My Challenge

Archived discussion from Toril-2.
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My Challenge

Postby Kifle » Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:58 pm

Not exactly sure why my challenge was deleted from the socialism thread (maybe that was the further action?), but I'll re-issue it here. Lath and Adriorn (or anybody else for that matter): I will write 50 ethical and moral dilemas. If any two people can get into vent/TS/or any other voip program with me, one at a time, and answer these 50 questions with the same general ethical/moral principles as answers, I will pay them each 50 dollars through paypal; however, if even one answer strays from the other, each participant will pay me 50 dollars. If money is not your thing, we can wager our presidential votes. If I lose this bet, I will vote republican. If I win, the participants must vote democrat.

If nobody accepts this challenge, I will assume that we can all agree that ethics and morals dwell in the realm of subjectivity.
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Postby Sarvis » Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:52 pm

Hey Shev, you said you moved the posts... but I don't see a new topic with them anywhere. Did you mean delete?
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Re: My Challenge

Postby Dalar » Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:09 pm

Kifle wrote:If any two people can get into vent/TS/or any other voip program with me


This here is also a challenge for many of the people on this MUD.
It will be fixed in Toril 2.0.
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Postby Shevarash » Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:42 pm

I moved them into the staff forums. As a rule we don't delete posts, we just send them off to die in private. That way we have visibility about what happened, and can undelete if necessary.
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Postby Sarvis » Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:28 pm

Shevarash wrote:I moved them into the staff forums. As a rule we don't delete posts, we just send them off to die in private. That way we have visibility about what happened, and can undelete if necessary.


Fair enough. Probably could have just locked the thread though...


Oh, and if you really want to clean up the flaming you might want to have a talk with the admins who engage in it.
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Re: My Challenge

Postby Xisiqomelir » Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:39 pm

You're setting yourself up to be scammed here. They can easily pipe answers to each other.
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Re: My Challenge

Postby Kifle » Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:14 pm

Xisiqomelir wrote:You're setting yourself up to be scammed here. They can easily pipe answers to each other.


That wouldn't be ethical though. Or would it? I don't think either of them have enough true belief in their view on universal ethics as they think they do to take the challenge anyway. They know they're wrong, they just feel guilty for saying that there are times when cannibalism, murder, stealing, etc. could be good and therefore makes the act itself neutral by default. It's ok though.
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Postby Ragorn » Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:30 pm

For 50 bucks, I'd lie to you Kifle.

You can even make this the first question!

By the way, there ARE people who believe that the universe has objective morality. They're called Christians, and they all get it from the same old book.
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Postby Kifle » Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:33 pm

Ragorn wrote:For 50 bucks, I'd lie to you Kifle.

You can even make this the first question!

By the way, there ARE people who believe that the universe has objective morality. They're called Christians, and they all get it from the same old book.


Yeah, and for the bajillion different offshoots of Christianity, there are a bajillion different moral standards -- funny how that works.
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Postby Sarvis » Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:34 pm

Ragorn wrote:For 50 bucks, I'd lie to you Kifle.

You can even make this the first question!

By the way, there ARE people who believe that the universe has objective morality. They're called Christians, and they all get it from the same old book.


If they had any true conviction in their beliefs the world would be a far different place.
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Postby Ragorn » Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:35 pm

Kifle wrote:
Ragorn wrote:For 50 bucks, I'd lie to you Kifle.

You can even make this the first question!

By the way, there ARE people who believe that the universe has objective morality. They're called Christians, and they all get it from the same old book.


Yeah, and for the bajillion different offshoots of Christianity, there are a bajillion different moral standards -- funny how that works.

Even if they don't agree on what the objective morality is, they can all agree that morality is both objective and polar. Christianity teaches that certain things are Right and other things are Wrong and there are few grey areas. Every so often, you might find one sect of Christianity that puts something in the Right category instead of the Wrong category, but even that is rare compared to the diversity of opinion you find among non-religious people.
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Postby Kifle » Wed Nov 07, 2007 11:48 pm

Ragorn wrote:
Kifle wrote:
Ragorn wrote:For 50 bucks, I'd lie to you Kifle.

You can even make this the first question!

By the way, there ARE people who believe that the universe has objective morality. They're called Christians, and they all get it from the same old book.


Yeah, and for the bajillion different offshoots of Christianity, there are a bajillion different moral standards -- funny how that works.

Even if they don't agree on what the objective morality is, they can all agree that morality is both objective and polar. Christianity teaches that certain things are Right and other things are Wrong and there are few grey areas. Every so often, you might find one sect of Christianity that puts something in the Right category instead of the Wrong category, but even that is rare compared to the diversity of opinion you find among non-religious people.


