No Gods and therfore no moral code

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by altec, Nov 26, 2003.

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  1. altec One seeking truth Registered Senior Member

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    I am reading the book Days of War, Nights of Love: Crimethic for Beginners and I just finished reading this excerpt that summarizes the Thread title so perfectly:

    This is very interesting to me in particular. I for a long time have considered myself an athiest, and in many ways denounce the ideas that society has forced upon me since i was young, but this though never occured to me. What are morals? Are they in fact self defined? If there is no "moral code" then why wouldn't we all run around killing, raping, and pillaging everything that we could?

    Even with that last question I have trapped myself into the "moral code" delimma again :bugeye:. Who is to say that murder, rape, and pilliging is wrong? This is very intriguing...what are your thoughts? Seems that I really need to look at the world, especially mankind, and establish my own "moral code".

    Another quote from this wonderful book:
    Cheers,
    Tray
    :m: :m:

    Edit: I found the majority of the chapter that the original excerpt that I posted came from, and added the entire quote. Hope it isn't too long of a read, and hopefully it will get you interested in this wonderful book. Check out CrimethInc's website: http://www.crimethinc.com

    Moderator Edit: I have edited the length of the citation in accordance with standing forum rules. The text is available online at the link I have included. Other chapters--I believe the entire volume--of Days of War, Nights of Love are available at: http://crimethinc.com/library/libdays.html

    See Also: "Forum Rules": http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?threadid=20363

    -bd
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2003
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  3. goofyfish Analog By Birth, Digital By Design Valued Senior Member

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    I think there are a few broad categories of moral evaluation: the individual level, the societal level, and the abstract level. These three categories all interrelate strongly, but are also somewhat independent.

    A particular religious upbringing is one example of a societal moral structure. It's not the sole possible example; in fact, I'd venture that any stable grouping of people will have its own internal etiquette and sense of what is right and wrong. That's just one of the things that happens with social groups.

    It makes sense that an individual raised in a particular group or society will use that society's basic moral system as a starting point for establishing their individual sense of morality. I'd suspect it's fairly unlikely that most people would differ strongly from the social system on strongly emphasized points for two reasons: first of all, unless something about the system really strikes someone as being wrong, they're not likely to go to the effort of improving it, and secondly, if the individuals mostly differ from the social moral system, eventually the social moral system will change to match more closely.

    Religions are one category of things that act as carriers, as containers, for the moral beliefs of the surrounding society, provide a… touchstone? A reference point? They're not the sole things that can serve as attractor points, but they're a popular choice". Rules of etiquette and traditions are other popular conveyors of moral guideline.

    :m: Peace.
     
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  5. altec One seeking truth Registered Senior Member

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    Very true goofyfish. I wish that I had the patience to type the entire chapter on this ideology of "moral code". They not only reference religion, but also focus on the idea that all "fairy tales", or "superstitions" in our society are what we, as a people base a "moral code" on. The idea is to break down this wall so that we can define our moral codes based on where life takes us. This is a very interesting read.....Im glad I found it.

    Cheers,
    Tray
    :m::m:
     
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  7. Walker Hard Work! Registered Senior Member

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    Now I'm no Objectivist, but I think Rand has some pretty good thoughts about morality, and she explains them well in The Virtue of Selfishness. Some of her applications were crap though, so I don't know if I'd take the whole objectivism thing to heart.
     
  8. altec One seeking truth Registered Senior Member

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    I am sorry about that tiassa, i did not realize it would pose a problem. Thank you for being on your toes, and correcting me.

    Cheers,
    Tray
     
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Well, it is an interesting piece

    Altec ...

    It really is an interesting piece. I'm not yet sure what to think of it.
     
  10. thefountainhed Fully Realized Valued Senior Member

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    I think there is pretty much one thing that still necessitates the need for a supposed universal morality, and that is LAW. Without a moral basis for law, law becomes meaningless. I also think that it is this need for organization, accountability, etc within societies that prompted the meshing of morality into religion-- to give it more authority. I think morality precedes religion.
     
  11. Walker Hard Work! Registered Senior Member

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    Particularly if, like me, you believe that religion is invariably developed to enforce/reinforce the social and moral views of the individuals/institutions that create said religion. If the moral views of the initial religious establishments were more toward moral action and behavior, and less for interpreting moral ideas in a way that is beneficial for the given group, your average belief system/religious organization would be a considerably nobler (or at least more practical) force in their respective communities, and in this world.

    As it stands, though, there's not a lot of "morality" in religion, or often in law.
     
  12. altec One seeking truth Registered Senior Member

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    Shouldn't a persons "moral code" be tailored to the individual though? I mean that we are all different, and require different things in life to make us happy, and therefore we should establish our own moral code to fit ourself and our personality.

    We humans are such complex things that it is almost impossible to take a blanket "moral code" and to force into the brain of everyone, hoping that they will accept it as their own. But this is what has happened. Religions, Laws, Govermental and Economical codes have all forced their "moral code" onto us, and for some reason we accepted it.

    In fact, Capitalism has imposed this belief that it is alright to be ruthless to another human being into us since the entire idea was formed. Capitalism is the most un-democratic economical sysytem to use, yet most democratic nations use it. Can you explain this? Capitalism teaches brutality inbetween human beings, as long as the victor comes out with more capitol. This has also turned our society into a consumer based majority that seems to have lost all compassion for human kind. Should we let these morals be implanted in us?

    Am I wrong in this statement? The more I contemplate this idea, the more it makes sense to me. But I still want to hear a lot of opinions on the matter, since I am still a very plyable mind trying to figure out where to place myself in this world (with regard to beliefs and ethics).
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2003
  13. altec One seeking truth Registered Senior Member

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    Wouldnt you agree that law and religion are already meaningless? All that they do is hinder you from living the life that you chose. They impose ideas on you, and try to manipulate your situation to get what they want. The majority of the time the "law" does not do what they are supposed to, they instead pester good citizens that pose no threat to society. Is that right?
     
