    Here i think the assumption is flawed. With a lack of legislated morality no one gets morality imposed upon them. They can make their own choices based on their beliefs. The reverse however, is denied when morality is legislated. It seems to be a matter of one side being willing to let the other do as they please, even when they disagree, where the other insists that their morals are the only correct ones and must be enforced.

    exhibit A

    I hope my post comes across as respectful, it is intended to be. I don't mean it to sound nice, but no disrepect is intended.

    Dutch

    edited: grammar, likely many remain unfound :cheesy:
     
  7. Accaris

    Accaris IncGamers Member

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    The concept of morality is not inherently based in religion. However, the "common" morality, the morality in modern society, the morality whose monopoly controls almost every function of our government, legal, and social systems, is indeed based directly from Judeo-Christian ideals.

    That is a myopic perspective. Absolutes exist independent of all material and mental influences, yet, "absolute morality" is restricted specifically to the social mindset of the beholder; thusly, no absolute morality, one by which the methods of humanity as a species can be judged, exists. If your absolute morality would exist, then so would the absolute morality of the Jews, the ****s, the Wiccans, the Buddhists, the Communists, the Crowleyan Occultists. None can be proven correct or incorrect. They can only be analyzed according to their utility to society as a whole, which is still largely subjective from a modern context.

    You can't expound on such an absolute without becoming contradictory. You begin your statement by saying that "murder is wrong," yet continue by supporting exceptions to your own generalization. In a way, you have proven that moral absolutes do not (and should not) exist.

    I definitely agree. Most humans, being social and empathetic animals, would agree. Yet, I'm sure there are many individuals who, for whatever reason, would disagree.

    See my response to "murder is wrong."

    Incorrect, as I've explained above. Osama Bin Laden is a hero amongst his people. His terrorism is viewed by his own tribe as not a "necessary evil," but rather, as a "necessary good." Absolute dualism fails.

    "Respecting" other opinions seems to be all the rage these days, but has no basis, and is hypocritical to a degree. I guarantee, if I went on an explosive and thorough rant promoting neo-**** ideals and the Holocaust, you would not "respect" my opinion at all. Few people here would, and instead of "not posting," they would lash out against me, as they should, at least for the sake of bravery. Ironically, morality prevents such a debate. The censorship on this board would result in an illegible thread. Just a comment.

    None. Merit, rationalism, and utility are the logical options of recourse for governmental policies. When morality prevails in decision-making, society suffers.

    Ancestry. Societal impetus. In relation to the theory of morality, there is no such thing as a "conscience," which assumes that morality is assigned by an external and unquantifiable source; the foundation is emotion, and emotions largely responsible for concepts of morality, such as sympathy and empathy, are stronger in some than they are in others. Revelatory to the function of society as a whole, there should be no "good" or "bad," only that which makes sense in the context of the entire system and that which does not.

    Like our education system. Like liberal democracy. Like globalism. That IS the way things are, and you're right, you *shouldn't* want that. No one should.

    Necessity. See "who decides morals" above.

    When morality intrudes on the progress and benefit of society, and thus, on the health of the population, then yes, subjecting outside morality not only becomes "unfair," but can be related to a form of social extortion and terrorism. Either you agree wholeheartedly to society's rules, be inoffensive, and avoid conflict with others at all cost, or you are an unpredictable outsider who should be silenced and ridiculed. Decision-makers really have only one choice in a morally entrenched society: to agree, whether agreeing sets humanity back 1000 years or not.

    Yes. Its possible when the individual finally becomes secondary to the needs of the community, when the need for a central objective can become fulfilled without pandering to moral justification, when a decentralized society marked by the ideals of honor is resurrected (as in the times of old.) Such a social Renaissance could only occur if the moralization of our current civilization is eliminated. The spread, not the waning, of moralistic hegemony, at least of that spawned from Judeo-Christianity, is what has empirically reduced nations to ruin (and will again.)
     
  8. Accaris

    Accaris IncGamers Member

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    Of what liberalism do you speak? If its the liberalism that dominates America and her allies, then the opposite is true. Liberalism resulted from foundational Judeo-Christian morality, an influence with its fingers deep into the very veins of our society.