Again, the funny thing is that early Christianity, for the first three or so generations, was a completely different picture than what it is today. Back then, there were many grey areas, and, I think, if read correctly, the Christian bible promotes a more mixed rather than polarized ethical system. Hell, even Jesus destroyed property.

My point is, though, is that these people all believe in an objective or universal moral code; however, none of them can agree on what that code is. A lot of them would like their moral and ethical codes forced upon other people, but none of them want others' morals and ethics forced upon them. It's a very arrogant, ignorant, and idiotic point of view. So, since ethics and morals are supposedly objective and universal, how can their be any difference in one person's to the next and who is right. I'll go so far as to offer my challenge to two people who sit next to each other in the same church -- their views will still differ. If it looks like a horse, smells like a horse, and feels like a horse, it's probably not a fucking car.
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Postby Imis9 » Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:08 am

So Kifle, were you going to post the 50 questions?
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Postby Kifle » Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:11 am

Imis9 wrote:So Kifle, were you going to post the 50 questions?


That would kinda defeat the purpose, wouldn't it? If you want to take the challenge, find somebody else willing and you'll get asked the questions over viop so there's no "studying."
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Postby Imis9 » Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:13 am

I'm more interested in the questions that you think are tough to answer morally.
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Postby Kifle » Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:01 am

Imis9 wrote:I'm more interested in the questions that you think are tough to answer morally.


Who said they'd be tough? You have obviously missed the point of the challenge.
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Postby Imis9 » Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:17 am

Let's use Sarvis' example of rape not being evil since he said it. A vast majority would define it as evil. Yes, it is subjective based on people's beliefs, but that doesn't change the fact that people believe it is evil. In what way would rape not be evil?

Personally, I believe that to argue that rape is not evil is idiotic to even attempt as it is one of those arguments that is impossible to win.
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Postby Sarvis » Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:18 am

Imis9 wrote:Let's use Sarvis' example of rape not being evil since he said it. A vast majority would define it as evil. Yes, it is subjective based on people's beliefs, but that doesn't change the fact that people believe it is evil. In what way would rape not be evil?

Personally, I believe that to argue that rape is not evil is idiotic to even attempt as it is one of those arguments that is impossible to win.


So when a caveman bonks some girl over the head and drags her back to the cave, is that evil?


See, the problem is that morality is something defined and created by humans as they viewed the world and attempted to deal with it. These morals come out of philisophy, religion, history and survival.

What objectivists miss is that for a long time <i>none of that existed</i>. How can something be intrinsically evil if our only means of deciding so comes out of the development of our minds?

You can see this shift even looking at "recent" history. These days one of the biggest "evils" is an adult being attracted to a "child." (Child being defined as anyone between 0 and 18,) A couple hundred years ago men were SUPPOSED to marry girls who were 14-15. We regard this as evil NOW because advances in psychology and biology tell us that sex is generally bad for someone so young.

Back to rape. It's no secret that women having rights is a very recent thing. PRevious to that women didn't have rights, and in some cases could even be traded as property, with marriage being a basic exchange of property (woman for dowry and/or political alliance.) So when the man sleeps with his new property, it is basically rape with the woman having little to no choice in the matter. Yet then it was not considered evil, was it? It was just how things were done.

We know better now, and rape is a horrible, terrible thing to do to someone to the best of our current knowledge. However it doesn't quite cut it as an objective evil.
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Postby Corth » Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:45 am

Someone please IM me with info on why a whole bunch of posts were deleted and a thread locked. I can't believe I missed it! :(
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Postby Sarvis » Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:50 am

Corth wrote:Someone please IM me with info on why a whole bunch of posts were deleted and a thread locked. I can't believe I missed it! :(


It was nothing really big, although I wasn't paying attention to the Kifle/Teflor part. I think Shevy just got mad at all the flaming going on... you know about as much as we do if you saw Shevy's posts. :(
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Postby Ragorn » Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:38 am

Here, I'll try five.

1. A woman is raped and becomes pregnant. She is single and sustains herself on a low paying job. She has no health insurance. What are the moral implications of having an abortion?

2. A burglar breaks into your house and begins to pilfer your belongings. You have a shotgun next to your bed. Under which of the following conditions is it morally acceptable to shoot him: After he commits a violent act toward you, after he threatens a violent act toward you, after he steals your property, after he demonstrates intent to steal your property, after he enters your home? Alternately: It is never acceptable, it is never acceptable to own a deadly weapon.

3. A man and a woman of legal age get married and bear a child. Years later, it is discovered that thanks to a long-lost family member, they are actually first cousins. How does morality impact their decision to stay married or get divorced.

4. Two children, curious about their bodies, experiment sexually. At what age is this behavior considered morally inappropriate? Five? Eight? Fifteen?

