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Morality (from the Latin moralitas "manner, character, proper behavior") is the differentiation among intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good (or right) and bad (or wrong). A moral code is a system of morality (for example, according to a particular philosophy, religion, culture, etc.) and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code. The adjective moral is synonymous with "good" or "right." Immorality is the active opposition to morality (i.e. good or right), while amorality is variously defined as an unawareness of, indifference toward, or disbelief in any set of moral standards or principles.
It's amazing how one simple question can spur such a vast debate.
Morality is inspired by Philosophy, which simply is "intuition", the master of curiosity. Philosophy questions why things are the way they are and attempts to find an answer. So, question number one:
"Where does it come from?"
Philosophy asked "What is right and wrong?". It answered "Morality, the knowledge of right and wrong".
This is all based on perspective though. Morality is very related to Righteousness. From the view point of the !@#$s in WWII to the view point of Europeans in the Crusades; they all believed that their Morals were "Right" and that others were "wrong". This leads us to question 2:
"Does it change?"
Yes. Obviously, the %^-*s didn't conquer the world and impose their sense of morality upon us. In facts, it's because of Rome's eventual conquest of the known world that we have so many similar Morals to Christian Morals as we do today in Western Society. This can lead to your third question:
"Is there an objective to morality?"
Yes. According to the !@#$s, their Morals suggested that there was a supreme "race" among human kind, and that it was their right to exterminate all others in order to purify our blood lines (preventing cross breeding). This is a harsh example, but it shows how Morality is simply perceptive. Morality is how we control our instincts. We can either choose to ignore them (such as table manners, and generally not acting like infants) or embrace them (systematically eliminating other competitive gene pools through genocide to further evolution). This leads us to your last question:
"Does science have anything when it comes to morality?"
Again, yes. Science is the pursuit of factual knowledge based on the questions posed by philosophy. Should we purify our races? No. because we now know that keeping the gene pool broad makes us evolve stronger as a species (prevents problems caused by overly in-breeding). Those table manners mom taught you? They are supported morals Scientifically because washing your hands before and after every meal prevents the spread of infectious ailments.
Morality is part of what makes us human. We are the only species left on Earth that can follow self imposed morals to govern our instincts, all by choice.
I really thought I had proved this other wise in my post. Maybe I'll be more drastic.
Cloning of Humans -a MORALLY Debated topic within the Scientific community (should we or should we not clone humans). Obvious Moral questions here; be you religious or not.
Stem Cell Research - Another moral topic, some what related to human cloning. Has obvious plus side effects however in improving health; yet we still debate it just out've Moral Principle mainly set by religious codes.
Discovery of a Possible Gay Gene - If true, implies that the Bible's Morals about Gay acts being Immoral and related to the Devil is faulty; for according to the Bible, Man has a choice to commit that Sin. If there's a Gay Gene, they are BORN WITH and there for were never given a CHOICE to be gay.
Earth Never being the Center of the Universe - Da Vinci was scorned for this! Eventually, main stream Science proved him Innocent.
Earth is older than 8,000 years - A moral debate that brushes many Christians the wrong way. Science claims the Earth is 4.5 Billion years old. (Note that those who believe in the 8k theory clearly didn't read the Bible correctly either).
There are 3 main things that evolve Morality; War, Religion and above all, Science.
By saying that science should have nothing to do with morality, you are implying that there are no truths to be said about it. Are there truths to be said about morality? Are there any circumstances in which we can definitely state that one action is more moral than another regardless of standpoint?
No, i do not believe there is and ever will be an "objective" morality. That is to say, there never will be a time where one action will ALWAYS be more moral to EVERYONE all the time. Morality by definition is, and always is subjective.
I don't steal, or kill, or assault, because I don't want others to feel free to steal, kill or assault me. Does that affect the rates of theft, murder or assault committed by and against people who share similar morality? Does a prevelance of my morality lead to a 'better' society (once you can define 'better', that is)...
Except that you will never define "better." What is better for you is different than me. What is better for our country is different than another's. What is better for our species will be different for others.
