• Samuel Lacrampe
    643
    Hello. I like your post, and want to analyze it.

    the exercise of the natural rights of each man has only those borders which assure other members of the society the fruition of these same rights. — Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789, Article IV
    This is good. It is another way to interpret the golden rule.

    So your morality consists in total freedom of the individual, with the exception of harm. I have a couple of questions on your no-harm morality.

    (1) Is it morally wrong to eat animals and plants? (2) Is it morally acceptable to lie to others if they never find out? (2) Is it wrong to give an employee a raise, and another no raise, due to favoritism?
    Is it wrong to do harm to the nazis to prevent them from killing more jews?
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    643
    Says the argument in the OP.

    The criteria for moral value is justice; and justice is equality in treatment among all men; thus equality in treatment is the criteria for moral value.
  • charleton
    1.2k
    The criteria for moral value is justice; and justice is equality in treatment among all men; thus equality in treatment is the criteria for moral value.Samuel Lacrampe

    Circular, question begging rubbish.
  • charleton
    1.2k
    the exercise of the natural rights of each man has only those borders which assure other members of the society the fruition of these same rights.
    — Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789, Article IV
    Samuel Lacrampe

    The reason that this had to be declared was that morality does not definitively entail it.
    If morality had included this, the declaration would not be necessary.
  • Moliere
    1.1k
    Alright. Well... then maybe let's just stick to the golden rule then. I don't think what you say communicates the golden rule, exactly, but if that's all you mean then cool.

    The problem with the golden rule is that it doesn't tell you much -- it's a guide for people who are already predisposed to be decent people to follow. But it doesn't help in harder cases.

    How does the golden rule deal with injustice? I think that's where it fails the most. If we are all already predisposed to be generally decent people and we follow the golden rule then a just state of affairs may come about (though it may not too -- since predisposition plus principle isn't enough to warrant action)

    But we live in a world where that is not the case.

    Further, we live in a world where there are multiple goods which various people follow and which conflict with one another. So the other failing of the golden rule is it does not adjudicate between actually lived conflicting principles. It doesn't tell us how to deal with enemies.
  • BlueBanana
    840
    Day One: All men are equal
    Day Two: Oops I mean women and children too.
    charleton

    This only proves the words describing the idea have changed, not the meaning or the idea behind them.
  • BlueBanana
    840
    If by 'revenge' you mean "a desire for justice (and nothing beyond it)", then it is not immoral.Samuel Lacrampe

    Circular reasoning.

    To impose your desires on others against their will results in unequal treatment.Samuel Lacrampe

    How? How is imposing everyone's desires on everyone against their will not equal?

    if the predicted gain was equal in both optionsSamuel Lacrampe

    if you only help the one person, their gain from the help is greater than the combined gain of the multiple people?BlueBanana

    So equal misery is better than unequal happiness?
  • bert1
    119
    The practical solution is found through the Golden Rule: "How can I act in a way that I would want others to act towards me?". The golden rule is directly derived from justice, because it demonstrates an equal treatment between yourself and others.Samuel Lacrampe

    Sure, but why would I follow such a rule? I would only follow it if I valued it. I will only act justly if I value justice. The value of justice must come from a subject mustn't it? If the value of justice is objective, how can it connect to what I do? Why would such objective values matter to me, or indeed to any subject?
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    643
    The reason that this had to be declared was that morality does not definitively entail it.charleton
    Quite the opposite. Unless you believe the content was purely arbitrary, then it is reasonable to suggest it was inspired by real morality.

    If morality had included this, the declaration would not be necessary.charleton
    Incorrect. You believe the mathematical laws to be objective, don't you? And yet, math is taught at school. We can all rediscover mathematical laws on our own, but it is better to teach it in order to speed up the learning process and avoid errors along the way. The same goes for the laws of morality.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    643
    How does the golden rule deal with injustice? [...] So the other failing of the golden rule is it does not adjudicate between actually lived conflicting principles. It doesn't tell us how to deal with enemies.Moliere
    Actually it does. See for example the Just War Theory: how to conduct war in accordance with justice (and by extension, the golden rule). To name a few criteria, a war is just if:

    • It is reactive and not proactive.
    • All peaceful alternative actions have first been exhausted.
    • The physical evil inflicted on the enemy must not exceed the physical evil caused by the enemy (i.e., do not overreact).

