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Author Topic: Morality in Society
csk

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Icon 1 posted September 28, 2004 18:16      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm sorry, Serenak, but I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one. While there have been elements of name calling and "trolling" in the discussion, it's been well and truly overwhelmed by intelligent discussion, particularly in the last few posts. Seriously, if I was to look at every post following the "Personal Rebuttal" one, I'd say there are no less than ten posts all with intelligent argument, and a minimal amount of ad-hominems.

Personally, I haven't taken offence at anything said during this discussion, and any comments about capitalisation etc have just been an attempt to get another running joke going (well, we need something to replace begging MTB Babe for pictures of her butt, don't we? [Wink] ) Let's all try and keep an open mind to other points of view, and see if we can't all get some benefit from them, huh?

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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted September 28, 2004 18:26      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I declare MTB's butt should now be capitalised!

All hail MTB's Butt!*


*The use of bold was simply to make a point.

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(!) (T) = 8-D

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted September 28, 2004 18:42      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Now here's a good example of a 'grey area' of morality.

Do you deplore this violation of 'parents rights', or do you applaud the state for giving the parents the slapping they so richly deserve?

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted September 28, 2004 18:50      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't know which side is more pathetic.

They could name him: [email protected]

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Twinkle Toes
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Icon 1 posted October 02, 2004 18:53      Profile for Twinkle Toes   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Jesus.. What a stupid reason for naming a child 'Superman.' They probably don't even like that as a name. If Superman were actually 'Buttman' or 'Spandex', they'd be a bit more considerate. They could've named him Christopher or Ariel, for crying out loud.
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Twinkle Toes
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Icon 3 posted October 02, 2004 22:27      Profile for Twinkle Toes   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Originally posted by GM:


Natural law and social contact theory are the basis for this society. The puritian beliefs, while present in the mores and responsible for why certian laws are past is second to the idea that members of this soceity agreed that we wouldn't break these laws to have the ensurance that others wouldn't break these laws.

I'm trying to think of how to respond to this but I just can't explain... ah well, I might come back to it.


Social contract theory doesn't argue whether or not there are absolute morals, just how and why legislation by a government makes sense.

Well, I had to read a bit on social contract theory to respond to this. On this website, it says: "We, including all of our actions and choices, are then, according to this view, as explainable in terms of universal laws of nature as are the motions of heavenly bodies." - Does 'heavenly bodies' mean planets, galaxies, etc.? Could the church have connected social contract theory through the this? Maybe? No? I got nothin', I just like nit-picking.

Also, doesn't social contract theory support ASM's point - if that is his point - on what I mentioned here: "Your logic tells you that, though he may be/might have been insane, he should still have to accept the consequences of his action(s)"?

quote:
However, philosophy is more deeply-rooted in religion (ex: Erasmus) than scientific method or reason.

Yes, and no. The idea of philosphy is...[etc].
All of this doesn't mean that philosphy isn't drastically influenced by religon and that philophers would invoke "God" to solve a problem they haven't another way to get through (read: as in Descartes' "Three Meditations").

I know, that's all I was trying to point out. There are many religious people here - more than I thought - and I just wanted to let ASM65816 know that it might be difficult for those people to fully understand a very logical, scientific take on the topic. They might not be able to view philosophy from a scientific perspective because they are restricted by their religious beliefs... but maybe that's getting a little personal. Technically it's true though.

quote:
This can, in no reasonable way, be incorporated into actual law. Everyone has the ability to understand consequences,...

I don't think so. I know people who don't fully understand the implications of their actions. They mean to do good, but never understand how their actions will have an effect on the world.

I think the only people I know of that are like that are little kids and philanthropists (-which I mentioned earlier on). With little kids we know the reason they aren't able to is because they simply haven't developed defined instincts for wrong and right. With philanthropists, the fact that they're doing the greatest good completely overshadows the negative consequence of others not learning how to help themselves and also, the fact that they're only helping the typical homeless bum and not *everyone* (which falls in line with the part of social contract theory that says people are 'self-interested'/egocentric). But besides those two, I think if they sat down and thought about it they'd be able to think of at least some consequence(s) that would repel their action(s).

quote:
because no one ever listens to me
I do.

