• Samuel Lacrampe
    489

    I am surprised that you do not see injustice in this scenario. If your 1000-employee company gave everyone a Christmas bonus every year except for you, would you not be upset, and rightfully so?This behaviour is called discrimination, which is defined as "unjust treatment of different categories of people or things".

    If the employer gave a raise to one person and not the other, and the person who did not receive an unearned raise never found out, there would be no harm and so it wouldn't be immoralVagabondSpectre
    This contradicts what you said earlier here about potential harm. On the same rationale, if your spouse cheated on you and you never found out, then there would be no harm and so it wouldn't be immoral either; but this is absurd.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    489
    Courage is when the desire to help out-competes the desire to remain safe.Inter Alia
    This does not agree with the definition I stated. I courage is defined as "the will to do something that goes against one's inclinations (or desires)", then courage cannot itself be an inclination or desire. Maybe you don't agree with the definition, and believe that courage is in fact a desire? But courage is praiseworthy; and there is nothing praiseworthy about submitting to our desires.

    This, however, is not a fair characterisation of what I've said, [...] everyone already knows what is a 'Good' society as an evolved instinct [...] I guarantee they will have a definite idea of where we want to be, and be very uncertain about how to get there.Inter Alia
    Understood. So I am still at the point of understanding your position. Could you then describe to me this definite idea of where we want to be, with respect to a good society?
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    489

    Hello. I have a couple of questions.
    Why do you claim that if morality is objective, then God exists, then predestination exists?
    I am assuming that you are not a theist; and by extension, that you do not believe in objective morality. Does it follow, in your view, that Hilter was not objectively immoral?
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    489
    For example, if you're caught and go to prison you have done harm to yourselfSam26
    But in this case, the harm is an effect of the act, and so not part of the act itself. Another way to look at it, is that if you are caught, then you could defend yourself on the grounds that the act is not immoral until you are put away, because no harm is done to yourself or your loved ones before you go to prison.

    In this case is there harm done? I would contend that there is harm done to your character and/or to your psyche, that is, any normal thinking human being would know and understand that since they were willing to take the life of another that that diminishes them in some way. Over time, I think any normal functioning person, would be affected by the memory of such an act.Sam26
    I agree, but this harm is again an effect of the immoral act, and so does not make the act immoral. In other words, the person is harmed because the act is immoral; and would not be harmed if the act was not immoral. And so, we have yet to determine what makes the act immoral in the first place.

    let's say that the person is incapable of feeling empathy, and as such there character and/or their psyche is not affected by this act. Moreover, there is no detectable harm done, then I would say that the act was not immoral. It's not immoral, not only because there was no detectable harm, but it's probably not immoral because this person's brain is not normal, that is, they're impaired in some way. It's still a crime, but the person may not be morally responsible (at least in theory).Sam26
    Your logic is circular. In this example, you claim that not feeling harm after committing an immoral act is not normal, thereby implying that the act is the criteria to determine how we should feel. But on the other hand, you claim that harm is the criteria to determine if an act is immoral or not.
  • VagabondSpectre
    784
    This contradicts what you said earlier here about potential harm.Samuel Lacrampe

    You're right, I misspoke.

    If the person who did not receive a raise never found out, there would be no actual harm to speak of (the intuitive pull of your example comes from empathizing with the emotional upset feeling of being neglected that we can readily imagine). It may not be immoral either way.

    I don't think it's necessarily immoral (whether they find out or not). If bonus were distributed by dice rolls and one person just so happened to roll snake eyes, would that still be immoral?

    Giving bonuses to all employees but one is a dick move, to be sure, and the neglected employee really ought to use what leverage they have to lobby for fair treatment. They have the right to quit though, not the right to an un-promised or unearned bonus. So long as the agreement between employer and employee are met in terms of payment for services rendered, could an employee really lodge a complaint to the labor board that their employer did not give them a bonus that they were not obligated to give?