5. Through a long series of events, you find that you are developing feelings for your best friend's wife. She has expressed unhappiness in her marriage, and is contemplating leaving her husband. She comes to you seeking advice. What is your moral responsibility, if any?
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Postby Ragorn » Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:43 am

And now, my answers:

1. There are no moral implications. It is clear that she cannot sustain the baby, and abortion is not an inherently immoral act, particularly in cases where the mother's life could not sustain the child.

2. It is never acceptable.

(edit: For those who feel my answers for #1 and #2 are inconsistent, it is because fetuses are not people and have no rights, including the "right to life." Discuss, flame as appropriate.)

3. There are no moral implications. There may be legal implications, and in this case, I would suggest they follow the law in their home state. However, there is no moral impact of marrying your first cousin.

4. Seven, because seven is widely considered to be the age when children become self-aware, are familiar with cause and effect, and are aware that their actions carry consequences.

5. You are morally obligated to remove yourself from the situation entirely, due to the trust developed between you and your friend, and between you and his wife.
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Re: My Challenge

Postby Kegor » Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:17 am

Kifle wrote:If any two people can get into vent/TS/or any other voip program with me, one at a time, and answer these 50 questions with the same general ethical/moral principles as answers, I will pay them each 50 dollars through paypal; however, if even one answer strays from the other, each participant will pay me 50 dollars.


I gamble as a part time job so to speak for fun and to make extra money doing so. This bet looks to me like one of the biggest sucker bets I have ever seen before. Just thought I would share my take on that. No bet either btw.
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Postby Birile » Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:41 pm

Corth wrote:Someone please IM me with info on why a whole bunch of posts were deleted and a thread locked. I can't believe I missed it! :(


A couple people went off the wall, including an Imm. It was rather strange, kind of like a couple people drank some sort of tainted water that made their innermost motivations for the way they think come out in all its glory--and then they attacked each other.

Made me look at some people differently.

In short, be glad you missed it.
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Postby Vigis » Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:01 pm

Ragorn wrote:Here, I'll try five.

2. A burglar breaks into your house and begins to pilfer your belongings. You have a shotgun next to your bed. Under which of the following conditions is it morally acceptable to shoot him: After he commits a violent act toward you, after he threatens a violent act toward you, after he steals your property, after he demonstrates intent to steal your property, after he enters your home? Alternately: It is never acceptable, it is never acceptable to own a deadly weapon.



I believe it would be moral to shoot the intruder immediately. The individual has threatened you by entering your private residence with the intent to commit a crime. My first instinct is to shoot.

Think of it this way, you are out hiking in the woods in winter. It is a well known area for precious metals. You see a glint in a shallow cave that you think might be gold. You walk into said cave to investigate further and find a grizzly bear hibernating. At which point is it moral for the grizzly bear to kill you?

I know bears are not people, nor are they capable of reasoning. I also know from personal experience that when I am awakened from sleep with a situation that could threaten me or my family, I am not capable of reasoning either. If a fire breaks out in my home, I don't think about what the fire is doing or how it started, I get my wife and kid the hell outta there. If a strange person is in my home, I don't ask why he is there, I attack him with whatever weapon first presents itself.

Just my 2 cents. I didn't answer the others because I'm at work, but I might take a shot at them later.
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Postby Ragorn » Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:52 pm

The problem is that your instinct is not always what's morally appropriate. Yes, of course your first instinct is to shoot first to protect your home and family. But, Christians in particular are quite adamant in declaring human instinct to be flawed "desires of the flesh."

Just saying.
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Postby Zoldren » Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:43 pm

Ragorn wrote:Here, I'll try five.

Alternately: It is never acceptable, it is never acceptable to own a deadly weapon.


A pencil, plastic bags, golf ball, to much oxygen, high heals, pillows, any piece of clothing etc etc are all deadly weapons. As they all have and can be used to kill.


more food for thought.
as far as ethical/morality, it's all Dependant on your personal views.

If you believe happyness is ethical, then anything that makes you happy is right. Regardless of what others think. so this person would say yes rape is ok.



If your Christian, happiness doesn't play a factor, and only your believe, so if the robber broke into your house, you should instead of shooting him offer him to take what he wanted and feed him and give him a place to stay. If he killed your wife/husband/child you should forgive and pray for him.
Now on the flip side, according to many passages in the bible, if this same person was killing you because he was threatening the existence of your religion (not your belief in it) then yes you can kill him.

If it was a christian who was raped, they would say to keep the baby or be dammed.
If it was the euphoric person, they would do whichever made them happy.
Both being morally right in their own mind.

However morality is not just how each individual views it, it is also what is morally acceptable by the masses (sheeple) you have to live by both. and hence the problem of morality, not everyones agrees, or matches. and hence the original post.
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Postby Ragorn » Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:24 pm

Zoldren wrote:
Ragorn wrote:Here, I'll try five.

