Having declared ourselves as free thinking righteous believers (meaning we understand the concept of a right and wrong).
* Would curtailing shock jock radio announcer's verbal expressions over the airway be immoral?
* There are those who say the death penalty is immoral, is it?
* Some say not allowing abortion is immoral, is it?
What is the basis for morality, meaning where do the principles of morality comes from? To say it comes from one's individual thoughts still does not define the essence of where these principles originated to be formulated in an individual's mind.
To define what is immoral we need to understand what is moral.
What if anything is immoral in today's society and why?
You don't need to be a righteous believer to understand between right and wrong, if you understand your own life and the affects/effects it has on other people.
Communications is already censored enough.
Is it immoral? Technically, yes it is. Why? Because it's viewed in the wrong light, as per many things are due to other influences.
Allowing abortion is so choice prevails.
It's derived from honesty. Plain and simple. "Morality" is just the human explanation of conscience in it's purest form. The conscience is something which requires growth and awareness, knowledge and wisdom(understanding of one's own life).
Correct it doesn't because conscience isn't based on one's individual thoughts. It is a collective of all knowledge, wisdom and experience. The Conscience has access to everything with regards to knowledge, wisdom and experience, even though the conscious mind isn't aware of it.
This is part and parcel of duality. If you had no ego, then duality wouldn't exist within, but you cannot escape your ego, you can only recognize the difference between what actions you take that are ego driven vs those which are not(any action not driven by ego would be driven by conscience).
What is moral? Written about it a couple of times.
A moral is a description of an action based on whether or not it harms another human organism. This is the absolute highest moral standard. It is not achievable by any stretch of the imagination, as this point in the development of the human species.
This would require a detailed response not fitted for the forums and would be best in a hub. Not to mention, all the other factors which need to be applied, which doesn't make the issues any less complicated. In actuality and reality, there's quite a bit to be weighed.
A parent says to their child "you shouldn't hit your sibling". It's bad to hit your sibling, is a moral one could derive from such a statement.
You see someone steal froma child and the child cries. It's a disgusting act to steal from a child, yet another moral derived from the observation of incorrect action.
So, having seen the 2 examples above, it could be said that morals are personaly derived from observational experience.
Thank you for your response and insight based on your analytical approach to the question.
You talk about ego and conscience as if they have innate qualities to the concept of being moral. Usually we do not see morality in human babies/children. Often a child (one year or two years old) would not have a problem slapping/hitting an infant (crib age) in the face if they are displeased with the infant.
I must admit I like the following comment you made: "A moral is a description of an action based on whether or not it harms another human organism." Your idea that morality is based on harm presumably physical. Then would I still be moral if I ridiculed ones relatives or relationships?
Your reference to the conscience as a culmination of one's life experiences would place morality in the area of perception since people's lives and experiences are varied.
You're welcome, I think.
And you received that conclusion how exactly? Consciousness is innate. Ego is part of consciousness and conscience isn't but is developed through consciousness.
You religious folk are funny. Your selective understanding which is based on ego won't actually allow you to be wrong or perceive things which are not within your own psyche. Damn shame. A child has no moral standard, because it doesn't know what it is. As I said in my original post, the conscience has to be developed and it is done so through knowledge, wisdom and experience. Your example only proved what I said right, yet you fail to see that. If you don't know why you failed to see it? Then I suggest you go learn more about the human species instead of being spoon fed the BS from the bible.
Morals, which are Morality, are tied to "actions" and whether or not those actions harm or benefit the human organism.
Ridicule can be helpful and harmful, depending on how one perceives spoken words. If they give power to words, then they are likely to be harmed through their own fault. If they give no power to words then they are likely not to be harmed by said words.
I swear, you need to learn something. Your perception is ego based, not conscience based. The conscience has access to ALL information/knowledge, wisdom and experience. Your individual perception does not.
Our collective experiences, as individuals, culminate into working systems of how to conduct one's self properly. If it's socially unacceptable to do harm and I'm punished for prior infractions of said social norm, I then conform to the societal norm. This does not make it moral, it's an adherence to an enforced idea as to what is right.