    The practice of the golden rule does not lead to extreme pacifism. Self-Defence and enforcement of laws are actions that are compatible with it.
  • Moliere
    1.1k


    That there is a text book non sequiter inference, as it stands. "Do unto others as you would have done unto you" does not just automatically lead one to just war theory. I didn't say it leads to extreme pacifism, either. What I said was it is silent on such matters.

    I mean you may prefer just war theory... but if you can accept those terms, then I don't see how you would be able to dissent from the example I used earlier. It was a similarly loosy-goosey principle that can be interpreted in any number of ways, without it sounding quite so nice. And even then I don't see how, of all doctrines, just war theory somehow naturally flows from the golden rule. You'd have to, at the very least, argue the case.
  • jorndoe
    530
    So your morality consists in total freedom of the individual, with the exception of harm.Samuel Lacrampe

    The listed items are not exhaustive (which may not be feasible in the first place). More like a few simple basics extracted from experiences through life this far.

    Say, 1500 years ago slavery, misogyny, stoning, mistreating animals, etc might just have been common everyday stuff of no particular consequence/interest, whereas today they're considered immoral or criminal. I guess the contemporary political correctness movement exemplifies emerging morals or moral awareness.

    (1) Is it morally wrong to eat animals and plants? (2) Is it morally acceptable to lie to others if they never find out? (2) Is it wrong to give an employee a raise, and another no raise, due to favoritism?Samuel Lacrampe

    I couldn't say in general, though favoritism comes through as wrong to me; I'd certainly raise my eyebrows if I noticed, but maybe the company established a kind of "discrimination" that new employees are informed of? For that matter, is it morally wrong to mow the poor lawn...? What did the nice green grass ever do to anyone, to deserve such barbaric treatment...? :)

    Either way, not all situations are (readily/necessarily) morally decidable, as shown by the Trolley problem. I'd say both decidability and undecidability have to be taken into consideration in an analysis.

    Is it wrong to do harm to the nazis to prevent them from killing more jews?Samuel Lacrampe

    Nah, the nazis forfeit their rights.

    • violation of the above may entail forfeiture of some or all of them

    Suppose we wanted to reduce morals to something. What might this something then be? What would acceptable "moral atoms" look like? Self-interest alone doesn't do it for me (like some rules seem to suggest), but maybe that's just me.


    Sure, but why would I follow such a rule? I would only follow it if I valued it. I will only act justly if I value justice. The value of justice must come from a subject mustn't it? If the value of justice is objective, how can it connect to what I do? Why would such objective values matter to me, or indeed to any subject?bert1

    Well, maybe you don't follow any such rules. Or any morals at all perhaps. The universe at large sure don't. :) It would mean someone else might deem you not moral based on your actions or inactions.
  • charleton
    1.2k
    Quite the opposite. Unless you believe the content was purely arbitrary, then it is reasonable to suggest it was inspired by real morality.Samuel Lacrampe

    Only if you believe in the god delusion.
    Incorrect. You believe the mathematical laws to be objective, don't you?Samuel Lacrampe

    No, why?
  • charleton
    1.2k
    The same goes for the laws of morality.Samuel Lacrampe

    utter nonsense.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    643
    If by 'revenge' you mean "a desire for justice (and nothing beyond it)", then it is not immoral.
    — Samuel Lacrampe
    Circular reasoning.
    BlueBanana
    My point was that 'revenge', once clearly defined, cannot be just, while at the same time immoral. But we can work on a concrete example if desired.

    How? How is imposing everyone's desires on everyone against their will not equal?BlueBanana
    "Equality in treatment" means that for a given situation, whatever act you choose, you must also accept it from others under a similar situation. Now, the act of "imposing others' desires against my will" cannot be accepted, by definition. As such, it is an unjust act.

