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ThorsThoughts

Your Moral Code- a few questions

44 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Is it based upon how you feel about the situation, or is it based upon your reasoning? Is there a central theme to your Moral Code i.e, justice, peace, pragmatism, etc? 

Did you develop your Moral Code, or did someone else develop it for you? 

How important is your Moral Code to your decision making? Is it the basis for your decisions, or just an afterthought? 

 

Edited by ThorsThoughts

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Posted (edited)

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.061.than.html

The Buddha's advice to his son (7 at the time!) with regards to morality. Basically if you know your thought, speech or action will cause harm to others or yourself, stop it. 

Another way is use the platinum rule first, then when not enough information about others' likes/dislikes are known or knowable, revert to the golden rule as a base (in itself the golden rule is too self referential and circular - the considerations of the object of the moral act is not considered, only 'I' is of consequence within the rule, hence platinum first! ). 

Developed some myself, but mostly lots of insight from most all faiths and philosophies! All in all, morality is not complicated - others' pain or pleasure is usually evident. If not, cognitive empathy (running your self through someone else's experience) is a good enough tool to get close (theory of mind). 

 

Edited by yojimbo

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Posted (edited)

13 hours ago, ThorsThoughts said:

Is it based upon how you feel about the situation, or is it based upon your reasoning?

I find it more sensible to use reasoning instead of morals. Morality is just a sort of instinct - you feel guilty about doing certain things. Clearly this instinct is conditioned - initially by your parents and other contacts - and no doubt if you try hard enough you can condition it yourself based on your reasoning. But that makes the process rather convoluted; you do eventually behave in a way that is based on your reasoning, but only because you've conditioned yourself to feel guilty about behaving otherwise. And it's unreliable, because if new circumstances arise which make a change in your principles of behaviour appropriate, you'll have to re-condition yourself, which is unlikely to be quick.

So it's better to condition yourself not to feel guilt at all, so that you become amoral, and then you can simply behave according to your reasoning directly, without having to transform it into morality.
 

Edited by nettneu

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you may be interested in my thread,

i believe anytihng goes as long as you aren't hurting anyone or coercing anyone.

 

Quote

coercion

kəʊˈəːʃ(ə)n/

noun

the action or practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats.

"it wasn't slavery because no coercion was used"

synonyms:force, compulsion, constraint, duress, oppression, enforcement, harassment, intimidation, threats, insistence, demand, arm-twisting, pressure, pressurization, influence

"it wasn't slavery because no coercion was used"

 

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1. If there is such a thing as a moral code, I feel it is based on reason.

2. If there were a theme at the center of it, for me, it would be responsibility/control.

3. One's 'moral code' is the result of one's unique genetics and personal history.

4. I don't know how importnat it is (see next).

5. We make our decisions subconsciously, rationality only comes into play after we know we made one. 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Robbie07 said:

3. One's 'moral code' is the result of one's unique genetics and personal history.

How so?

1 hour ago, Robbie07 said:

5. We make our decisions subconsciously, rationality only comes into play after we know we made one. 

Would you mind clarifying your position? Also, this is evidently incongruous with your first and second points.

Based on this, can one really be held accountable for their actions if rationality only comes into play after a decision is made?

Edited by NSchet

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My sense of morality is largely influenced by the non-aggression principle, the preservation of freedom, and the respect of the free will of others.

It has been dosed with some pragmatism because I'm not a delusional idealist. 

My moral code is not immovable. I will always try to preserve principle, but sometimes concessions need to be made to reality.

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Perfect moral code is the one introduced by the Lord.

 

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7 minutes ago, Cacao said:

Perfect moral code is the one introduced by the Lord.

 

How do you know?

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33 minutes ago, Cacao said:

Perfect moral code is the one introduced by the Lord.

 

Which Lord?

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, NSchet said:

How so?

Would you mind clarifying your position? Also, this is evidently incongruous with your first and second points.

Based on this, can one really be held accountable for their actions if rationality only comes into play after a decision is made?

Ad 3. Your genetical build determines how you digest information that reaches you. Time and place decide what information can reach you.

Ad 5. For me there is no such thing as a 'moral code' - in an 'I choose my own moral code' sort of way. There is behaviour we may call morally good or bad but what is good moral behaviour here and now can be bad moral behaviour tomorrow, over there. So what rests is behaviour that will suit or will not suit the main-stream preferred behaviour. 

I do not see why point 5 is in any way incongruous with the others. Could you be more specific? 

All can be held accountable for their deeds all of the time if we agree to hold all accountable for their deeds all of the time. But we do not. I gather your 'really' (in 'holding accountable') points in a more metaphysical or psychological direction?

Well spotted! My 'only' (in 'comes to play') is utterly misplaced there. Thank you. 

Edited by Robbie07

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Posted (edited)

I don't have any moral codes that I consciously try to maintain or believe in. I do what I feel like I should. There's no reason or logic behind it that I am consciously aware of.