    Emotional harm is sometimes tricky to deal with because we often feel injured when in reality we have not been. Not being given a bonus that you were never promised is not an injury; your co-workers getting one and not yourself might be insult, but not injury.

    My main point is that the example you have given depicts a kind of harm that is so indirect (compared with other examples of harm) that it loses moral importance (If I give everyone in a room a hug but one person, and they feel neglected, have I harmed them?). I would say that an employers freedom to give away un-promised bonuses however they choose is more important than an employees desire to gain unearned money or not feel somehow excluded.
  • VagabondSpectre
    784
    I am surprised that you do not see injustice in this scenario. If your 1000-employee company gave everyone a Christmas bonus every year except for you, would you not be upset, and rightfully so?This behaviour is called discrimination, which is defined as "unjust treatment of different categories of people or things".Samuel Lacrampe

    Unjust discrimination based on gender or race carries the intent to damage or hinder individuals, but what about random or arbitrary discrimination?

    Can the owner of a company decide to give a bonus to specific employee without having to give one to everyone else to abate their jealousy?
  • Inter Alia
    77
    courage cannot itself be an inclination or desire. Maybe you don't agree with the definition, and believe that courage is in fact a desire? But courage is praiseworthy; and there is nothing praiseworthy about submitting to our desires.Samuel Lacrampe

    You have misunderstood what I said. "Courage is when the desire to help out-competes the desire to remain safe.". The two competing desires in that sentence are 'the desire to help others' and 'the desire to remain safe', courage is the virtue of the former outweighing the latter.

    That there is nothing praiseworthy about submitting to your desires is essentially where you and I differ. What is praiseworthy is selecting those desires, the following of which is beneficial for society. I am a Monist so I do not believe it is possible to be motivated by something other than desire. This is simply a belief system and if you do not share it then we will never agree.
  • charleton
    299
    Why would any kind of innate knowledge be objective?
    Anything innate has to be, definitively the subject of all basis of knowledge.
  • AngleWyrm
    43
    I admit I use the terms 'ethics' and 'morality' interchangeably, as I don't know what the difference is. But how can one disagree that attempted murder is unethical? Would you like to be the target? Would anyone? If not, then it is unethical by applying the Golden Rule.Samuel Lacrampe

    What if we asked the question "was this attempted murder unethical?" Re-framing the question in terms of a past incident seems to cause more consideration for detail. I suspect that is part of the process that assesses an incident and sorts it into the category 'attempted murder' along with a tick for 'bad' or 'good' depending on judgement of that incident.

    Then the stack categorized as 'attempted murder' can answer the question is it ethical as though it computed the proportion of good/bad ticks.
  • Steve
    8
    The nature of man is a dichotomy. He is both flesh and spirit. He is an infinite soul, trapped inside a finite vessel. The former is spiritual and the latter, carnal. The spirit has the capabilities to link with the divine. The flesh is carnal and is preprogrammed for survival and reproduction.

    Here is the missing piece in the puzzle: we were designed to play a part in the scheme of creation, like dogs. Also like dogs, humans are intellegent and programmable. Something (we call them gods) plucked us from our habitat and taught us “right from wrong”. This is the knowledge of good and evil that brings....guilt. Guilt is what severs our connectivity with the divine. This is why sacrifices were implemented. It doesn’t undo sin, it absolves guilt. This is why FAITH in Christ absolves all sin. When you believe that you are forgiven you have no guilt so you can connect with the divine and renew your role in creation.

    When you connect to the divine or cosmic consciousness it is enlightenment or being “born again”, spiritual birth.

    Those who do not reach this state think religion is what saves you. Most religion is corrupt and is run by individuals who know that people are programmable and use this to their advantage. The fact is that Yeshua/Jesus/Christ is Divine and has intellectual property rights to everything here on Earth. It’s not going to be like some Renaissance painting when He returns. It will be more like Star Wars. Seek and you will find truth. This is the truth that sets you free.

