StarCraft® II

Morality

Posts: 1,172
I'd say that morals are 'hereditary'- not in a biological way, but just in the way that most of the values you hold dear in life are the ones your parents taught you to hold dear.



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Posts: 89
Morality simply comes from your environment in which you were raised.

For example, some cultures think it's perfectly fine to do things that would be illegal in the United States.
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Posts: 94
Morality is just the human way that you arent going to go on a mass murder spree its built for this one purpose.
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Posts: 12,350
Morality simply comes from your environment in which you were raised.

For example, some cultures think it's perfectly fine to do things that would be illegal in the United States.


This is not true.

Moral relativism is a bad idea.

The source of morality is our natural as communal animals; for the entirety of our races' existence we've been dependent on the community in order to survive.

This makes community vitally important to humanity, and means that morality is going to evolve as a way to ensure the ability to maintain a cohesive society; this is why things like thievery, murder, and assault are universally seen as wrong.

As we develop and improve our concept of social justice, our ability to understand morality also increases; that's how western countries came to the realization that slavery is always wrong, for example, and that women must be granted equality.

Because some communities may see, for example, slavery as okay does not make slavery right - it's always wrong. This holds true for a number of other things.
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Posts: 504
Sigh.... I had a huge post ready to go but then I clicked preview and it got... destroyed. I may go back and rewrite it later but for now will address one thing:

Moral relativism is a bad idea.

You say this, and then you seem to contradict yourself, Hylozoist. Correct me if i'm wrong though.

This makes community vitally important to humanity, and means that morality is going to evolve as a way to ensure the ability to maintain a cohesive society; this is why things like thievery, murder, and assault are universally seen as wrong.

Isn't that what Moral Relativism is? A changing sense or right and wrong to ensure peace and order in the context of a culture? And about thievery, murder and theft: Did people not commit those acts sometimes for the sake of protecting the well being of their own community against a different community?

As we develop and improve our concept of social justice, our ability to understand morality also increases; that's how western countries came to the realization that slavery is always wrong, for example, and that women must be granted equality.

We have no way of knowing what awaits us in the future. For all we know in 500 years past an idea that we would outright reject as being evil may be common place. This has held true for all humanity. One time period: This is wrong. Later: This is alright, we'll live with it. The standards adapt. Every time period considers itself 'the time period to be in' yet it is then looked at with sour eyes by the people of the future looking back.
Edited by RedZaku on 1/15/2013 10:48 PM PST
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01/15/2013 09:55 PMPosted by RedZaku
You say this, and then you seem to contradict yourself, Hylozoist. Correct me if i'm wrong though.


You are wrong.

01/15/2013 09:55 PMPosted by RedZaku
Isn't that what Moral Relativism is? A changing sense or right and wrong to ensure peace and order in the context of a culture? And about thievery, murder and theft: Did people not commit those acts sometimes for the sake of protecting the well being of their own community against a different community?


You've misread my statements.

Morality's evolution is a separate entity from the concept of moral ideals.

Moral relativism is the concept that any judgment of morality must be made from within the framework of what's seen acceptable of a given culture. This has nothing to do with the mechanics by which morality evolved.

Acceptance of slavery was part of the evolution of morality, but it is, and always was, completely amoral.

That people performed an action does not make that performed action moral. (Though with regards to things like murder and assault, it does require some very clear definitions, as there are cases when murder can be not an amoral act, such as when under extreme threat and killing someone to save your own or another's life, but that comes down to definitions of 'murder', and the same with assault).

01/15/2013 09:55 PMPosted by RedZaku
We have no way of knowing what awaits us in the future. For all we know in 500 years past an idea that we would outright reject as being evil may be common place. This has held true for all humanity. One time period: This is wrong. Later: This is alright, we'll live with it. The standards adapt. Every time period considers itself 'the time period to be in' yet it is then looked at with sour eyes by the people of the future looking back.


That's moral relativism, and that is wrong.

Slavery was once considered right. It was not, it was always wrong. Standards of acceptable behaviour for a society do not determine what is moral or amoral, they only determine what is acceptable to that society.

'Everyone was doing it' is not an acceptable excuse.
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Posts: 504
Alright I'm ready to take another crack at the 'Where I think morality comes from' post that I tried to make before but it got deleted due to b.net timing out when I hit preview... but first.

Acceptance of slavery was part of the evolution of morality, but it is, and always was, completely amoral.

'Everyone was doing it' is not an acceptable excuse.

Okay then... why? Where does the standard that makes these things wrong come from, and what gives it the authority to make it completely universal?

Anyway, here's my own 'theory' of morality that I've come up with, as far as I'm aware of. It ties into three different concepts:

"Might makes right"
"Knowledge is power"
"Strength in numbers"


This may sound weird considering how the idea of "Might makes right" is usually something that is frowned upon, but from what I've seen, it's how people and society decide what is right and wrong.

Theists often claim that the morality system of their faith is objective and absolute, but said system is often said to have been created by an all-powerful entity, and therefore must be taken seriously. Bolded word is key. G-man up in the sky dictates what is right and wrong because he created the universe and therefore is all knowing. However what theists usually overlook in my opinion is that they're worshiping somebody because of their power... which is the concept of might makes right.