 

 

Edited by PillowSofa

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I do have a set of guiding principles that are very personal to me, but it's difficult to identify where they originate. Reasoning is certainly involved, but I'd say it's more tied into understanding the different moral options that exist and fleshing out the set of ideas to follow. Part of them are probably sourced in empathy, a reaction to another person's state of mind in different circumstances as well as my own. But the more general higher level principles are just personal values informed by each person's worldview. I do consider ethics important when making decisions, though not as a basis, but a necessary condition. It used to be the most important factor in my framework, although lately it's sharing the first place with truth.

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On 2017-01-07 at 9:27 AM, PillowSofa said:

I don't have any moral codes that I consciously try to maintain or believe in. I do what I feel like I should. There's no reason or logic behind it that I am consciously aware of.

 

 

^^ This, soooo much this

When I was younger I had this whole massively idealistic set of bs I cooked up for living the "perfect" life or some such non-sense.  Needless to say that didn't work out.  It was pretty cool though, think I even fit in some mathematical symbols to make it look official.

The only Moral Codes that make any sense to adult me are the basic "don't hurt others" kinda thing and as long as you're not a complete jerk @PillowSofa 's non-code will work just as good.  Think of all the thought processing power you'll save by not worrying about it!

And if you're the type to let someone else write up your Moral Code for ya, I've got this nifty one.... it has mathematical symbols and everything!  Guaranteed to be just as inappropriate for you as the last one you adopted.

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UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights at http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

Father of economics, Adam Smith, wrote about the morals too at https://www.ibiblio.org/ml/libri/s/SmithA_MoralSentiments_p.pdf

I might be wrong, but most religions seem to teach that competition isn't wrong but that the best type of competition is when the yardstick is goodness. 

 

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I have strong sense that things should be fair and so equality and equity are big issues for me.

Don't know if I would call this a morality, but when I don't perceive things as fair and just it really pisses me off and I want to change whatever it is to try and make it fairer. 

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Before I started reading about philosophy, and before I took a philosophy of ethics class, I just had a vague idea about right and wrong.  I tend to think that everyone has their own moral theory, but not everyone has taken the time to work out exactly how they think about morality, or has tried to determine if the way they think about morality is consistent.   Not everyone takes the time to think about what it means to be wrong (or if it is even possible to be wrong) about morality.

Now I think of morality as being either objective (what is right or wrong is not determined by culture or preference, but rather by objective moral principles), OR relative (culture determines what is right or wrong) or subjective (personal preference determines what is right or wrong).  It's also possible to be a moral nihilist- to believe that there is no right or wrong.   Emotivism is the belief that all talk of morals and ethics is only an expression of emotions. 

If objective, there are several main theories.... Virtue Ethics, Kantian Ethics(rules or duties), Utilitarian Ethics(consequences), and some people believe that God or some other deity determines what is right or wrong (Divine Command Theory).

I find Virtue Ethics to be most attractive, more specifically Eudaimonist Virtue Ethics.  

Spoiler

The distinctive feature of eudaimonist versions of virtue ethics is that they define virtues in terms of their relationship to eudaimonia. A virtue is a trait that contributes to or is a constituent of eudaimonia and we ought to develop virtues, the eudaimonist claims, precisely because they contribute to eudaimonia.

The concept of eudaimonia, a key term in ancient Greek moral philosophy, is standardly translated as “happiness” or “flourishing” and occasionally as “well-being.” Each translation has its disadvantages. The trouble with “flourishing” is that animals and even plants can flourish but eudaimonia is possible only for rational beings. The trouble with “happiness” is that in ordinary conversation it connotes something subjectively determined. It is for me, not for you, to pronounce on whether I am happy. If I think I am happy then I am—it is not something I can be wrong about (barring advanced cases of self-deception). Contrast my being healthy or flourishing. Here we have no difficulty in recognizing that I might think I was healthy, either physically or psychologically, or think that I was flourishing but be wrong. In this respect, “flourishing” is a better translation than “happiness”. It is all too easy to be mistaken about whether one’s life is eudaimon (the adjective from eudaimonia) not simply because it is easy to deceive oneself, but because it is easy to have a mistaken conception of eudaimonia, or of what it is to live well as a human being, believing it to consist largely in physical pleasure or luxury for example.

Eudaimonia is, avowedly, a moralized or value-laden concept of happiness, something like “true” or “real” happiness or “the sort of happiness worth seeking or having.” It is thereby the sort of concept about which there can be substantial disagreement between people with different views about human life that cannot be resolved by appeal to some external standard on which, despite their different views, the parties to the disagreement concur (Hursthouse 1999: 188–189).

Most versions of virtue ethics agree that living a life in accordance with virtue is necessary for eudaimonia. This supreme good is not conceived of as an independently defined state (made up of, say, a list of non-moral goods that does not include virtuous activity) which exercise of the virtues might be thought to promote. It is, within virtue ethics, already conceived of as something of which virtuous activity is at least partially constitutive (Kraut 1989). Thereby virtue ethicists claim that a human life devoted to physical pleasure or the acquisition of wealth is not eudaimon, but a wasted life.