Alternately: It is never acceptable, it is never acceptable to own a deadly weapon.


A pencil, plastic bags, golf ball, to much oxygen, high heals, pillows, any piece of clothing etc etc are all deadly weapons. As they all have and can be used to kill.

This is an ethical argument, not a semantic one. The point of the exercise is to discuss the morality of the scenarios, not to waste time dicing up the defintion of the words I arbitrarily chose to use.

By the way, as an interesting point of note:

Someone broke into my house last night. Yeah, for real. I caught him entering my basement through the garage door. I chased him out into the street, though I didn't have a weapon. I do not own a gun. My instinct (after the fact) is that I probably would have shot him if I had a gun handy, because of my survival instinct. He stole $250 worth of electronics from me.

Feel free to discuss.
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Postby Kifle » Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:13 pm

I'm pretty sure I think I win...
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Postby Ragorn » Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:31 pm

Kifle wrote:I'm pretty sure I think I win...

Sure.

Next question: What is your point in trying to prove that no two people can view the same list of 50 ethical scenarios in an identical matter? What's the conclusion you're driving toward?
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Postby Kifle » Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:58 pm

Ragorn wrote:
Kifle wrote:I'm pretty sure I think I win...

Sure.

Next question: What is your point in trying to prove that no two people can view the same list of 50 ethical scenarios in an identical matter? What's the conclusion you're driving toward?


My point is that anyone forcing anyone else to live under their own ethical/moral code is, in itself, unethical and immoral. I don't want to be forced to eat another human being, nor do I want to be forced to not let my wife give me a blowjob. As far as the grand scheme of things, I think people need to realize that morality and ethical decisions are never black and white and that there is a great deal of subjectivity involved in the matter. To say that action X is good while action Y is evil is not only wrong, but it also implies that the judging person's society or sub-culture is better than the one they are judging. If more people looked at ethics how they truely are, I believe there would be a hell of a lot less bigotry and racism -- reglardless of how relative ethics are seen by most universalists. I was planning on making a parallel between the invisible hand and the conservative approach to economics and how it is exactly the opposite approach to ethics, but I don't think it would do any good.
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Postby Ragorn » Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:12 pm

Kifle wrote:My point is that anyone forcing anyone else to live under their own ethical/moral code is, in itself, unethical and immoral.

So, you're saying you think it's unethical to try to force your morality on others?

Thanks for playing Kifle, I think I just won ;)
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Postby Sarvis » Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:24 pm

Umm... weren't you two on the same side?
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Postby Kifle » Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:25 pm

Ragorn wrote:
Kifle wrote:My point is that anyone forcing anyone else to live under their own ethical/moral code is, in itself, unethical and immoral.

So, you're saying you think it's unethical to try to force your morality on others?

Thanks for playing Kifle, I think I just won ;)


I never said it was evil or wrong :P And you're playing a semantics game here, which I thought you were beyond, honestly. You knew exactly what I meant.
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Postby Ragorn » Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:14 pm

Kifle wrote:I never said it was evil or wrong :P And you're playing a semantics game here, which I thought you were beyond, honestly. You knew exactly what I meant.

Not really. I'll explain.

You say that forcing your moral/ethical views on others is inherently immoral. That statement, in itself, is a moral judgement on your part. It is certainly not universally accepted... in fact, the majority of the major religions of the world make it a point to not just endorse, but to require their followers to espouse their moral and ethical views upon others. It's called "testimony" or "witnessing," and it's done by people who call themselves "missionaries" and "prophets." Religion is a big club, and conversion of the heathens is serious business.

The snarky point I was trying to make is that you can't tell people to "stop forcing their views on you" without being hypocritical. If you were really staying true to your own moral idea, you would simply keep your opinion to yourself and let people push their own beliefs all they want. After all, it's immoral for you to try to make them stop.

Right?

Umm... weren't you two on the same side?

I don't have a side. The entire point of the ENTIRE thread is that there are no sides, because everyone has their own unique viewpoints that they don't share with anybody else.
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Postby Sarvis » Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:20 pm

Ragorn wrote:I don't have a side. The entire point of the ENTIRE thread is that there are no sides, because everyone has their own unique viewpoints that they don't share with anybody else.


Right, which is pretty much what Kifle was saying.

Looks like <b>I</b> won. ;)
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Postby Cirath » Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:25 pm

Kifle wrote:My point is that anyone forcing anyone else to live under their own ethical/moral code is, in itself, unethical and immoral.


Seems as though that, too, is a fairly subjective statement, doesn't it?


