• IvoryBlackBishop
    146
    I recall reading about the Stanford Prison Experiment by Phillip Zimbardo, in which if ordinary people, who are not necessarily "evil" or "sociopathic" were in certain situations, they might do evil things, such as torture inmates if instructed to do so by a perceived "authority" figure.

    Supposedly there were exceptions, such as people motivated by a higher moral philosophy or purpose.

    Generally, I'm against the notion of "anarchy", and I think there is enough evidence and legal and moral philosophy indicating that, at least some, would potentially act immoraliy in an anarchist scenario in which there was no centralized legal system

    Most "anarchist" ideals are utopian, and would only "work" in small, voluntary groups of people with some measure of morality and respect for one another, but the overly "rosy" view of human nature which some anarchists and libertarians hold seems to be false (I do find the other misanthropic extreme, such as the Hobbsian view to be somewhat faulty as well; given that even before modern cultures and civilizations, there were men and women who helped to build civilization, law, and order to begin with, rather than act akin to "animals"; obviously Hobbes himself did not believe HE was low enough to act this way, he merely believed it about others he considered to be morally and intellectually inferior).

    What are your thoughts?
  • Pfhorrest
    1.3k
    A couple of thoughts:

    First, anarchism is not against there being laws or government, it's only against states, which are monopolies on the use of force. It's basically a kind of radically liberal, radically democratic government; it doesn't mean anything goes and nobody can do anything about it.

    Secondly, in the Stanford Prison Experiment, it's arguable that "law" was the cause of the "evil" behaviors, because it was an authority telling people to do them and people's obedience to that authority that lead to it being done. The people on their own, in absence of any authority telling them they must do so, may not have been so inclined to do those bad things.

    There's a case study of chimpanzees, I don't recall the attribution of now, where a tribe of chimps came across a disposal heap of infected meat, and because the alpha males insist that they eat first, they were the ones who died off, leaving only the females and beta males behind. In the absence of those alpha males, the tribe's behavior changed radically, becoming far more egalitarian and peaceful than a usual chimpanzee tribe would be. And that change lasted over generations, not degenerating back to the violent hierarchy of other chimpanzee tribes immediately. Even when outcast males from other tribes came into this tribe and tried to assert alpha dominance, they were basically shunned and taught that that's not how things work around there, and then changed their behavior to mimic the more peaceful egalitarian ways of their new tribe. The point of this story is that it doesn't take a violent hierarchy to keep violent hierarchies at bay, like Hobbes would have it: a peaceful egalitarian society can enforce that peace and equality against small deviations from it, maintaining itself stably instead of immediately collapsing into the worst kind of tyranny.
  • ZhouBoTong
    767
    There's a case study of chimpanzees, I don't recall the attribution of now,Pfhorrest

    Crazy story! It can be found with a quick google search. It was baboons not chimps, but otherwise, it pretty much went down as you said. Not sure if there are implications for human society, but very interesting nonetheless.

    What are your thoughts?IvoryBlackBishop

    Well according to Kohlberg's stages of moral development law and order (deontology and rule following) is stage 4 of 6. Kohlberg estimated that only 20-25% of people reach stage 5 or higher. So according to him, it seems like society might go to a bad place without laws. Of course we could replace secular laws with religious ones that are not enforced and maybe that would work. But this one theory at least suggests that some sort of imposed rules are needed for most people.

    I am not sure if I agree with Kohlberg or not, but I will certainly admit it is likely much more complicated than one of Kohlberg's charts would suggest.
  • A Seagull
    262
    It really depends upon the size of the community. Within a small community people would undoubtedly act in co-operation with other people without any need of formal laws and enforcement. But in larger communities where people can be anonymous in regard to other people, then laws and enforcement are essential for a harmonious community.
  • Athena
    456


    The level of moral judgement a person attains depends on the person's belief system and education. Now if the belief system explains it is our nature to be evil and therefore there must be authority over the people, then the stage of moral development will remain low.

    For the level of moral judgement to increase, there must be education for higher order thinking. That is where a person thinks about what he thinks and is moved to pursue information and expand his consciousness. That is a totally different level of thinking than average Christian thinking, and the 2012 Texas Republican agenda was to prevent education for higher order thinking.

    Text books in Texas are very much controlled by Christians, however, when teachers protested teaching creationism and having it put in science text books, the supreme court ruled against including creationism in science books and against teaching it as science. That is, at the supreme court level, reason trumped religious belief.

