Is morality oppressive in and of itself?

108 posts / 0 new
Last post
lem
Offline
Joined: 25-07-05
Jul 18 2006 21:05

This mixup is too boring to explain neutral

jef costello's picture
jef costello
Offline
Joined: 9-02-06
Jul 18 2006 23:52
revol68 wrote:
sorry jef but you can't live outside a community, unless you want to be the UNA bomber, even then he was educated in a family and community.

Humans outside of communities would not survive, and certainly couldn't develop language skills. To be human is to be already born into a social world, and therefore born into a moral one.

Effectively yes, but I was responding to Mr lets create a thought experiment and funnily enough one of the parameters is actually the conclusion, so perhaps I got a litle sloppy.

Please don't tell me you thought his arguments resembled something convincing.

jef costello's picture
jef costello
Offline
Joined: 9-02-06
Jul 19 2006 00:06
revol68 wrote:
well when he said "if you are in a community you are moral" i took it to mean that you are a moral agent ie you are judged and judge, not that you were morally good, you could be immoral but not amoral.

I'm glad to see you giving someone the benefit of the doubt, but it might be the wrong time. your interpretation has some mileage, although it is fairly obvious,.

0001
Offline
Joined: 11-07-06
Jul 19 2006 04:34

It is possible to live outside of a community all you have to do is find an isolated spot and live there on your own. If there is no other living thing capable of feeling anything (that is, animals) then you can do nothing which is morally wrong.

This type of life is almost completely irrelevent to Anarcho-communist thought since anarchist-communism is a political philosophy or set of rules on how societies should be organised. A person living in isolation is not a society and needs no rules.

Objective morality, subjective morality and moral relativism seem to be confused in this thread.

To be a true moral relativist you must believe that something is morally wrong for someone somewhere (in space or time) and - the exact same thing - is morally right for someone else, somewhere else.

A real-world example of moral relativism would be the idea that it is morally acceptable for someone who held the honour-system of morality to kill a family-member (who brought shame on the family) but the same thing is not acceptable for someone who has a western set of moral values. If you believe it's OK to some people to kill their daughters for getting pregnant outside of marriage but not acceptable for others, then you are a moral-relativists.

Someone who believes that morality is universal believes that the same rules apply to everyone. If it's morally wrong for me to do it then its also morally wrong for you.

Subjective morality is often confused with moral relativism but is usually used in opposition to objective morality. If morality is not objective then it must be subjective.

Morality doesn't have any objective facts. If I want say that it is hotter today than it was yesterday, all I need to know what temperature it is today and what it was yesterday. If today is 30 and yesterday was 29 then I can make my claim, and if challenged prove my point by referring to the objective data - the weather report.

If I want to say that torturing people for fun is morally wrong, then I don't have any objective facts to back me up. I can provide tons of evidence that torture causes suffering, etc. But none of these facts prove that torturing people for fun is wrong.

In a similar way, I can't objectively prove that the cars you see in the road in front of you are actually there. When you go out of you way to avoid them, you do so because you believe, and can't not believe, that they are really there and will cause you harm if they hit you.

Consider the statement It is wrong to cause a person unnecessary harm you can not prove it is a fact but it's pretty difficult to make yourself believe that it is false.

Humans beings generally can't just make up fundamental moral principles and make themselves believe it. In the same way that you can't one day decided to believe cars don't exist. The nazis, for example, didn't beleive it was OK to torture human beings - they made themselve beleive some people weren't actually human beings (so it was OK to torture them). Almost all atrocities carried out by people weren't done so because they didn't beleive in fundamental moral principles, they beleived these moral 'facts' weren't applicable.

Morality is not objective but this doesn't mean that:

i. People can simply decide what is or isn't morally right

ii. Some things are morally wrong for some people and not others.

0001
Offline
Joined: 11-07-06
Jul 19 2006 04:47

It's impossible to be born outside of a community but it's not impossible to move somewhere and live on your own (although it will be pretty hard finding somewhere with no other living things). If it's always morally wrong to kill an animal for fun, then the isolated person has the potential to do something morally wrong as soon as he finds an animal.

The question is what could a person living alone, away from all other sentient creatures, do that was morally wrong?

Quote:
Quote:

Moral philosophy, applied in particular to political philosophy is something of a special interest of mine.