Kifle wrote:As far as the grand scheme of things, I think people need to realize that morality and ethical decisions are never black and white and that there is a great deal of subjectivity involved in the matter. To say that action X is good while action Y is evil is not only wrong, but it also implies that the judging person's society or sub-culture is better than the one they are judging. If more people looked at ethics how they truely are, I believe there would be a hell of a lot less bigotry and racism -- reglardless of how relative ethics are seen by most universalists.


If you allow too much leeway in moral judgments to accommodate the views of others, then you sacrifice the ability to maintain order. At some point the law has to say "this is right, and that is wrong" or a person could do anything and justify it by saying he simply sees the world differently than you do, and you should be more open minded.
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Postby Sarvis » Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:32 pm

Cirath wrote:
Kifle wrote:My point is that anyone forcing anyone else to live under their own ethical/moral code is, in itself, unethical and immoral.


Seems as though that, too, is a fairly subjective statement, doesn't it?


Kifle wrote:As far as the grand scheme of things, I think people need to realize that morality and ethical decisions are never black and white and that there is a great deal of subjectivity involved in the matter. To say that action X is good while action Y is evil is not only wrong, but it also implies that the judging person's society or sub-culture is better than the one they are judging. If more people looked at ethics how they truely are, I believe there would be a hell of a lot less bigotry and racism -- reglardless of how relative ethics are seen by most universalists.


If you allow too much leeway in moral judgments to accommodate the views of others, then you sacrifice the ability to maintain order. At some point the law has to say "this is right, and that is wrong" or a person could do anything and justify it by saying he simply sees the world differently than you do, and you should be more open minded.


And that's fine. If we, as a society, decide upon a law then you face lawful punishment for breaking it.

Unlawful is not the same as evil. The law at least admits that it is a man made construct, whereas moral objectivists think that morality is set by some power in the universe and everyone must follow it. The problem is... whatever power set these universe objective laws forgot to tell a lot of people about them, or we wouldn't be disagreeing.
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Postby Kifle » Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:48 pm

Cirath wrote:
Kifle wrote:My point is that anyone forcing anyone else to live under their own ethical/moral code is, in itself, unethical and immoral.


Seems as though that, too, is a fairly subjective statement, doesn't it?


Kifle wrote:As far as the grand scheme of things, I think people need to realize that morality and ethical decisions are never black and white and that there is a great deal of subjectivity involved in the matter. To say that action X is good while action Y is evil is not only wrong, but it also implies that the judging person's society or sub-culture is better than the one they are judging. If more people looked at ethics how they truely are, I believe there would be a hell of a lot less bigotry and racism -- reglardless of how relative ethics are seen by most universalists.


If you allow too much leeway in moral judgments to accommodate the views of others, then you sacrifice the ability to maintain order. At some point the law has to say "this is right, and that is wrong" or a person could do anything and justify it by saying he simply sees the world differently than you do, and you should be more open minded.


Don't get me wrong, I'm not for the abolishment of laws. I think that it is imperative to secure the saftey of the citizens; however, there is a difference between morality, ethics, and the realm of both in which the laws operate. Also, it is also equally imperative that the citizens understand that these laws are not the end-all be-all authority on morality and ethics. Just because the law says that stealing is bad and you will be punished for it, doesn't mean that stealing is immoral in all cases, nor does it mean that stealing is evil. In the same sense, not actions that work within the laws are good or moral.

Remember, I'm arguing against labeling any actions as evil and good because it is an arrogant view which basically says "my religion/set of ethics are right, and yours are wrong." Because of this arrogance, it is also ignorant as well.

Also, while I'm not a believer in evil and good, that does not mean that I support such actions as rape, genocide, cannibalism, etc. I, like everyone else, has my own personal set of morals and ethics I've accumulated and bought into over the years; but I, as opposed to, it seems, a lot of you, am quite aware that they are not a perfect set of ethics and morals, and I am more than willing to look at others' points of view regarding any issue. I mean, does it make me evil because I think that those people who's plane crashed and ate the dead in order to survive did nothing wrong? I don't think so. Do I think the lady on the news who killed the man who was raping her (and quite possibly had the intention of also killing her) is evil or did anything evil or wrong? Not at all.

I guess what it all boils down to is letting people live as they see fit. Of course laws will have to come into play, but not those centered around forcing people to live under an arbitrarily chosen code of ethics like suicide laws, drug laws, saftey belt laws, etc. Understanding ethics and morality in relative manner allows for this to happen; however, the objective, universalist view does not.
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Postby Dalar » Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:21 pm

Image
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Postby Kifle » Thu Nov 08, 2007 11:35 pm

Dalar wrote:Image


I think I can behave myself this time. No need for a lock, jordi.
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Postby Dalar » Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:48 am

Kifle wrote:
Dalar wrote:Image

I think I can behave myself this time. No need for a lock, jordi.