Sure, scientists can study the moral differences between two cultures. But as soon as it defines one as "better," science has stepped passed the threshold of the scientific-method. However, while morality does not effect the scientific method of understanding the empirical world, it does act on the scientists themselves.
These are all wonderful examples of moral issues acting on scientists, not "science". The hard science behind all of those issues never change what your moral values may be. However, if your society will allow you follow those lines of research.
--Earth Never being the Center of the Universe--Earth is older than 8,000 years--- These however, are not moral issues. These are examples of the church being demonstrably wrong.
-Science by definition is purely objective.
-Morality by definition is purely subjective.
-Science can study the effects of morality, but can never determine which society is "better"
-Morality acts on society, and therefore scientists within that society. However, it does not act on science itself.
Edited by Polls on 11/1/2011 4:27 PM PDT
it comes from you and those around you, it does change, maybe we certainly haven't found one yet, and the phrase "have anything" is a bit vague what do you mean by it? If you mean does science have any answers? well tricky question, it can tell you the why's of the morality of certain actions. There are things about morality science can't answer, atleast not science as the way I think of it. I guess if you consider (which after thinking about it i realized they kinda are) pyschology and psychiatry science's you could a lot of the "anything"s of morality using science, however still there will always be questions.
I don't think that scenario is an example of Morality. That's a code of Ethics to follow that you would base on logic and your experience as a member of a society. Morality is closer to faith, no logic needed.
Morality appears to fall into five domains, and different people (groups of people, entire cultures) place different degrees of value in the five domains:
-Harm / Care
-Fairness / Reciprocity
-Ingroup Outgroup / Loyalty
-Authority / Respect
-Purity / Sanctity
There are some very interesting questionnaires that you can take at http://www.yourmorals.org/ to investigate your own values.
If you're a postmodernist, science is morality. The ways in which we practice science are determined by our contemporary cultural paradigms, which are inextricably tied to ideas on morality and rationality. Therefore, a discussion on morality is extremely relevant to science.
Morality is tied to which avenues of science we are allowed to proceed down, i have all ready conceded to that point. However, i still hold firm that science (read as "the scientific method" and "rational thought based on empirical evidence") is not affected by morality. Human cloning may be morally wrong, but the science behind it never changes. Our progress down the path to human cloning may be hindered by what people feel is right/wrong, but it will never change the science itself.
I hope i am making that distinction clear.
What is considered "evidence", or even, to a certain extent, "rational" is mostly culturally determined. Add to that the fact that science today is, for the most part, inductive rather than deductive in nature and the effects of morality and aesthetics become quite profound. Modern science is certainly more effective than any other known means of explaining the world, and perhaps more "true", but that doesn't mean it is the Truth, completely independent of human experience.
I strongly disagree. Science works in this fashion
1) Make an observation
2) Hypothesis a mechanism for that observation
3) Collect data that either SUPPORTS or CONTRADICTS that hypothesis.
I put those two words in bold. Evidence is set up in this binary fashion so that it is impossible to have judgment or any level of subjectivity in the matter.
It does not matter if the reasoning is inductive or deductive. Laws of logic are not influenced by anything subjective. Logical statements are either right or they are wrong and therefore, by definition, cannot be in the same domain as subject fields such as morality or aesthetics. Science is about testing ideas by finding empirical evidence that *necessarily* must support or contradict that idea...there is no wiggle room, no middle ground between. If there was room for subjectivity in science, it simply would not work.
Modern science is certainly more effective than any other known means of explaining the world, and perhaps more "true", but that doesn't mean it is the Truth, completely independent of human experience.
There is no pretense that modern science has "the truth," that is why when evidence manifests that contradicts a long-held theory...that theory must be reworked or discarded. I do have an issue with "more true" though, it implies a gradient of truthiness. Things in science are either true, or untrue.
Where on Earth did you get that idea?
So if my parents and grand parents and great grand parents are all terrible people, then I must have the biological coding to be a terrible person as well?
I call B.S. on this.
Maybe you could argue brain development affects morals because we view the world differently, but a 'nice person' gene? No.
Everything I know/have observed is that upbringing and education are what determine your moral standpoint. Not genetics.
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