  14. Walker Hard Work! Registered Senior Member

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    770
    Altec,

    No, morality is not individual, athough it can be circumstantial. If one's personal ethics dictate that he have absolute disregard for the lives and conditions of others, that means he could do anything to anyone, and consider it to be "moral". Morals are designed to govern a person's actions, to keep them consistant with what is right. While different people may have different views on what is "right", that is hardly synonymous with morals being left up to the individual. Morals are social. Ethics are individual. But the personal ethic of the individual is still subject to the moral reasoning of the society.

    Morals aren't for our happiness. Never have been. They are in place for our well-being and the well-being of others. Some may see this as an altruistic statement...it is not. If one is allowed to harm or wrong others, they can wrong or harm him. Morals are in place to prevent this, and to allow the individual to proceed through life with integrity. This may not bring the individual happines per se (or immediate gratification, which is closer to what you are talking about), but it allows the individual to continue his life with a standard of behavior and performance that he can (or the current social establishment can) hold others to as well. In such, morals are both noble and practical...but not always at the same time.
     
  15. Walker Hard Work! Registered Senior Member

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    770
    Lawgivers sometimes perster citizens, I agree. I hate the fucking police. But organizations and individuals often misrepresent the moral standards the laws are supposed to uphold. The laws themselves are often necessarily more general than the morals they mean to represent, which creates a standard of enforcement that may not be just for every member of a society...but that doesn't mean that the MORALS are flawed.
     
  16. Yes Registered Senior Member

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    If "Without God, there is no longer and objective standard by which to judge good and evil." is true, then the existance of morality would be proof of Gods existance.
    Morality is what one individual or a group of individuals have agreed upon is "right" and "wrong", because these rules enhances their lives in various aspects.
     
  17. Walker Hard Work! Registered Senior Member

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    770
    Right. It's a community standard, based on the noble intention of the individual. It's not meant to hinder, but laws don't always play out in such a way that the morals they are based on are represented.
     
  18. spookz Banned Banned

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    hed

    I think there is pretty much one thing that still necessitates the need for a supposed universal morality, and that is LAW.

    the caps indicate fascist tendencies?

    "It’s the law Dorothy. We can’t go against the law."

    Without a moral basis for law, law becomes meaningless.

    and with this, you engage in gross generalities while ignoring the various subtleties and diff expressions of law. we have evolved into complex societies and laws now deal with issues other than morality. think technicalities! (mrn) what moral basis would you assign to litter laws?

    I also think that it is this need for organization, accountability, etc within societies that prompted the meshing of morality into religion-- to give it more authority.

    the needs you mention have nothing to do with investing morality with a supernatural origin in order to enforce compliance within a society. the objective is fear of divine retribution. societies have ranged from the simple to the complex, from the formal to the informal. to claim that all societies require "organization, accountability" means nothing.

    I think morality precedes religion.

    wow. i guess it is possible that some might miss the fact that you are merely stating the obvious. however i do not simply think. i know that fact to be true. perhaps a demo of eve and her brood in e. africa developing a code of conduct?

    (Edited post title. -bd)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2003
  19. spookz Banned Banned

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    i hold that a basic morality has been hardwired in to our systems. it is the means by which we ensure our survival as a species. witness the altruism involved b/w a parent and child. the co-operation within groups/species/etc these tactics enhance survival. it is instinctive.
     
  20. spookz Banned Banned

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    then again perhaps more distinctions should be made. namely b/w ethics and morality. is it necessary? god dictates morality, the group dictates ethics.
    personally it seems superfluous and redundant
    but yet.. banish god and we still have ethics to fall back on.
     
  21. altec One seeking truth Registered Senior Member

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    112


    You did not state what is wrong with doing any of these things. Capitalism, a standard that is set for us dictates that it is okay to do these things, to better yourself on a day to day basis.



    And who decides what is "right" and "wrong"? Someone that doesn't know our personal needs and feelings? Does that make sense?



    That is exactly my problem with "moral code". Why is it dictated by society? If it were left up to us, do you not think that people would still base their "moral code" highly on compassion for human beings, and other things of that nature?



    Why are they not for our happiness? Isn't living about being happy? Are you going to be able to look back at you life and think "I really lived my life to the fullest and I wouldn't change a thing"? I think not, and this is another one of my major points.



    Would this happen if morals were based individually? Sure there are the bad apples, but I tend to believe that we as humans do have a ntural urge to help rather than to hurt. Which is more rewarding, to help someone who needs it, or to blatantly hurt someone? My best guess is that the majority of people will answer the same way that you did.

    They way that they are established at the current time makes them neither in my opinion. Who wants to blindly follow something that someone else has dictated for you saying that it is the best for you? I know I sure as hell dont. Sounds like Fascism to me.
     
  22. altec One seeking truth Registered Senior Member

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    Not true, that statement actually is reffering to the idea that the social group that is religion has implanted rediculous "morals" in us. They are saying that with the death of religion, the fear of "God" is gone, and therefore the people that uphold religious "morals" can learn to establish them for themself.
     
  23. Yes Registered Senior Member

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    So how are religious morals different from non-religious if you take away the God-part?
    I see no difference that would make the word morality take on a new meaning.
    Religious people are a group of individuals that have agreed upon certain rules of morality to enchance their lives with. Just as other groups do.
    Morality is simply a social agreement.
    If you want the religious people to have the same vision of morality that you think is best, then you have to convince them that your view is better. But it doesn't mean that you are right or that they are wrong, just that you have a different perception, equally valid though, of morality, that you feel the urge to impose on others. Just as most people do.
     
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