Geordi
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Postby Xisiqomelir » Fri Nov 09, 2007 8:48 pm

Ragorn wrote:2. A burglar breaks into your house and begins to pilfer your belongings. You have a shotgun next to your bed. Under which of the following conditions is it morally acceptable to shoot him: After he commits a violent act toward you, after he threatens a violent act toward you, after he steals your property, after he demonstrates intent to steal your property, after he enters your home? Alternately: It is never acceptable, it is never acceptable to own a deadly weapon.


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Postby Imis9 » Sat Nov 10, 2007 4:33 pm

Interesting questions Rag, and here are my answers:

1. She was raped. Carrying the child is a constant reminder of that brutal, evil act. A vast majority of people lack the ability or fortitude to carry a child conceived under such conditions. An abortion is a lesser evil than the greater evil of forcing her to be constantly reminded of the rape by carrying the child. She should have an abortion.

2. The thief has shown him/herself to be a threat. That person is a threat to you and your family by entering into your home. If confronted, they are likely to hurt you and your family. The lesser evil is to shoot the person to prevent the greater evil of harm to your family.

3. The first cousins did not do anything knowingly wrong. I don't see any moral implications other than the couple should go have genetic counseling before having another child.

4. Kids doing sexual acts is inappropriate. If young ones are doing it, it means they have not been taught about the subject. If they have, they choose to do the wrong thing. I'd argue fifteen is kind of a border area as that is getting toward being an adult, but that person probably needs more emphasis on why it is ill advised.

5. This is a no win situation. I'd give the "you both are my friends" speech and not get involved.
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Postby Imis9 » Sat Nov 10, 2007 4:53 pm

Kifle, what I think you are missing is that people choose to do wrong or evil knowingly. That is why they feel guilt and shame over their actions. It is our way of knowing within ourselves that we did something wrong. Now, choosing to do wrong at times does not make you a bad person. Life gives us lots of decisions usually with few purely good choices and lots of bad choices. Then, we analysis those options and choose the best one even though it is a compromise.

Good and Evil have to exist even if they are subjective to keep order. Think about it, an absence of order is not utopia, it's Somalia. Chaos is where people are reduced to our base survival instinct. At that level, it is impossible to accomplish greater things. Only with social order, civilizations can build greater things. People decide to do wrong or Evil so there needs to be disincentives which is where laws come in.

Personally, I think a circular argument about society imposing its definition of Good and Evil is in itself Evil is ignorant. It doesn't get you anywhere because society has to have some definition of those concepts to exist. Stealing is a violation of ownership which results in an injured party. It is wrong unless the government makes a terrible decision like eminent domain, which I regard as legalized stealing. Eminent domain is legal, but most would say it is wrong.

I don't know if you are an American, but what has always made our country great is our arrogance. Arrogance can be good as it gives you certainty in your actions. As a country, we have accomplished much because of our belief that we are special, and if we lose that, we are diminished. Let me ask you something though. Why do all the major religions say pride or arrogance is bad? Simple, those that believe in themselves do not need some outside validation for their existence. Your argument that pride or arrogance is bad is based on the assumption that your beliefs are better than someone else’s. Sounds like you are just as guilty of arrogance and ignorance.

Your Quote:
Remember, I'm arguing against labeling any actions as evil and good because it is an arrogant view which basically says "my religion/set of ethics are right, and yours are wrong." Because of this arrogance, it is also ignorant as well.
End Quote
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Postby Kifle » Sat Nov 10, 2007 6:26 pm

Imis9 wrote:Kifle, what I think you are missing is that people choose to do wrong or evil knowingly. That is why they feel guilt and shame over their actions. It is our way of knowing within ourselves that we did something wrong. Now, choosing to do wrong at times does not make you a bad person. Life gives us lots of decisions usually with few purely good choices and lots of bad choices. Then, we analysis those options and choose the best one even though it is a compromise.

Good and Evil have to exist even if they are subjective to keep order. Think about it, an absence of order is not utopia, it's Somalia. Chaos is where people are reduced to our base survival instinct. At that level, it is impossible to accomplish greater things. Only with social order, civilizations can build greater things. People decide to do wrong or Evil so there needs to be disincentives which is where laws come in.

Personally, I think a circular argument about society imposing its definition of Good and Evil is in itself Evil is ignorant. It doesn't get you anywhere because society has to have some definition of those concepts to exist. Stealing is a violation of ownership which results in an injured party. It is wrong unless the government makes a terrible decision like eminent domain, which I regard as legalized stealing. Eminent domain is legal, but most would say it is wrong.