In modern day democracies laws (do wrong and you will be punished) usually decided by two key factors in theory: Some sort of bedrock constitution and the will of the people.
  • Constitutions: Made by intellectuals. Debated and questioned. Knowledge required to make it strong. Knowledge is power. Power is might. Might makes right.
  • Will of the people: Strength in numbers. Strength is might. Might makes right.
  • Again, this is just me thinking in an odd way.
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    Posts: 12,350
    Okay then... why? Where does the standard that makes these things wrong come from, and what gives it the authority to make it completely universal?


    This is a bad question.

    It's like asking 'where do the laws of thought come from?'

    They're intrinsic to reality, just as absolute moral standards are intrinsic to morality.

    Anyway, here's my own 'theory' of morality that I've come up with, as far as I'm aware of. It ties into three different concepts:

    "Might makes right"
    "Knowledge is power"
    "Strength in numbers"

    This may sound weird considering how the idea of "Might makes right" is usually something that is frowned upon, but from what I've seen, it's how people and society decide what is right and wrong.


    Not really. It does work out that way in some societies, but not all. The US, for example, has a constitution designed, in the words of one of its founders, to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. Majority rule cannot be used, for example, to strip civil rights from people. This is a recognition of a fundamental aspect of morality which many societies haven't recognized.

    That doesn't mean it didn't exist, and it doesn't mean people or societies which act like it doesn't are 'right.'

    Theists often claim that the morality system of their faith is objective and absolute, but said system is often said to have been created by an all-powerful entity, and therefore must be taken seriously. Bolded word is key. G-man up in the sky dictates what is right and wrong because he created the universe and therefore is all knowing. However what theists usually overlook in my opinion is that they're worshiping somebody because of their power... which is the concept of might makes right.


    The refutation of this is that invariably this supposed god figure orders things which are abjectly and massively amoral. Believers like to pretend these self-contradictory statements don't exist, and pretend that people couldn't figure out that stealing, killing, or %##%#!%#** was wrong without being told to by people who claim to speak for the god figure.

    That's what theists are principally overlooking.

    In modern day democracies laws (do wrong and you will be punished) usually decided by two key factors in theory: Some sort of bedrock constitution and the will of the people.
    Constitutions: Made by intellectuals. Debated and questioned. Knowledge required to make it strong. Knowledge is power. Power is might. Might makes right.
    Will of the people: Strength in numbers. Strength is might. Might makes right.


    Many modern democracies have provisions put in place to stop the majority from being able to vote away the rights of the minority.

    Your chain of false equivocation is a bit out-there; you're using different definitions of the words at each step.
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    Posts: 1,071
    Morality is ultimately rooted in logic. Considering the recent discoveries pertaining to neuroplasticity, it's reasonable to conclude that developing one's logical thinking abilities will advance his/her moral reasoning capabilities. In that sense, playing Sudoko will improve your moral reasoning more than reading the Bible.

    BTW, those saying that morals are "relative" are postulating the "moral relativism" argument, which is one of the weakest lines of reasoning that there is.
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    Posts: 45
    You all are forgetting something that is actually emphasized in this game: "We are who we choose to be". I don't think its anything more, anything less.
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    Posts: 12,350
    03/02/2013 06:49 AMPosted by Seangil
    You all are forgetting something that is actually emphasized in this game: "We are who we choose to be". I don't think its anything more, anything less.


    That's just demonstrably false.

    We are the sum total of our experiences and thoughts.

    We can control this to an extent, but plenty of what we are is outside our direct control.
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    Posts: 1,522
    That's just demonstrably false.

    We are the sum total of our experiences and thoughts.

    however we do control our thoughts which are the things that have the greater impact on our personality than any experience, because it is our thoughts on any experience that influence "who we choose to be" not the experience itself.

    Side note: fixed issues i was having with my account
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    Posts: 1,412
    I would say that morality is prejudice against certain motives or actions likely to be caused by these motives based upon instincts and other internal inputs and also societal influence. Generally, the targeted motives are ones that lead to actions that lead to instability in a society or within one's life or harm to a society or one's life. For example, murder is an action that is most likely caused by a motive which would lead to an unnecessary decrease in a society's population, especially if the victim was a normal, harmless member of that society. It would also cause instability in one's life, because if this motive that leads to murder is common, then one's life would be more likely to end at some random time.
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    Posts: 1,906
    The cells of a human body could be viewed as a society with a morality.
    Cancer breaks the rules, eventually causing its own death with the collapse of the society/death. It might not be a good comparison to human morality, I don't know.

    I think morality is a shared agreement of what's acceptable behavior and what isn't. This agreement can be different depending on which group or country you're in.

    In a boxing ring, it's acceptable to hit someone. It's not acceptable to hit someone in a movie theater.

    Underwear can be considered 'bathing attire' or 'togs' if you're not too far away from a beach or pool...but stray too far, and you've broken a local moral law (unless your society isn't opposed to near-nakedness in the middle of a city).

