Senate The roots of Morality: Why are we good?

Discussion in 'Community' started by LostOnHoth, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. LostOnHoth Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    It depends on whether you believe all people are actually "human beings". I am referring here to the practices of slavery in the US and elsewhere, where it was perfectly acceptable to kill, rape, torture slaves because they were not deemed to be completely human, they were deemed to be inferior beings. The same is true for how the first European settlers in Australia regarded Aborigines - as savages, something less than human. So it is a bit of both, an exercise in oppression but it also boils down to social/cultural elements regarding how different people should be regarded and treated, based upon their characteristics. In this regard there are no absolutes - for example, it was immoral to rape a free white girl but not a black slave. Killing a child was immoral, but not killing an abnormal child, born to incest. Killing, stealing from and raping Jews was actively encouraged in times gone past, but not killing, stealing from or raping Protestan Christians. Moral standards are applied differently because of some subjective characteristic which defines different people as either "in" or "out" in terms of their humanity and inherent worth.
    Last edited by LostOnHoth, Jan 15, 2014
  2. timmoishere Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    Atheism isn't a belief first of all. Second, all standards and morals are products of the societies and times we live in. Morals change and evolve over the centuries; you can bet that if someone from 200 years ago saw how we are today, he would be utterly shocked at how different our behaviors are.

    You have to remember that these morals apply on a general basis. You'll get some aberrations who go outside of this moral structure, and that's where murderers, thieves and rapists come from. No gods required.
  3. Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Except, some people totally would do that, and NOT see a problem. I'd also point out that people don't agree on Star Wars, but that doesn't prove that George Lucas is a god. The presumption that "if humans invented morality we'd all agree on it" is entirely an unfounded assumption.

    Again, it's a matter of axioms, and that people have different ones. I consider slavery to be immoral based on the axiom that all people are equal on a fundamental level. And I think that axiom is far more defensible than saying that people are not equal, but those without that axiom certainly can come to the conclusion that there's nothing wrong with slavery, so long as you're enslaving the right sorts of people.
  4. LostOnHoth Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    This "if humans invented morality we'd all agree on it" argument is the silliest thing I have ever heard, ever. If you are trying to win people over by arguing that there is other no other explanation for our moral framework except the existence of a god then you are failing miserably. Of course human beings invented morality, it is a function of our brains, our consciousness, or emotional being. Morality it tied to our feelings of empathy, compassion and our basic biological imperative to create a stable social environment for ourselves. Morality is a learned social process which passes from generation to generation. It is learned within the family unit and during your school years and within the framework of social interaction.

    I just have to reject as demonstrably false the premise that some behaviours are wrong for everyone. That is not the case and never has been, as is evidenced by the historical, anthropological and sociological record from the dawn of time. There are certain common behaviours which are socially sanctioned among human societies everywhere, but it is not necessary to construct a "goddidit" approach to explain that. Human beings have the same basic needs and biological functions wherever they are, so it is hardly surprising that you see common rules of behaviour.
  5. LostOnHoth Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Yes, this is described as "the Golden Rule" which dates back to the dawn of time and antiquity. These are pretty decent articles:

    http://www.thinkhumanism.com/the-golden-rule.html

    http://www.iep.utm.edu/goldrule/
    anakinfansince1983 likes this.
  6. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    i would add a discussion of the evolutionary origins of reciprocal altruism:

    Simple and complex reciprocity in primates

    Obviously I agree with LostOnHoth that the discussion is incomplete without recognizing that primates don't naturally extend their good nature to social group outsiders, or even consider them human necessarily for that matter, which is why we have things like racism and war and have evolved (evolved in a different sense) human institutions like religion in order to extend the reach of our genetic moral sense in large societies where interaction extends far beyond the extended family and local community .
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Jan 16, 2014
  7. beezel26 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    Humans didn't invent morality. They learned it, It was learned behavior not taught by anyone. If you are religious you could say god invented morality but at the same time God didn't invent morality either. If you want people to love you and worship you, you can't be a dick. You have to be loving and kind. Help them when they need it. Give them loving discipline when they mess up to let them understand why they need morality. Same as a parent to a child. Like VLM said its survival instinct. In a way it just makes good sense. The golden rule itself is an extension of that. It always has. I see the second article as a failure to understand what it actually means. They are just trying to understand the golden rule from a winners of history perspective. Yet those who follow the golden rule don't lead nations. They don't lead a lot. They do live quiet unassuming lives that are peaceful and benefit all. They are the ones that pull over on the side of the road when we are broken down. They are the ones that give up their place in line for someone. The satisfaction they get is in their hearts. The satisfaction of showing loving kindness towards all. Why because the golden rule is more then just words its a way of life.