I don't know if you are an American, but what has always made our country great is our arrogance. Arrogance can be good as it gives you certainty in your actions. As a country, we have accomplished much because of our belief that we are special, and if we lose that, we are diminished. Let me ask you something though. Why do all the major religions say pride or arrogance is bad? Simple, those that believe in themselves do not need some outside validation for their existence. Your argument that pride or arrogance is bad is based on the assumption that your beliefs are better than someone else’s. Sounds like you are just as guilty of arrogance and ignorance.

Your Quote:
Remember, I'm arguing against labeling any actions as evil and good because it is an arrogant view which basically says "my religion/set of ethics are right, and yours are wrong." Because of this arrogance, it is also ignorant as well.
End Quote


Oh lord... See, you're still arguing points that A) have been pretty much closed and B) contradict themselves within your own writing.

See, your first "evidence" of our evil actions is the fact that we feel guild when we do something we know is wrong. However, wrong is different for a lot of people -- this would imply that the action is not evil or good, but it is chosen by the person to be categorized as such. Some people have no guilt over killing. Some people have guilt after giving money to charity. Is giving to charity evil? Is murder not evil? I mean, you say that people choose to do evil because it provides utility for the greater good -- wouldn't that suggest that that was the best option? If it were the best option, good would become evil and evil would become good -- by your definition, at least for the purpose of that singular instance. So, by your definition, there is an inherent qualitative resultant infering that actions are neutral in nature and only categorical when percieved by man.

Next, I don't really see what you're saying when you said:

Good and Evil have to exist even if they are subjective to keep order.


Why? Wouldn't that depend on man's ultimate nature? This statement implies man to be evil and must strive to be good. Some would argue that the core of man is good but the world forces us to evil. Some, like me, would argue that man is neither evil nor good. If we hypothetically put man in isolation, what would or could he do that is evil? Without the concept of evil, could he be evil? Without the concept of evil, would he feel guilt for doing anything whether it be good or bad by anybody's standards?

Lastly, on this statement, good and evil do not have to exist if they are subjective. Subjectivity of an idea or ideology tends to infer that the thing in question does not exist but rather is imagined by those who wish to view it. Dragons don't exist except for our own personal views of what we think a dragon is. We have pictures, we can describe them, we can create them in our brains -- they are subjective, imaginary creatures; however, they still do not exist. For the second part of that statement, order can be created just as easily in an athiest society who do not believe in good or evil. They would do this funny little thing called creating laws based on right and wrong -- which are not synonymous with good and evil. They are subsumed by the ideas of good and evil, but, as lovely mathematical properties tell us, does not mean that right and wrong subsumes good and evil as well.

Chaos and utopia... You can't get utopia from laws either. Utopia is this thing that would necessitate NO laws. Utopia infers ultimate freedom of action; however, in a utopia there are no "wrong" actions. Think of it. If everybody lived ethically and created a utopia, what would be the need for laws? Having somebody not steal my things because they fear retribution from the law is not a utopia. Having somebody not steal my things because they do not wish to steal my things would be a utopia. Again, even in the utopia, man would be subjected to a subjective set of ethical and moral codes. Who's ethics define utopia? Would it be possible to round up everybody with the same ethics and put them in one place, then do the same for the rest of the people who do not fit into that utopia? Universal ethics are an intrinsic property of the idea of utopia...

I'm not getting what you're talking about in your next paragraph there either. Society does impose it's ethics on others -- they are called laws. The argument may not get you anywhere, but it is the truth. Believing in gravity doesn't allow me to jump to the moon even though I want to, but not believing in gravity isn't going to help the matter. I mean, I don't get why people always have to find an argument that leads to perfection -- the world is not perfect. Humanity is not perfect. We create contradictions, hypocritical situations, and paradoxes. Man kills to survive. It's not fair that the cow has to die, it's just fucking life. Man has to impose laws on other men so that he may survive, but that does not mean that the laws are just, the laws are good, the opposite is evil, or that killing the cow is good or evil. It just is... it's that simple. Is it contradictory to say that man imposing laws is evil and man needs laws to survive which is good? Of course it is, but isn't it the truth? As you saw, eminent domain is stealing which is "evil," yet it is a law which is good. That is a contradiction. This is a contradiction you've created with your ethical code. My contradiction is that it is wrong to subject others to your arbitrary ethical code -- which is a declarative statement asserting my ethical code upon others. Yes, it is a contradiction that leads to a circular argument, but that is a necessity of the argument. It shows that no matter how open minded you are, no ethical set will ever extract you from the realm of evil if you believe in evil. In short, you can't be purely good no matter what you do unless you live in isolation without the concept of good and evil. No ideal utopia will change that fact. No argument about how universal ethics are they key will work because A) No man has the capacity to know the source of universal ethics if they do exist, so they would never have the authority to subject others to it, and B) Any other set of universal ethics would be plucked from the tree of countless other subjective sets and only be labeled universal for arbitrary reasons.