    So equal misery is better than unequal happiness?BlueBanana
    This depends once again on the net result, but for the most part, yes. What if you were on the bad end of that unequal happiness situation? Would you not wish for that slightly better equal happiness?
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    643

    I must say, you touch on what I believe is the one weak point of my argument. But I will try my best to answer it.

    As per point (1) in the OP, if the act is just, then it is morally good, and if unjust, then morally bad. It is nonsense to speak of an act which is morally good yet unjust, or morally bad yet just.

    Now you ask "why be morally good"? For no other reason that it is morally good. Morality is not a means to another end, but an end in and of itself. "Why should I do x if I don't want to?" Because it is morally good. "Why should I not do y even if I want to?" Because it is morally bad.
  • BlueBanana
    840
    My point was that 'revenge', once clearly defined, cannot be just, while at the same time immoral.Samuel Lacrampe

    Yes, starting with your claim as a premise. Having mercy is never immoral, while any punishment can be just as long as the same law is applied equally to all criminals.

    the act of "imposing others' desires against my will" cannot be accepted, by definition.Samuel Lacrampe

    Accepting something based on rational reasoning dodsn't make it your will.

    What if you were on the bad end of that unequal happiness situation?Samuel Lacrampe

    I'd think about the situation objectively and try to not be selfish, and accept my situation as a just sacrifice for a greater good.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    643
    "Do unto others as you would have done unto you" does not just automatically lead one to just war theory. [...] And even then I don't see how, of all doctrines, just war theory somehow naturally flows from the golden rule. You'd have to, at the very least, argue the case.Moliere
    They are connected, because both are derived from justice. Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have done unto you" is the only way to preserve equality in treatment when interacting with others. Just War Theory: how to conduct a war while preserving justice. If you are in conflict with a neighbouring country, how would you want to them to behave towards you in order to resolve the conflict? E.g., you would likely want them to first use peaceful acts before resorting to force. As such, to preserve justice, you ought to behave the same way towards them. Thus the Just War Theory is related to the Golden Rule.

    but if you can accept those terms, then I don't see how you would be able to dissent from the example I used earlier.Moliere
    I forget what example you are referring to.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    643
    Say, 1500 years ago slavery, misogyny, stoning, mistreating animals, etc might just have been common everyday stuff of no particular consequence/interest, whereas today they're considered immoral or criminal. I guess the contemporary political correctness movement exemplifies emerging morals or moral awareness.jorndoe
    You here speak of changes in the legal system, not changes in the moral point of view. Nobody wants to be a slave; not the masters, not the slaves. And nobody wants to be the victim of misogyny or stoning; not now, not then. Similarly to today, those victims surely would have wanted to revolt on the grounds of injustice. In general, we cannot discover a morality from historical facts, because morality is about "what-ought-to-be", not about "what-is".

    Either way, not all situations are (readily/necessarily) morally decidable, as shown by the Trolley problem.jorndoe
    The trolley problem is not a moral issue but merely a rational one. I did not mention this in the OP, but one necessary component of a moral/immoral (as opposed to amoral) act is intentions. If you never intended to kill anyone, as is the case in the trolley problem, then the accidental killing of people is not immoral. At worst, you made the wrong judgement resulting in an honest mistake.

    Nah, the nazis forfeit their rights.
    violation of the above may entail forfeiture of some or all of them
    jorndoe
    That's a good answer. It agrees well with your morality.

    Suppose we wanted to reduce morals to something. What might this something then be? What would acceptable "moral atoms" look like? Self-interest alone doesn't do it for me (like some rules seem to suggest), but maybe that's just me.jorndoe
    Golden Rule. It is a great practical way to determine if justice was intended or not.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    643
    Only if you believe in the god delusion.charleton
    If the existence of God logically follows from the rest of the argument, then it does. Don't run away from the laws of reason just because you don't like the conclusions that follow. :wink:

    Incorrect. You believe the mathematical laws to be objective, don't you?
    — Samuel Lacrampe
    No, why?
    charleton
    No? The formula 2+2=4 is not objective, but man-made? What about the laws of logic then? After all, mathematics is just logic applied to numbers.
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