Cherry picking a few instances of moral aptitude from the bible, doesn't make the entirity of the text valid, just observable to you. I would never adhere to smiting those that disagree or chastizing those that are ignorant of it. That's exactly what christians are missing. They tend to think that the crowd creates the moral but, as a reasonably educated adult, I don't see it.
I believe in today's world, concepts of morality vary per culture, religious belief, community and personal experience. It's hard to say there are absolutes of what is or is not moral, although each individual has their concept of morality. There are some obvious wrongs, like murder, but within cultures there are things such as honor killings, death penalty whether by injection or stoning, etc. Concepts of what constitutes murder also vary, for some abortion is murder, for others it is not.
Even in the Bible what is moral is different from what people practiced. In the Old Testament there were men of God who had many wives, in the New Testament there was slavery. Basically, Christians do not always practice what is preached. But the fundamentals -- concepts of forgiveness of sin,etc. were important. Jesus came as the son of a carpenter, way below the pecking order. He was a victim of political injustice and his death was his choice, for love of man. I believe in the trinity. So I guess essentially Jesus was showing that he understood the world and its imperfections and inconsistencies but at the same time was setting the example of love and forgiveness and essentially paving the road to salvation, even as these imperfections and immoralities will still continue for as long as man is an imperfect being.
Grande Old Lady,
Your argument or comments clearly are very dynamic and they touch upon a broad area with regards to human contact.
The point you have presented are quite significant in that I don't know that they can be directly challenged but what looms in my mind is the idea that there is no universal morality-(basically universal right and wrong?) If there is no universal right and wrong the question becomes who is right and who is wrong?
I think there are no absolutes, that would be different from an absence of universal morality. However, societies do develop and concepts of right and wrong adjust as societies change. For example, the concept of stoning women ended in some parts of the world, a big reason is because Jesus said, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." Another example is that gay marriage is becoming more acceptable, this is because not all Bible thumping Christians believe that being gay is sinful. We learn more about science, biology, we are observant of children and sexual inclinations. In due time, gay marriage will be legal and acceptable, again, in some parts of the world. So I think there is a universal morality but just because you don't satisfy it doesn't mean you are condemned, because nobody really satisfies it. In the end, we must live with our conscience and, as Melissa Barrett says in the succeeding comment, we have to sleep well at night with the choices we make.
From my point of view morality boils down to this: can I do/not do something or allow/not allow something to happen and still be able to sleep at night?
I'm not sure what everyone else's "morality" is based on but mine seems to be largely based on empathy. *Shrugs* It seems to work for me.
Thank you Melissa,
It is always interesting to see how others look at the matter of morality and immorality.
Your examples are straightforward and applicable in today's society. The point that you bring out or rather examples are they not already conceived in today's society as a moral right and wrong?
We look upon for example your point regarding stealing and we recognize this as a bad thing however years ago Vikings, Romans soldiers, seafaring pirates prided themselves on taking from others. Others saw this action as wrong however the perpetrators did not. This brings to mind is there a universal right and wrong regarding stealing?
The Vikings never stole from eachother. So there are societal and personal moral codes. Conforming to a moral code is a personal choice. Given the two above statements, there are adherences to moral codes. Moral codes become ver subjective, left to the singular mind. Then of course, the word moral is only a concept.
Forced morals are not moral, given that we enjoy certain personal freedoms. Generaly though, morals are personally derived.
Not for me... I can see many reasons where it would be better to steal than not to.
The only situation I cannot conceive of a situation where some moral justification for a particular act can be found is child molestation.
Your point about morality is simply a concept a premise I can accept. Since it is a concept than do people need morality at all and if we do should morality not be universal for the sake of fairness?
It's more about furthering a funtioning society. If I know or feel stealing is wrong, then I've created a moral for which to maintain an avoidance of immoral action. I know that if I do something against what is an esablished moral, then I am demed immoral and chastized. In order for me to live in comfort, I must create morals for myself, that mirror or compliment what is socially acceptable.
I do like this explanation. I am still interested in the idea of universal right and wrongs however your explanation presents a clear and straightforward viewpoint to the basis of generating morality within a society-nice job.
Then I really can't say more. Only that, what is morally correct in one country, is a crime in another.
Can you find a close approximation of universal right/wrong by looking at the trends the world in general is following and extrapolating into the future?