    We desperately need to return to understanding what morality has to do with liberty and what education has to do with good moral judgement or the lack of it! the 1958 National Defense Education Act decision to end education for good moral judgment and leave moral training to the church, was a huge mistake! The following social upheaval did improve some things, but we now have a technological society with unknown values and too few people to figure out what our values should be. We have intensified our dependency on religion and that is a problem. That is behind Trump becoming our president and mass amorality.

    When the only God is an impossible to believe God, the nation is split between the believers in that God and non believers. The union of our nation that was built on reason, is being shredded! Our liberty is being destroyed and our growing dependency on authority over us is frightening.
  • ZhouBoTong
    767
    The level of moral judgement a person attains depends on the person's belief system and education.Athena

    I have to run for the night but your very first sentence is actually something I considered adding to my post. I definitely look forward to reading the rest. If I have not responded in the next couple days, please give me a "bump" reply as a reminder...I should get to it tomorrow though :smile:
  • Athena
    456
    Surely the informal social agreements of small populations, enforced by social pressure, is not possible for large populations, but I must argue, education for good moral judgement is vital to our liberty. In is possible to use education to manifest a culture that promotes morality and decreases social problems. The US stopped doing that in 1958 and the cultural change is not a good one.
  • Athena
    456


    I will make a note to return to this thread. Security gaurd said it is lock up time, bye..
  • Pfhorrest
    1.3k
    What happened in 1958?
  • god must be atheist
    1.9k
    In a population, a level of moral adherence to morality and law is unevenly distributed. Everyone breaks the law, some law. Some break it innocuously, such as driving 51 miles per hour for a few seconds in a 50 mi/h zone, or lightly touching a conversation partner's forearm for effect. Some break it severely, they commit high treason, crimes against humanity, murder, rape, and theft or fraud into the millions.

    Lack of laws and lack of social coercion to behave, so to speak, would drive society to lawlessness. Because of the deterministic effect of legal punishment, society is relatively a peaceful place in the western industrialized world.

    You can curb crime in some of the people all of the time, in all of the people some of the time, but you can't curb illegal behaviour in all of the people all of the time.
  • god must be atheist
    1.9k
    the 1958 National Defense Education ActAthena

    I love even the sound of this! (Sarcasm.) Some corollaries:

    Regional Gun Firing Marital Fidelity Act
    National Prevention of Rod-Saving Child Act
    Municipal Police Brutality Act
    National "Deeds, Not Words" Policing award gala
    "Let them shoot each other into a heap" Drug Diffusion Crime Prevention Act
    1958 "Dumb 'Em Mother-Fuckers Into Submission Via Stupidity" Education Act
    Martha and Abigail Bishopp Violent Behaviour Enhancement and Proliferation Act
    Roe v. Jane
    Doe v. Jade
    Dr. No v. 007
    The UN-sponsored International "Let Us All Deny the Holocaust" Festivities and Mardi-Gras Week
    High School Intramural "Body Fat is Ugly, But So is Will-Power" Long-Distance BigMac Eating Marathons
    KKK Summer Solstice Sacrificial
    High School Confidential
    Prom night
    Shit Myself Silly
    Bad Trips
  • A Seagull
    262
    What form would your 'education for good moral judgement' take?
  • god must be atheist
    1.9k

    Telling little school children (grade 2 or 3) that blue-eyed kids are inferior, and brown-eyed kids are good children. Then next week, after a social structure had solidified on this precipt, the teacher saying to kids that she had been mistaken, it is actually the brown-eyed kids that are inferior.

    This supposedly would teach the kids the value of prejudice.

    This has been done actually and for real by a school teacher, but the experimenting was short lived, because the local school board trustees thought that the moral of the story was too complex for 8 to 9-year-olds to internalize.
  • A Seagull
    262

    Lying to children is always immoral.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.6k
    Telling little school children (grade 2 or 3) that blue-eyed kids are inferior, and brown-eyed kids are good children. Then next week, after a social structure had solidified on this precipt, the teacher saying to kids that she had been mistaken, it is actually the brown-eyed kids that are inferior.

    This supposedly would teach the kids the value of prejudice.

    This has been done actually and for real by a school teacher, but the experimenting was short lived, because the local school board trustees thought that the moral of the story was too complex for 8 to 9-year-olds to internalize.
    god must be atheist

    My first grade teacher actually did this to us, but she told us the moral of the lesson within five minutes.
  • god must be atheist
    1.9k


    So...teaching creationism in bible school is immoral. Or that christ has risen. Or most other bible stories.

    I agree with that.

    then how come the religious claim that the core of their (and others') moral behaviour is based on the bible?