    At the end of this age, the planet will reset, like it has before. Christ will pluck His followers out and implant them in new vessels. Everyone else will be spirits without vessels. It is the vessels that allow us to sense the physical world and experience pleasure. Without it we will be just stuck in a void. This is hell.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    489
    the intuitive pull of your example comes from empathizing with the emotional upset feeling of being neglected that we can readily imagine. [...] Emotional harm is sometimes tricky to deal with because we often feel injured when in reality we have not been. Not being given a bonus that you were never promised is not an injury; your co-workers getting one and not yourself might be insult, but not injury.VagabondSpectre
    I want to clarify that the emotional pain is an effect of the immoral event, not a cause. I.e., the victim feels upset because the event is immoral, and not the other way around, that the event is immoral because the victim feels upset. As a mere effect, the emotional pain cannot be the criteria to determine if the event was immoral. It must be something else, like the fact that the treatment is unequal among employees.

    I would say that an employers freedom to give away un-promised bonuses however they choose is more important than an employees desire to gain unearned money or not feel somehow excluded.VagabondSpectre
    The employer is free to act this way in the legal sense, but he is not "morally free" to treat different employees with different levels of respect. I.e., the unequal treatment remains immoral, even if there is nothing the employee can do about it.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    489

    If "helping out others" and "remaining safe" are both nothing but desires, and there is nothing else to influence our behaviour, then it follows that the behaviour simply follows the strongest desire. But then there is nothing praiseworthy or virtuous about the behaviour, because desires are involuntary.

    What is praiseworthy is selecting those desires, the following of which is beneficial for society.Inter Alia
    Are you saying here that we have the power to select between desires? If so, then this power cannot itself be another desire, but something above it. Do you agree with free will then?
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    489
    Hello.
    Are you asking if the knowledge is within the subject? Yes, knowledge is always in a subject, for only subjects can know things. However, the knowledge is about objective moral goodness.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    489
    Hello.
    What would be the criteria to determine the good or bad ticks?
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    489
    Hello. Nice writing; very poetic. I just want to analyze some of it.

    Something (we call them gods) plucked us from our habitat and taught us “right from wrong”. This is the knowledge of good and evil that brings....guilt. Guilt is what severs our connectivity with the divine. This is why sacrifices were implemented. It doesn’t undo sin, it absolves guilt. This is why FAITH in Christ absolves all sin.Steve
    You make it sound like the gods were the cause of our guilt, which in turn separated us from the divine; and then another god, Christ, removed our guilt. This seems counter-productive.

    When you believe that you are forgiven you have no guilt so you can connect with the divine and renew your role in creation.Steve
    Is it real forgiveness, or merely the belief of forgiveness which removes the guilt? I think the former makes more sense than the latter.
  • Inter Alia
    77
    If "helping out others" and "remaining safe" are both nothing but desires, and there is nothing else to influence our behaviour, then it follows that the behaviour simply follows the strongest desire. But then there is nothing praiseworthy or virtuous about the behaviour, because desires are involuntary.Samuel Lacrampe

    Not at all, 'remaining safe' and 'helping out others' are just two desires among hundreds, the top of which is always 'living in a healthy and co-operative society' (or something like that, difficult to put these things into words). Then you have all the data regarding the actual situation in which the courageous act takes place. Your frontal cortex has to work all these things out, interpret the data of this particular situation see which of you desires 'should' come out on top, given your larger, more holistic desires (like 'living in a healthy co-operative society'), based on all the data about the circumstance. That's usually a very difficult feat. You're being praised for getting it right. Just like you can praise a child for getting 4+4 right. It doesn't mean it was ever not 8, 4+4 is always 8 and always will be, but knowing it's 8 in difficult circumstances is a praiseworthy feat.