    You don't have to be Catholic, Christian, Jewish or Confuscious or even Atheist or Agnostic to understand it and practice it. You just have to have love in your heart.
    Last edited by beezel26, Jan 29, 2014
  8. Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    To that extent, I don't even think it's entirely right to say that it was learned behavior, as I think some portion of it is, in part, hardwired into most people. Some of it does seem to be instinct, and is in part why it's seen in far more species than just us.
  9. Anakin.Skywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2016
    star 4
    What is morality? Guilt? Why do we give to charities? Is it because we really feel we're doing the "right thing?" I argue guilt is one of the things that drives human morality. In addition, we do what works for us. As social creatures, we try to structure our environments to work for us. I think we hide that thought from ourselves. Who we are is shaped by society, so -- I believe -- that we do everything in response to our society or whatever order we exist in. Perhaps "universal" morality is just the product of us all living in the same Universe. For instance, don't hurt someone who doesn't deserve it because they may get pissed off and hit you. Universal truth.
  10. Lord Vivec Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 8
  11. Boba_Fett_2001 Election Pick'em "Winner"

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2000
    star 8
    It appears that Anakin.Skywalker has discovered Senate threads.
  12. Anakin.Skywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2016
    star 4
    I'm saying that humans just respond to their environment. Then again, I am someone who believes that consciousness is just a complicated machine that science has not yet explained. We're just machines.

    Yes, and me likey [face_mischief]
  13. Rylo Ken Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 19, 2015
    star 4
    but what was the last movie you saw?
  14. tom Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2004
    star 6
    beezel is that you
  15. Anakin.Skywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2016
    star 4
    If you guys, or just one of you, are responding to me, I am now confused.
  16. Lord Vivec Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 8
    So how does that relate to morality?
  17. tom Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2004
    star 6
    i'm pretty sure everyone is responding to you, the guy dredging up years old threads and only responding to the first post even if there are hundreds of pages of discussion.
    harpua likes this.
  18. Anakin.Skywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2016
    star 4
    @Lord Vivec

    Our morality is shaped by our environment. Morality is a response to our environment.

    @tom

    1) I respond to the first posts because the "current" 2014 discussion often go back several pages and are rather difficult to follow and the original creator of the post might want an actual answer instead of a distant something in response to someone else.
    2) I grew tired of useless banter, so I came here, where real things are being discussed.
  19. tom Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2004
    star 6
    that's well and good and we're happy to have you. however, dredging up a whole bunch of long dead threads is referred to as "necro-posting" and is generally frowned upon. one or two in a day is fine, but when you come to the forum to find the first page has been replaced with 30 old senate threads that have long since run their course, it's a little annoying. a minor nuisance in the long run to be sure but i'm just trying to help you get off on the right foot.
    Lord Vivec and harpua like this.
  20. Anakin.Skywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2016
    star 4
    Ah, never heard of it. Thank you.

    I discovered I liked the topics of the Senate posts. I thought perhaps discussion would get going again. My apologies.
    Violent Violet Menace and tom like this.
  21. Lord Vivec Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 8
    A good rule of thumb:

    If you're tagging @Rylo_Ken by a username he stopped using in 2015, you're necroposting.
    Last edited by Lord Vivec, Jan 4, 2017
  22. Anakin.Skywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2016
    star 4
    Okay, now that's funny. My apologies.
  23. twowolves Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2013
    star 4
    If you want to know morality, study Nietzsche. If you want to know the science of whatever lies beyond, study David Wilcock's book, The Sourcefield Investigations, in which he posits that the brain is really just an organic radio with the pineal glad being the tuning crystal, and the soul existing outside the realm of time/space and "tuning" into this reality by way of our organic radio. This alone should give pause to anyone attempting to argue ethics and morality as if it is indeed true, as more and more scientists are finding tantalizing glimpses of in their research, then there is indeed a reason to exercise moral absolutes. However, that makes me wonder where suicide falls on the spectrum, since Catholics say it is a sin, and Shinto-ists and Buddhists say otherwise...
    Anakin.Skywalker likes this.
  24. Lord Vivec Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 8
    Ghost and tom like this.
  25. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 9

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