Hi. That sounds interesting. What sort of questions are there on this topic?

The questions raised are about how you can organise society in a way that is morally acceptable. For instance, what limits on freedom can a community morally impose on its members, etc. At the moment, I'm particularly interested in the lengths society can go to in enforcing moral rules.

jef costello's picture
jef costello
Offline
Joined: 9-02-06
Jul 19 2006 05:57

0001, I thought you were going to define subjective and objective morality. I'd be interested to see the results.

Quote:
Humans beings generally can't just make up fundamental moral principles and make themselves believe it. In the same way that you can't one day decided to believe cars don't exist. The nazis, for example, didn't beleive it was OK to torture human beings - they made themselve beleive some people weren't actually human beings (so it was OK to torture them). Almost all atrocities carried out by people weren't done so because they didn't beleive in fundamental moral principles, they beleived these moral 'facts' weren't applicable.

This is as much moral relativism as anything else.

Quote:
It's a basic interpretation of "moral", in a existentialist sense.

OK, I meant that your answer wasn't adding too much and it certainly requires a leap of faith to get to there from lem's position, I think he was trying to give us the paradox that rules make us free.

Quote:
well actually since it takes such a long time for humans to reach adulthood, it is actually all but impossible to live outside a community. You may move there but your very sense of self is created within society.

It is practically impossible to raise oneself. It is also up for debate as to whether someone who cannot speak is actually human, as they will lack the ability to perform the tasks we believe seperate us from animals.

lem
Offline
Joined: 25-07-05
Jul 19 2006 07:28
Quote:
0001, I thought you were going to define subjective and objective morality. I'd be interested to see the results.

Incidently, I tried a few pages ago - goodness that inheres in the object/in the subject, or a subjective feeling state versus ratioanlly defensible true or false. This is from the Oxford Companion to Philosophy

Quote:
It is also up for debate as to whether someone who cannot speak is actually human, as they will lack the ability to perform the tasks we believe seperate us from animals.

This is clearly madness.

Quote:
At the moment, I'm particularly interested in the lengths society can go to in enforcing moral rules.

The danger being some type of proto-fascism, no?

Quote:
Someone who believes that morality is universal believes that the same rules apply to everyone.

Levinas thinks that to be objective, is to be universally valid.

Quote:
Objective morality, subjective morality and moral relativism seem to be confused in this thread.

Wiki says that relativism, is a type of subjective morality.

lem
Offline
Joined: 25-07-05
Jul 19 2006 18:28
Quote:
At the moment, I'm particularly interested in the lengths society can go to in enforcing moral rules.

I don't see that there is anything about moral concepts that make them any more rationally enforcable, defensible maybe. How do you jump from one to the other? So that, I see societies role, more, as prevention and coping. Maybe, if thats workable. I don't see that any super free society would be enforcing moral rules, on poeple.

MalFunction
Offline
Joined: 31-10-03
Jul 20 2006 11:21

brief intro to feral children:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_children

jef costello's picture
jef costello
Offline
Joined: 9-02-06
Jul 20 2006 11:33
lem wrote:
Quote:
It is also up for debate as to whether someone who cannot speak is actually human, as they will lack the ability to perform the tasks we believe seperate us from animals.

This is clearly madness.

You're lucky you're pretty tongue

It's an extreme view certainly. Humanity is a construct within the symbolic order, something that they have not entered, they are therefore not human. I was being a little flippant, but I'l defend it for now.

You could also argue, in a similar vein, that they do not have human brains as they do not have our psychological structures.

lem
Offline
Joined: 25-07-05
Jul 20 2006 20:27
Jef Costello wrote:
lem wrote:
Quote:
It is also up for debate as to whether someone who cannot speak is actually human, as they will lack the ability to perform the tasks we believe seperate us from animals.

This is clearly madness.

You're lucky you're pretty tongue

It's an extreme view certainly. Humanity is a construct within the symbolic order, something that they have not entered, they are therefore not human. I was being a little flippant, but I'l defend it for now.

You could also argue, in a similar vein, that they do not have human brains as they do not have our psychological structures.

They may not b e l o n g within the symbolic order, but I don't think that it cannot be applied to them. The simple reductio ad absurdum, is that we can treat people who can't communicate more as well as we wish, or chop them up and eat them if we feel like it. This i s madness, Jef tongue