    If I went back far enough in time, to a particular place...it might also be moral to burn me as a witch, for any number of arbitrary reasons. It wouldn't be moral to me, it would be to them...which leads to the question: Is there such a thing as 'objective absolute morality'?
    Rules that are true no matter what the locals think, things that are -always- moral or immoral no matter what.

    *Murder of 'innocents'/babies etc
    *Torture 'for the fun of it'
    *Destroying valuable and limited resources 'for laughs'
    *An unprovoked attack on another nation/intelligent alien culture, and not in self defense.
    *Screwing over everyone in the lifeboat by eating all the rations yourself

    I hope these things would be 'morally unacceptable' objectively, that they apply to every time period and every cooperative/reasonable culture in the universe.

    It might not apply to bat!@#$-crazy xenophobic cultures, but they're CRAZY.

    TLDR:
    Morality is about 'not being a jerk' because things work best that way for everyone...it's also about punishing jerkish behavior, so it's as rare as possible.
    Sometimes an entire nation might be 'a jerk', and the other nations band together to punish this unacceptable behavior.

    Morality (possible definition):
    "A 'social immune system' for any cooperative collection of sentient creatures, or multiple groups interacting cooperatively"
    Edited by TheCulture on 4/10/2013 10:06 PM PDT
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    Posts: 1,412
    I think people look too much at the categorization of the actions themselves to see what morality means. Actions have prejudice against them because of the assumed decision behind them and the assumed motivation behind the decision and the implications of that motive being present or common. There are a lot of motives or consequences that we can almost all agree on being bad, but the difference is in people's decisions of whether or not certain types of actions imply (are likely to be caused by) one of the negative motives. For example, if you see someone naked in the street you might not like that because you believe that it's caused by that person wanting people to be naked all the time, and you think that's bad; but, you see someone naked in a locker room and it's okay because you believe that it's caused by them believing you have to get naked to change; or, you see a mentally ill person on the street and you think it's mostly okay because that person can't really think well, meaning no normal motivation behind it
    But, again, different people assume different reasons for different actions, some people think it involves a negative motivation, and some dont'.
    Edited by Engineer on 4/11/2013 12:02 PM PDT
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    Posts: 1,522
    I spent a semester studying morality now, I will post something more meaningful later after i have slept off this all nighter i just pulled however to answer the OP (i think for the second time). it comes from you and those around you. the morality of a particular act does not change over time. Yes there is an objective morality. and the last one is again a tricky question because it is so vauge, but science does "have something" about morality, not what is moral or immoral but it can tell us why that what is immoral or moral. Of course philosophy can tell us more about morality than science can. I boldened the things i changed from my previous statement
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    Posts: 32
    Morality: Where does it come from? Does it change? Is there an objective morality? Does science have anything when it comes to morality?


    Morality stems from religion. People's defined view on what is moral does indeed change. However morality itself is not relative. If morality was relative, that would mean that the statement that "morality is relative" is relative. Thus the idea that morality is relative contradicts itself. Science can not define morality. For it is the study of material(physical) and morality is not material(it is nonphysical) .
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    Posts: 12,350
    06/04/2013 08:29 PMPosted by Kevin
    Morality: Where does it come from? Does it change? Is there an objective morality? Does science have anything when it comes to morality?


    Morality stems from religion. People's defined view on what is moral does indeed change. However morality itself is not relative. If morality was relative, that would mean that the statement that "morality is relative" is relative. Thus the idea that morality is relative contradicts itself. Science can not define morality. For it is the study of material(physical) and morality is not material(it is nonphysical) .


    Way to not read the thread.

    Morality does not stem from religion; this is seen by the sheer mountain of amorality present in all religions.

    Science can define morality; humans rely on their societies to survive, morality evolved as a method of ensuring cohesive societies. A society in which murder is frowned upon, for example, is stronger as a result of rampant murder and its destabilizing effect not being present.

    Science is the generation of predictive models of reality. Morality exists in reality.
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    Posts: 32
    Morality does not stem from religion; this is seen by the sheer mountain of amorality present in all religions.


    How does the disagreement of all religious' views of morality with your own view of morality prove that morality does not stem from religion? If I have misunderstood what you have wrote, please correct me.

    I say morality stems from religion because the material universe has no foundation for absolute morality and relative morality contradicts itself. If relative morality cannot exist because it contradicts itself, then the only form of morality acceptable by logic is absolute morality. If the material universe does not have a foundation for absolute morality, then the idea of it is immaterial. Therefore absolute morality exists because you believe it exists, which means it is a faith, which is religion.

    If you disagree please explain why.

    Science can define morality; humans rely on their societies to survive, morality evolved as a method of ensuring cohesive societies. A society in which murder is frowned upon, for example, is stronger as a result of rampant murder and its destabilizing effect not being present.

    Science is the generation of predictive models of reality. Morality exists in reality.

    A main difference between my statement and your final statement is our definition of science. I went to the dictionary, and your definition of science is closer to it then my own. So I will take back what I wrote about the relationship of morality and science for now. However I am not saying that I agree with everything you wrote.
    Edited by Kevin on 6/5/2013 10:14 PM PDT
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