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Old 11-19-2003, 07:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
Location: Cali
Whose Morality

People like to talk about morals and normalcies. The thing is, that these are based on your standards. Killing is wrong to the Christian but a path to heaven for hard line muslims. (Not all Muslims for all those dummies ready to complain).
Here in the U.S. cows are common food. In India they are sacred. These as there are many, people will judge their morals and norms on their own standards. What is normal and moral for me may not be for someone else.
This being said what is normal? By whose standards should it be based? Mine, your's, or theirs? Personally I am more for acceptance as long as it doesn't break local laws.
Anyone else?..........................Macool
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Old 11-19-2003, 07:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
Location: a darkened back alley
Morals are determined by the majority of a society or of a group of people, the "more". Unless a person rejects their society from an early age, the morals of another society will always be somewhat strange to them. They won't be "normal". Eventually, following them can become a routine act, but since it was a conditioned response originally it will never be "normal". Normal is what you grew up with. It is a subjective mindset imposed upon you as you grow and learn about the world. It is based on the standards of the people who influence you.

I think that normal has very little to do with breaking the law. Breaking the Law is bad, children. Teenage suicide: don't do it.
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Old 11-19-2003, 07:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
Location: ski town
What is outrageous an illegal today may be "normal" in the future. Just because something is "normal doesn't make it right or moral. Fuck breaking laws. Just because something is law does not make it moral or immoral. Only you can decide for yourself what you believe to be moral. If your ideas are different from the society around you you may wind up being punished for your beliefs.
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Old 11-19-2003, 08:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
Location: Cali

Great response Bloodslick. Then again Charles Manson would look good after the reply after yours. Just kidding. That was a good take on the subject. Nice to see people thinking. One thing though. In some places in the U.S. there isn't a real majority. It is a bunch of minorities with their own versions of morality.
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Old 11-19-2003, 08:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
Location: Cali
Now this message shows a lot of hatred. Time for a shrink. Just think someday in the future we will see someone named Powder on the news in a hate crime case. Like I said you need to learn acceptance for those that are different with different morals. It didn't work for Hitler it wont work for you.
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Old 11-19-2003, 09:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
* * *
If morals are anything but internal, then why do you have them?

It doesn't matter where you got your morals from, but please have some good reasoning behind why you have them.

Rights, as defined by Thomas Hobbes and Hugo Grotius (who's influence we find in the first 10 Amendments to the US Constitution) were not like "rights" are today. Rights used to be seen freedoms <i>to</i> not freedoms <i>from</i>. In this sense, it seems perfectly clear to me that Hobbes and Grotius were right... Rights granted in the Constitution are simply institutionalized protections, not natural protections.

We can do anything we want if we're willing to face the consequences. It becomes a question of cost/benefit. I could never rely on external systems of meaning to tell me what matters to me, but I could rely on myself not willing to put myself at odds with consequences that I didn't want to face... Are there rules (laws) I'd break because I think it is worth it? Possibly, if I ever get put in that situation I won't feel any guilt, because I didn't make the laws, I don't have any ownership of them. I only have ownership of myself. If this reminds you of Thoreau or MLK Jr. I wouldn't be surprised... but not all choices have to be so monumental even in this regard.

I guess that I've avoided point-blankly answering the question, so here's my answer: follow your morals, and I hope for everyone's sake that they're well-founded thoughtful morals.
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Old 11-19-2003, 10:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
- There are no a priori morals. Your own morals, then, are the result of what you have been taught, what you have observed, what you have felt, and, most importantly, how your mind has arranged and combined all of the above.

- I argue that there is no such thing is a 'correct' or 'right' moral. No one has any more or any less moral authority than anyone else - so long as they are consistent in their moral system I believe it is impossible to tell them that they are wrong, no matter how much at odds their ideas may be with the general consensus.

- Laws are systems of crime and punishment, rather than representations of right and wrong. Their very form indicates this - the wording of the laws say absolutely nothing except for the exact nature of the crime and the agreed punishment to be inflicted for said crime. In order for a law to remain in effect, however, it is usually necessary for a majority of the population it affects to agree to it - though this is not always the case (such as in a dictatorship). The similarities between laws and morals in the United States and much of the West is merely a happy coincidence, a 'victory of democracy,' for the patriots amongst us - it is not an indication of the relationship between laws and morals.

- There do exist moral systems which revolve only around logic, starting from a minimal set of general assumptions or laws, from which all else is built. The ever-popular doctrine of Utilitarianism, for instance, is based on the overriding principle of maximizing happiness. The assumption, of course, is that happiness is the ultimate goal of human existance, and that there exists absolutely nothing else which could possibly trump happiness in any situation. At this point, the task is twofold - to prove, or at least convince a large majority, that happiness is, indeed, really that important, and to narrow the broad rule of maximizing happiness down to specific examples so that it can be applied in practical situations where the concept of 'happiness' may not be so clear.

- The safest and most productive way to discuss morals is to first establish a base of assumptions and axioms which all involved in the discuss agree upon. From there, you can build a system of morals and discuss moral implications in the context of those axioms. It is impossible, for instance, for anyone to disclaim that cows are sacred. However, I, myself, do not believe that they are, and as such I consume quite a large quantity of their body parts on a daily basis. For me to hold a discussion on this topic with someone who holds cows sacred is absurd - from the very start our viewpoints are exactly opposed, with no justification possible to reconcile the disagreement.
Sure I have a heart; it's floating in a jar in my closet, along with my tonsils, my appendix, and all of the other useless organs I ripped out.
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Old 11-19-2003, 11:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
* * *
Originally posted by Kyo
Agreed on all parts...

And on a personal note: I dislike Utilitarianism because the concept of it tends to make me feel as though people are just numbers being crunched in a machine. It also tends to assume a extreme means justifies the ends doctrine towards some ultimate goal/vision that many may not agree with. Examples include CIA activity in Latin America, Mexican-American War, Trail of Tears, etc etc etc. It doesn't work when we can all disagree on what an ideal end is, or simply have limited foresight.
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Old 11-19-2003, 11:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
Location: a darkened back alley
Kyo put the spirit of my words into well-defined points.

There's a Philip K. Dick story titled "Null-O", if I remember correctly, that describes the struggle of a certain group of people to impose their "moral" system on the universe. They reason that form and objects are an illusion, merely a construct that people have imposed upon matter, and they go about trying to return all matter in the universe to its "natural", non-object state, or "null-o".
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Old 11-20-2003, 08:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
Location: ski town
Originally posted by mac Daddy
Now this message shows a lot of hatred. Time for a shrink. Just think someday in the future we will see someone named Powder on the news in a hate crime case. Like I said you need to learn acceptance for those that are different with different morals. It didn't work for Hitler it wont work for you.
You may read hatred into it if you like but it was not inteneded that way. All I am saying is that morals change and that what one person considers moral another may consider immoral.

In the words of Bruce Cockburn, "The trouble with normal is it always gets worse."
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Old 11-20-2003, 10:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
Location: Grey Britain
This topic is explored in some depth by sapiens here

*Shamelessly plugs own thread*
"No one was behaving from very Buddhist motives. Then, thought Pigsy, he was hardly a Buddha, nor was he a monkey. Presently, he was a pig spirit changed into a little girl pretending to be a little boy to be offered to a water monster. It was all very simple to a pig spirit."
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