But although all standard versions of virtue ethics insist on that conceptual link between virtue and eudaimonia, further links are matters of dispute and generate different versions. For Aristotle, virtue is necessary but not sufficient—what is also needed are external goods which are a matter of luck. For Plato and the Stoics, virtue is both necessary and sufficient for eudaimonia (Annas 1993).

According to eudaimonist virtue ethics, the good life is the eudaimon life, and the virtues are what enable a human being to be eudaimon because the virtues just are those character traits that benefit their possessor in that way, barring bad luck. So there is a link between eudaimonia and what confers virtue status on a character trait. (For a discussion of the differences between eudaimonists see Baril 2014. For recent defenses of eudaimonism see Annas 2011; LeBar 2013b; Badhwar 2014; and Bloomfield 2014.)

but, I acknowledge that most Eudaimonists of the ancient world found slavery to be perfectly consistent with their ethical theory.... I like the theory behind Eudaimonist Virtue Ethics, but I also consider what type of world I'd like to live in, and I  consider what would be best for all humanity.

 

 

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6 hours ago, clock40man said:

The trouble with “happiness” is that in ordinary conversation it connotes something subjectively determined.

...

Eudaimonia is ... the sort of concept about which there can be substantial disagreement between people with different views about human life that cannot be resolved by appeal to some external standard on which, despite their different views, the parties to the disagreement concur.

Doesn't the second bit that I've quoted above amount to saying that Eudaimonia is also subjectively determined? Which implies that the objection given to translating it by "happiness" isn't a valid objection?

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On 13/01/2017 at 7:54 AM, Indeed said:

I have strong sense that things should be fair and so equality and equity are big issues for me.

Surely fairness and equality tend to be incompatible?

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Reasoning. I ignore how I feel.

If your morals aligned exactly with how you feel, the point would be to control others, as you apparently have no faults. There is no difference between morals built on how you feel and having no morals at all.

In my opinion, hypocrites have zero moral authority until their hypocrisy is corrected, and even then, you have to have sound logic to convince others, not force.

Beyond the not doing harm to others, which is universal, the golden rule, everything else takes convincing. Not stone throwing.

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2 hours ago, EchoFlame said:

Reasoning. I ignore how I feel.

In my opinion, hypocrites have zero moral authority

Surely if you say that something is immoral when you wouldn't feel guilty about doing it, that is hypocrisy. So if you ignore how you feel about it, you're not being moral (nor immoral), you're just being rational.

2 hours ago, EchoFlame said:

If your morals aligned exactly with how you feel, the point would be to control others, as you apparently have no faults.

You'd only have no "faults" if you never did anything that made you feel guilty.

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If your morals are based on how you feel, and you continue to do the behavior, you obviously don't feel guilty enough. It is an illogical way to base morals on fluctuating moods and situations. You end up doing what feels right in the moment, which could be anything. It is the same as having no morals at all.

But let us say you logically found it wrong to cheat on your partner. Even if you felt like doing it in the moment, a rational person who appreciates logic and follows it, could ignore the feeling in the moment and standby the moral that lasts in all moments.

They'd be more moral to ignore their desire. And more responsible to approach their feelings in another way that satisfies the desire without violating morality. Such as couple therapy, breaking up with their significant other first, etc.

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13 minutes ago, EchoFlame said:

If your morals are based on how you feel, and you continue to do the behavior, you obviously don't feel guilty enough.

If you feel guilty about something and still continue to do it, then that presumably means that something else (reasoning, for example)  is more important to you than morals.

13 minutes ago, EchoFlame said:

But let us say you logically found it wrong to cheat on your partner.

Even if you felt like doing it in the moment, a rational person who appreciates logic and follows it, could ignore the feeling in the moment and standby the moral that lasts in all moments.

They'd be more moral to ignore their desire. And more responsible to approach their feelings in another way that satisfies the desire without violating morality. Such as couple therapy, breaking up with their significant other first, etc.

I don't see how you can find something wrong (in the moral sense) purely from logic. Do you disagree that it is hypocritical to say that something is immoral if you wouldn't feel guilty about doing it?

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I don't involve the sense of guilt at all in my morality. Sometimes it lines up, sometimes it doesn't. But it isn't a determining factor. For example, sometimes doing the right thing makes you feel bad. Like if someone needed constructive criticism and everyone pretended they were good. You would feel bad telling them they needed to work at aspects. Or if you were no longer in love with someone. You'd feel guilty to break up with someone, but it is the right thing to do before trying to date someone else.

And a lot of morals can be logical. Just ask if you would want that to happen to you before doing it to someone else.

Also, you could try to imagine the ramifications of a society where such and such was acceptable. All very sequential and logical.
 
The harm aspect of morality is both logical and emotional. People don't want to feel hurt and logically, people don't want to be hurt. Thus, not harming others is a very easy to justify moral. So logical, it is law to keep the  smooth running of society. There are consequences for hurting and killing people.

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