    EDIT: The same insane liberalism that censors the word Naz1 on this board.
     
  9. Anyee

    Anyee IncGamers Member

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    **** is morally wrong to some, not all. In Jamaica, it is not a crime nor is it a crime in many African countries. Indeed, it is usually the victim's fault for allowing the **** to take place. Be careful
     
  10. Anakha1

    Anakha1 Banned

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    Oh Smeg, you are so ****ing full of it. :rolleyes: There's nothing immoral about liberals, they just happen to believe different than you. I think many beliefs of both conservatives and liberals are immoral but I don't go beating that drum at every opportunity. Give it a freaking rest because it's getting really old.

    Anyways, morality is absolutely subjective. You're wrong about certain acts being universally immoral, Sarge. Like Anyee said, there are certain cultures that accept murder and accept **** (many cultures encourage raping other tribe's women for bragging rights and other cultures believe in passing around a bride to all the tribal men before the husband has access to her).

    That being said, I think the government should only enforce morality where it comes to harm to other people. Obviously murder and **** harm other people. Pot smoking and various other things that the government currently regulates do not. Granted, there are some blurry lines in there, but it's a start.
     
  11. Technetium

    Technetium IncGamers Member

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    I disagree with some of the initial premises you make. That is, I do not believe there are any morals which are absolutely true. Not even the issue over murder. Although I happen to personally believe that murder is wrong and should be punished, I can't prove it. I don't believe in a higher power. Even if every single person on the planet died spontaneously, would it be "wrong?" I don't even see the meaning in the word if I choose to look at it from outside my own bias.

    As such, I do not believe that one moral system can be proven more valid than another. Therefore, I feel that society should aim for a system of rules which, to the greatest extent possible, enables individuals to live according to their own morals. The obvious caveat here is that some degree of curtailment is necessary because many people's morals instruct them to invade the individuality of other people.

    Thus, I feel the law should permit by default, and deny only when something involves invasion into another person's individual rights.

    Let's take the issue of allowing same-sex marriage. Those for it (such as myself), have often said that those with moral objections should not be able to exert moral authority upon others by making it illegal. Those against it have often replied that if same-sex marriage is allowed, then it would be the other side exerting moral authority. However, this is not an equal comparison. To deny someone something (such as the ability to be married) is to actively take a position which determines what another person can and cannot do. To allow something is simply not to do that. A truly equivalent comparison here would be if the push were to change the law to only permit same-sex marriage, and deny heteros the right to marry. That would invade the individual freedoms of heterosexual people. And for as long as marriage involves exclusive benefits paid for by everyone, it must be regarded as a freedom, not a priviledge. For someone such as myself who will only view such matters in purely quantitative means, this is virtually 100% of the crux of the same-sex marriage issue. For every benefit provided to married couples, alternative criteria can be used instead. In fact, I feel that government should not be involved in marriage at all. But until that happens, government has a responsibility to enable all people marriage, as a right.

    And while I know this thread is not solely about same-sex marriage, I have another issue to comment on regarding it. Those for banning it have often said that it is fair because all people have the right to marry someone of the opposite sex, including homosexuals, and whether they happen to like the opposite sex isn't relevant. This is a ridiculous argument. To those of you that are married, did you pick your mate purely on the fact that s/he was the opposite sex? No, you married him/her because that was the person who you fell in love with. That's what marriage is about. When same-sex marriage is banned, heterosexuals have the right to marry the ones they love, while homosexuals do not have that right. No man who I would take seriously looks at a random woman on the street and honestly says, "Yep, she's female, so I guess she fits all the requirements for me to marry her."

    However, I also feel that a private business should have every right to discriminate in hiring practices for what ever reason they feel, including the gender, race, or sexual preference of the applicant. As before, this is a permit/deny issue, and the government should not have the right to deny businesses the criteria they wish to use for hiring, as it does not interfere with any person's individual rights (and no, you do not have the "right" to work at any specific company).

    Alright, so I went on a long tangent that was only part of the topic. But it makes my point and view on the whole pretty clear.
     