Well, yeah [Razz] Where have you been anyway? And don't use the excuse of having a life, we know that's not true!

quote:
Do people even read these things anymore?
yup.

I just wrote that because I started thinking of how Cap'n Vic had such trouble over understanding ASM's posts which, although being a bit confusing, were still comprehendable. Then I thought of how much it bugs me when someone posts to a topic they haven't even read, or they just skipped over my post because it's too long or something. They haven't taken notice of any points I've made, so I feel like I'm being silenced, and that REALLY pisses me off. Anywho! Thank you for responding [Smile] .

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Mmmmrreow!

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Twinkle Toes
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Icon 1 posted October 02, 2004 22:52      Profile for Twinkle Toes   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cap'n Vic:

I personally don't think a forum is the ideal place to debate passionate topics to begin with, I envision a place like this where people come to share ideas, jokes and expertise in a light hearted way.

That is the reason I came to the forums and have kept coming back. I deal with enough 'comedians' in my life. Don't get me wrong, I love being funny and silly, and I'm not saying we need to rid the boards of funnies. However, this is practically the only place I get intellectual stimulation. What's so hard about containing oneself to continue an intelligent discussion? If you really feel adamant about something, wouldn't you want to share that and all the knowledge you have on it with others? If you really can't stand the heat, then get out the kitchen and PM eachother, like Cap'n suggested (thank you for doing that; I hope ASM agrees to do so if he wishes to continue).

The main thing for us to keep in mind is that we need to respect eachother's opinions and realize that our responses can't be the sole reason for another's change of opinion, should it occur.

quote:
If you read through my responses to you, I have asked you, for ease of debate to make your posts coherent, possibly to a single topic as opposed to several rambling, disjointed, bolded, capitalized, italicized manifestos.
Maybe the bold and italics are his way of expressing himself, like how I make hand gestures when I talk. Personally, I don't see it as a big problem.
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ASM65816
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Icon 1 posted October 07, 2004 19:53      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Golden Rule - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule
It is also called the ethic of reciprocity.

Does everyone agree that the "Golden Rule" is a good start for determining what is not moral?

Although the intent is clear, it does not make good literal law, and it does not determine the magnitude of what is wrong. For example:

(Steal_a_Car)==(Steal_a_Pencil); Is True because Wrong==Wrong

This is the biggest reason that I consider morality to be "obvious." Although the wording changes, the "Golden Rule" has appeared in many cultures throughout the ages.

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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted October 07, 2004 19:55      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
For the love of God, man. LET IT GO!

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csk

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Icon 1 posted October 07, 2004 20:14      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The golden rule is a good start, I'd agree. In fact it's a foundational principle, certainly of Christianity (I'm not familiar with other religions enough to comment).

But we still run into the problem of relativity. Let's use Zorro as an example (nothing personal, but there's a good reason to choose him, as you will soon see). Let's say he's out drinking, and he meets a nice lady at the bar, who he's never seen before. He ends up taking her home, and just as they're getting intimate, he surprises her with some BSDM.

Now I'm sure Zorro would be safe, sane and consensual in real life, but in my example, he isn't. The BDSM more than likely is the same way he would like to be treated, so he's not breaking the golden rule relative to himself. However, he's clearly breaking the golden rule relative to her.

This is a silly example, but it serves to illustrate the point. The "How they would like to be treated" is an individual thing for each person, which makes it pretty hard to generalise. Sure, followers of a given religion will have similarities, but even then there are individual differences.

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6 weeks to go!