    Are you saying here that we have the power to select between desires? If so, then this power cannot itself be another desire,Samuel Lacrampe

    Why not. I desire the chocolate bar because it will taste nice, I also desire to be thin because that will feel nice later on. Which do I choose? Well, I also desire to be the sort of person who is able to choose long-term objectives over short-term pleasures (and to show this quality to my community). So a decision between two competing desires is made by reference to another desire, a desire about what to do with competing desires. it's not hard at all, people just don't like to think they're that mechanistic so they reject the idea, and they're absolutely right to. Aside from as a short-term intellectual diversion, it would be a disaster if no-one thought they had free-will, it's a necessary deception, but a deception nonetheless.
  • Steve
    8
    Is it real forgiveness, or merely the belief of forgiveness which removes the guilt? I think the former makes more sense than the latter.Samuel Lacrampe

    When most people read the Bible, they suffer from cognitive dissonance. Because they can’t wrap their heads around what it actually says, they blend it with accepted theories and that becomes their beliefs. It is an incomplete collection of writings pieced together, ignoring gaps and events.

    Here is the message that most people overlook. Creation in its original form was balanced. There was natural selection and population control. It’s just like a healthy body. The hormones keep everything in check, sometimes causing change and other times suppressing it. All of this is accomplished by a “master gland”, the hypothalamus. It controls the endocrine system and the brain controls the nervous system. They work different systems effecting eachother in the same body. Yet, something, our soul/spirit, is lord over both of those. Let’s say the universe is like the body of the Holy Spirit and everything is created by its will. Like a baby in the womb, expanding and following design, stem cells obedient to our spirit creates this vessel, intricate, systems within systems. Organs are masters of certain functions all obeying their superiors. So too within the universe are superiors all trying to maintain cosmic homeostasis.

    In nature you can clearly see how there are unwritten rules that are obeyed. Wolves don’t kill for sport. There isn’t gluttony. You don’t have to teach a dog how to be a dog. Everything comes preprogrammed to do a function. They all obey natural law by being tuned into the Holy Spirit. A dog can poop where he wants and eat what seems right. When we take a dog and teach him right from wrong (poop outside) we reprogram him. The fruit of the knowledge of good and evil is GUILT. Guilt is what causes a dog to hide if he does “bad”. When we reprogram him we pluck him out of nature like something did with us. We are no longer attuned to the Holy Spirit. When you are forgiven and become attuned it’s like you are connected to a cosmic consciousness. Everything is explained. This is what maybe called enlightenment or spiritual birth.

    In short, we are forgiven, however it is more important that we believe we are forgiven. This is what eliminates guilt.
  • gurugeorge
    40
    That knowledge can absorbed in the course of a person's induction into society from childhood, it doesn't have to be innate.

    I do think morality has an objective aspect, and that there is broadly speaking such a thing as natural law. That is to say, that because human beings are a certain way, and the world is a certain way, then there's always going to be an objective set of possible conditional rules that get you from any given ideal to its implementation, and the general guiding ideals of most societies form a basket of closely-related ultimate goals, e.g. survival, flourishing, happiness, virtue, etc., from which particular sets of rules will fall out as likely to achieve those goals.

    But I don't think it's necessary for the knowledge of (whatever society's best guess is at that) set of moral rules to be innate in people, it can be something that evolves at the level of cultural evolution (as rules are are tried and sifted, societies that follow some rules are successful and others who follow different rules not so much) and is then inculcated into members of the society as they grow up.

    However, that doesn't also mean that there can't be some innate, instinctive element. That much is shown by evolutionary psychology, which reveals that there are some commonalities even at the pre-verbal level.

    IOW there's a certain measure of free play in the way that societies can make up rules and follow them or not, but a lot of the rules societies make up will tend to follow some core guidelines that just occur to people naturally (as natural Schelling Points that can then form the basis of more conscious, articulated forms of assent, and be discussed and argued about).
  • AngleWyrm
    43
    The most atomic version of categorization of an incident as 'good'/'bad' is how it affects your survival.
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