Centuries ago, anyone not of your tribe was nothing. They could be killed for little to no reason, their belongings stolen, slaves made of them, etc. This is slowly changing.
It used to be that anyone with different beliefs or lifestyles could be forced on pain of death to conform to your own. While that still exists it is fading and tolerance of others is growing.
Are the universal morals then the concept of non-harm mentioned by Cagsil coupled with the Golden Rule (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you)?
While recognizing that morals are nearly always gray (as Melissa says) and that local customs affect local mores it does seem that the world in general is on the path to accepting those two concepts as universal. Centuries in the future perhaps, but heading that way.
What is morally correct to me, could still be seen as wrong to another. My morals may even be insulting or offensive to another person. There is no such thing as a universal moral. Morals are either accepted by another human being or rejected, given personal attitude and whatever conditions one was raised with.
You are, of course, correct. My point though is that in general the world is progressing towards the two "universal" morals listed, and I think that is generally true. In time (probably centuries) I would expect to find those two morals to be very nearly universally accepted.
If we subscribe to the idea that there is no deity then morality truly is perspectives.
If however we subscribe to the notion that there is a deity would this being not have to be universally moral? All subjects will be subjected to its understanding of right and wrong.
If we say only man's interpretation of morality exist then are we saying past transgressions against humanity were/are acceptable such as "Salem Witch Hunt." Would ethnic cleansing also be acceptable based on the morality being a perspective? Can we say man cannot generate universal morality?
An example of God's morality; Casting morally just people into hell.
An example of human morality; Laws put in place to limit harm upon another.
God's morals are far bellow our modern standard. Would a modern parent toss his own children into a pit of fire? No. Because it would defeat the purpose of coddling and rearing the child.
Morality is only a description of conscience. No deity required.
No one can answer this question because no one would be able to know the deity because they cannot prove to themselves beyond all doubt that it exists to begin with and would have no clue about any characteristics of it.
That would depend, it doesn't work with those who believe now as it is.
Accept it, learn from it, get over it and move one already. The Witch hunts and executions were stupidity in motion and were acceptable at that time. But, no longer valid due to increased awareness and knowledge, and wisdom.
Any human can rationalize/justify their actions and claim it's a morally done, regardless of what atrocities you bring up. People justify their irrationality and claim to be thinking rationally. This only proves that they have deceived themselves and made a fool of themselves in public. Which isn't likely to be seen due to ego.
BS. No you cannot say it. The universal morality is based on understand conscience and what are rights. We require rights to exist because we are social animals, trying to communicate with other social animals.
The most basic problem is lack of knowledge, wisdom, experience and awareness in the average person.
A simplification of judgment yet we continually ignore the ramifications of such judgment. Rebellion against God since Adam and Eve, as there ever been a generation that ever existed where there were no wars? Do we not do unspeakable evil to one another?
We look at ourselves as being good when evil constantly plagues us.
The price of sin as always been high and with our lack of knowledge as to what the value of sin is we stand in judgment of God in our ignorance.
Since the price to save our souls is so high that God would sacrifice his only son in an effort that the souls of mankind do not vanish forever tells me we need a lot more understanding of whom we are judging.
@Span Star, the answer to your question is simple.
Jesus said that you can tell a tree by the fruit it bears. That's a pretty basic idea.
Ego is the root of all evil. Selfishness is its most vivid product (fruit). Anything borne of ego is immoral to a greater or lesser degree.
The "good" of the Pharisees was seen as an abomination, because they did it in public so that all could see their goodness. See? Ego!
Humility is the antidote to ego. Someone who thinks too much of themselves might never understand this.
Imposing our own ideas of morality is a typical action of ego.
Another fruit of ego is importance. People become irate because something is important. Something important is being jeopardized.
Jesus said to turn the other cheek. See? No importance. No vulnerability. No victim!
I must admit you present some powerful arguments that is at the heart of social interactions.
Those who would counter the idea of a deity placing morality/immorality in the confines of speculation lends itself to the question of who's interpretation of morality is correct if there is no universal right and wrong?
Your approach to man's idea of morality does signify that perhaps mankind does not have all the answers which would also mean man's idea of morality/immorality is quite possibly imperfect.
[It has been an enlightening to receive the perspectives presented by everyone involved for I have gained a little bit more insight regarding this issue-thank you all]
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