  12. cleanupguy

    cleanupguy IncGamers Member

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    Such an amazing talent to turn every discussion into "liberal vs conservative."

    Wow, you should be proud.

     
  13. Accaris

    Accaris IncGamers Member

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    I agree, discussing "liberal" versus "conservative" in the framework of morality is useless, since they are both simply patchwork incarnations of the same humanist moral values.
     
  14. Anyee

    Anyee IncGamers Member

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    I find those who use their religion as an excuse for anything disgusting. I find those who breed and expect their women to take care of their imbecilic brats disgusting.

    I hope you are caught in the lies your religion forces you to tell. May your children grow up conflicted and then suicide because they are homosexual and you don't accept them. May you be forced to put your life in the hands of someone you despise and may they exploit it. May you suffer, as I will have to suffer at the hands of your filthy majority. Morals? Only when it suits your views. The real morals are out there, kiddies, but I doubt you can wrap your little warped minds around them.
     
  15. cleanupguy

    cleanupguy IncGamers Member

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    I believe that power and morality somewhat go hand in hand. Whatever you believe will not matter much if you don't have the power to make your belief be sustained. This is why morals are based so much on religion because organized religion has so much power to enforce a set of belief.
     
  16. eddy

    eddy Banned

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    The thing with taking these stances. It can be viewed in two ways. The first is it like you said, they are all deemed morally wrong by the majority of society. Then again this issues can also be viewed as a violation of rights. Murder can be seen as wrong as it violates the right to live that one person has. **** can be seen as a violation of the right to engage in sexual conduct with whom you wish when you wish, or to not engage at all. Finally theft can be viewed as a violation of the right to possess that which you work for.

    If one wishes to view things under that light, then morals have no place in gouverment, the gouvernment then must only concentrate on working for the people the best it can. One form of working for them being protecting their rights. This is also the more logical solution since a majority can easily vote on what a violation of your rights are. Where as the same majority cannot as easily vote on what is moraly right and wrong, because your morales can be seen as a personal belief of the way to live, a belief which few may share.

    Edit: One example i can use to show what I mean at little more clearly is this. A population can vote on a set of issues and determine that if one person rapes another it is a violation of their rights, and then the rapist should be punished. On the other hand a population could vote that having sex while not married is immoral, and therefore force their belief upon others.
     
  17. Dutchman

    Dutchman IncGamers Member

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    It's not worth getting that worked about Anyee. I know how close to home this kind of thing hits but don't go getting yourself in trouble over opinions you know you will never change. Please.

    Dutch
     
  18. Anyee

    Anyee IncGamers Member

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    Right now, about a mile from where I sit, a few hundred shitheads of various stripes are walking around saying that Jesus Christ told them that *** people are EVIL and don't deserve to get married. Doesn't matter that the Bible says very little about homos and what is does say is so ****ing ambiguous that most of protestors (all you masturbators, fornicators, and contraceptive users) are as morally ****ed as the queers. But there aren't people out there chanting that Jesus Christ wants to keep Sarge from doing anal on his wife nor are they out there saying that God wants Smeg not to whack off on his kitchen. Nope, they're out there saying that Jesus doesn't want two men to have inheritance rights. Because they are SCARED.

    Fear is a beautiful motivator. It's the most powerful one we have. I wonder if we should start giving people real reasons to fear homosexuals. Given the rates of AIDS in the community...a few hundred syringes, a few hundred samples of advanced-case, HIV/Hep/Syph blood...that would be fear. It would be a nice change. Inject their children. Watch them rot and die. Use scare and terrorist tactics. If we're going to get screwed over anyway, we should at least have a good reason for getting screwed. I'd do it.
     
  19. dantose

    dantose IncGamers Member

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    Is it me or are these forums getting worse? lets just all agree that liberals are all Satans minions and conservatives are fascists trying to end all logical thought.

    honestly, neither side is really even arguing anymore. it's just like "you suck" "no, you suck" can we all just take a deap breath or something? [/rant] This doesn't describe everyone but if the shoe fits...
     
  20. Anakha1

    Anakha1 Banned

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    I'm a socialist, so what does that make me? I feel so left ouit. :hanky:
     

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