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted October 07, 2004 22:19      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
csk, that is where Kant's Maxiums are better worded. "Follow a maxium such that you can reasonably perscribe as the universal legislative"

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ASM65816
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Icon 1 posted October 08, 2004 09:50      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Part I

I watched "Cool Hand Luke" (Paul Newman movie) a few days ago.
(Long Synopsis: http://www.filmsite.org/cool.html )

While this may seem unrelated, consider the case of the Mosquito:
  - Crime: Taking an extremely small amount of blood (theft) and causing several days of irritation.

The near-universal response of people is to kill them. This may not be "justice" (a mosquito might not bite two people), but it is certain the behavior of a mosquito will be that of a bloodsucking pest, and for that, people preemptively kill millions of mosquitoes.

Point: Society is synergetic and provides its members with significant benefits; however, someone that does not contribute to the synergy and only takes resources is a parasite and will eventually reach a point where his behavior is intolerable.

An example of "synergy": Given a road with an intersection to a housing development and congested traffic, Person A stops 25 feet away from the car in front of him to allow left turn access to the housing development. Person A doesn't lose any time towards reaching his destination, and there is no cost for stopping 25 feet sooner, but this trivial effort could greatly improve the commute of a dozen other drivers.

Part II

"Economics"

Consider the case of removing a $2 bolt from a car engine. The engine may run for 6 months with no apparent problems, but when it fails, the cost to repair it is $1000.

In the case of shoplifting a $0.50 piece of candy, the individual act is insignificant. However, losing a thousand pieces of candy each month means that the shop owner is losing $500 each month. Therefore, punishment is extreme compared to the individual act, but it is based on the long-term burden (of parasites) on society.

Part III

The Letter of the Law (aka. Why I Hate Lawyers)

quote:
Originally posted by csk:
... The BDSM more than likely is the same way he would like to be treated, so he's not breaking the golden rule relative to himself.

And this is why I feel that it is so important for the Jury to be free to interpret the intent of the law, instead of allowing lawyers to use volumes upon volumes of "legal precedence" to force a verdict (like on how some Enron CEO really wasn't stealing).

Point(s): A jury only works if its members care about individuals in society. The most efficient way to maintain order and progress in society is if the overwhelming majority seeks to do what is morally right. While some people may still do wrong, society will take great effort to see that justice is appropriate.

BTW: I've tried to read Kant ........ Uuuughh. (take aspirin)

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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

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ooby
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Icon 1 posted October 08, 2004 10:34      Profile for ooby     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Maybe you should read Minority Report by Philip K. Dick.

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"haven't you ever wondered if there's more to life than being really, really, rediculously good looking?"

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GMx

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Icon 1 posted October 08, 2004 10:46      Profile for GMx     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Or The Man In The High Castle.
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ASM65816
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Icon 5 posted October 15, 2004 13:23      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why do I get the feeling that the entire world has become like the last days of Rome? The Romans would go to the coliseum to see bloodshed and death, men and animals dying only for the sake of entertainment.

Today there's no need for a coliseum; you can watch the massacres in third world countries on CNN, or see beheadings of truck drivers and aid workers on the Internet.

quote:
Originally posted by Cap'n Vic:
This stuff is like a car wreck....no one wants to see but every one looks.

This is "entertainment;" people want to see it.

Is there another reason that people would say "he may be a murderous tyrant, but by law he has the right to kill his own people"? Is "law" so important that it justifies the death and oppression of the masses? In theory, laws are meant to protect and benefit society, not be a tool that allows one man to enslave a country.

Where is reason? Are lawlessness and anarchy good?

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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

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Cap'n Vic

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Icon 1 posted October 15, 2004 13:39      Profile for Cap'n Vic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why do you insist on bring these threads back to life?


Haven't you clued into the fact that no one agrees (or gives a shit) with what you have to say? [Roll Eyes]

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted October 15, 2004 14:05      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ASM65816:
Where is reason? Are lawlessness and anarchy good?

I'd say the laws of thermodynamics apply to human systems as well as chemical and physical systems...

And I'm still not sure what your point is, especially since I haven't seen anyone around here suggesting that killing is good (except for a few warhawks, that is).

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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