As far as my arrogance, yes, my statements would imply arrogance. It is and unfortunate flaw in my code. See, I can admit these things. Since I am also utilitarian, I believe that examples of this type of arrogance can prove to have more utility than not, however. Also, not every major religion thinks that... unless you classify major as meaning western.

Lastly, what I think is funny about your last paragraph is that you say, "... arrogance can be good ..." yet you are saying ethics are not subjective. It's either good or evil, right?

Anyway, I have a lot more I'd like to say, but I'm really sick of writing. You people need voip...
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Postby Ragorn » Sat Nov 10, 2007 7:05 pm

tl;dr
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Postby Imis9 » Sat Nov 10, 2007 10:53 pm

You argue that Man is neither Good or Evil. I am arguing that Man is both. We have both of those within us which come out in the choices we make. I believe we have evolved needing to create definitions of Good and Evil. Think about it, just about every ancient society had some form of religion. American Indians had religion. Asian civilizations had religion. I can’t think of a single society which does not have religion. Now, one could argue communist China did not have religion. This would be wrong. In those societies, God is simply substituted for the State. At our very core, humans have a fundamental need to explain our world which leads to religion. Religions/ethics/beliefs create the definition of what is Good and Evil.

In terms of categorizing actions, people know what is right and wrong. People without guilt are psychopaths because they can not distinguish between Good and Evil. Guilt and shame are human emotions that help to keep us civilized. As I said before, killing is Evil, but as you yourself said, at times, Evil is the necessary choice. A pacifist believes in Goodness of not taking a life so much that they are willing to die for it. They make the Good choice, but they’re still dead.

In regards to charity, I have to admit some confusion. The only thing I can think you are getting at is “buyer’s remorseâ€
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Postby Kifle » Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:45 am

Imis, I'm pretty sure we're half-ass agreeing insofar as what people choose as right or wrong is subjective. At least that's what I've gathered from what you just wrote. Good/evil are a way in which people label actions -- different actions. Murder is evil in your eyes, I see it as an action we do not allow others to make only for the purpose of sustaining personal life. It doesn't mean that murder is evil, it just means that the majority of people would rather other people not do it. In more ancient tribes, murder was seen as a right of passage. In the animal kingdom, murder is a way to establish dominance -- we have voting. If we lived in a society where murder was just an everyday way of life, it would not be considered evil; therefore, it is not -- it is just an action.

So, if you want to say you believe X is evil, that is fine as long as you're not implying the action, in and of itself, is evil... because it's not. It is just an action you, and possibly the majority of the world see as being unattractive to the benefit of society.

In short, an action can not be inherently good or evil when it provides utility to the whole. All actions, within some context, provide utility to the common good of society -- which doesn't make it good, but it also doesn't make it evil. You call it necessary evil, but how is performing good evil? It is a contradiction. If I murder the serial killer in self defense, how would that be evil? All it is, at the end of the day, an action I performed that benefited society more than not performing the action. And, I think, that that is the base definition of a "good" deed.

Also, I didn't answer rag's questions because I don't think they were aimed at me. Regardless of his motives, I think the questions serve as proof as to how nobody will answer the questions exactly the same -- as with my challenge. Sure, people will say killing is bad, but at what point is killing more acceptable than not killing? War, self defense, stopping a robber? This is the grey area most people disagree on. Asking whether one thinks murder is bad does nothing as most people will say yes, it is bad. Some will label it as evil. I will label it as an action not beneficial to society in most cases. At the end of the day, however, everybody's ethics are different. Everybody's idea of what actions are good and evil are different. It just shows that universal, objective truthes are not existant in the realm of ethics and morals -- be it structured or personal.
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Postby Sarell » Mon Nov 12, 2007 10:53 am

I'm as bitter as Corth about being tied up at work and missing a whole thread of people teasing each other, so I'm going to try and make up for it with some of my own!

A few posts back Ragorn put out 5 questions then answered his viewpoints on them claiming he 'won' something. I think it was to do with arguing from a consistent moral stance from something Kifle challenged people to do or something equally ambiguous and senseless in constructing an argument.

All it did was make it abundantly clear that you guys have absolutely no experience or education in ethical debate. For a start, look up the two most consistently at locker heads ethical perspectives of 'moral absolutes' and then 'utilitarianism'. Until you can even grasp that there ARE different perspectives in arguing ethics, independent of which you think is right, you're really not going to inform yourselves or anyone else beyond your own fairly worthless opinion.

PS: Ragorn also knows nothing about child development :P
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