    Are you ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY sure that lying to children is ALWAYS immoral?
  • god must be atheist
    1.9k
    My first grade teacher actually did this to us, but she told us the moral of the lesson within five minutes.Noah Te Stroete

    That's like taking the mystery out of "how much is two plus two", and then the next second telling the kids, "Well, it's four, of course, you little cretins."
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.6k
    I thought it worked on me. I was devastated for a minute, then I was elated for a minute. Finally, I was enlightened.
  • god must be atheist
    1.9k
    That's great! I am happy for you.

    Come to think of it, I also think, to this day, that two plus two is four. Sometimes these teachers are wickedly good in what they do, as far as teaching life-long moral or conceptual truths go.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.6k
    Come to think of it, I also think, to this day, that two plus two is four. Sometimes these teachers are wickedly good in what they do, as far as teaching life-long moral or conceptual truths go.god must be atheist

    Yeah, teachers are pretty awesome. If only they could teach some motivation and emotion control into me. :grin:
  • god must be atheist
    1.9k
    Yeah, teachers are pretty awesome. If only they could teach some motivation and emotion control into me.Noah Te Stroete

    Be careful what you ask for. Hitler did not come up with his ideology by himself in a vacuum. Nor did Noriega, Nigeria, or Nagasaki.

    "Hallja, maga, Nagasaki!
    Mit gondol on, miben szaki?
    Nem vagyok egy ki muszert szar ki,
    De megy nekem a faki, szaki."
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.6k


    Lol. I guess that’s why they think that I have to be medicated.

    What does that translate into?
  • Isaac
    2k
    I think there is enough evidence and legal and moral philosophy indicating that, at least some, would potentially act immoraliy in an anarchist scenario in which there was no centralized legal systemIvoryBlackBishop

    Well, that would be the place to start then wouldn't it? Why don't you lay out a little of that evidence?

    the overly "rosy" view of human nature which some anarchists and libertarians hold seems to be falseIvoryBlackBishop

    This would be a good place to start with that 'evidence'...

    The level of moral judgement a person attains depends on the person's belief system and educationAthena

    Again some evidence would be useful to go on...

    For the level of moral judgement to increase, there must be education for higher order thinking.Athena

    and again...

    is possible to use education to manifest a culture that promotes morality and decreases social problems.Athena

    ...once more, any evidence for this?

    Certainly if we look at the Sapolsky's baboon group, which has already been mentioned, the results of their follow up study would suggest the exact opposite. That pedagogic education played absolutely no part whatsoever in maintaining the more egalitarian society created by the sudden removal of the alpha males.

    I am not sure if I agree with Kohlberg or not, but I will certainly admit it is likely much more complicated than one of Kohlberg's charts would suggest.ZhouBoTong

    I applaud your sense that it's probably more complicated. A quick run down of the issues with Kohlberg.

    The biggest, for me, attributable largely to Dennis Krebs, is that he does not distinguish between moral judgement and moral behaviour and yet the work by Krebs and his colleagues has shown that there is a strong disconnect between making culturally appropriate moral judgements and behaving in a manner consistent with those judgements. As people like Jonathon Haidt have said, much of this moral judgement is post hoc rationalisation for actions which we took for more basic behavioural reasons anyway.

    As Hyunjoo Baek Showed with Korean children, and Anisha Lakhani with adolescents in Mumbai, Kohlberg's stages are not cross-cultural. They basically reflect Western modern cultural institutions in various forms, and as Joanna Fleming demonstrated people operate at different levels in different circumstances, it's not necessarily about developmental stages as it is is about an assessment of the appropriate moral codes to apply in different circumstances. As a child grows up in a culture their circumstances change and different moral approaches become more suitable to their situation.
  • A Seagull
    262

    Creationism is a story, the bible tells a story. It is fine to tell children stories, so long as they are not posed as factual or true.

    You can base moral behaviour on stories if you want, there is no particular problem with that, Aesop's fables are a good place to start as are the stories in the bible.
  • god must be atheist
    1.9k
    Creationism is a story, the bible tells a story. It is fine to tell children stories, so long as they are not posed as factual or true.A Seagull

    So you say the bible stories are all fiction. But to present fiction as true events, is a lie. And that is precisely what Sunday schools do.

    I don't for a moment believe that Christians teach bible stories merely as stories, not as something that is to be believed as true.
  • god must be atheist
    1.9k
    Lol. I guess that’s why they think that I have to be medicated.

    What does that translate into?
    Noah Te Stroete

    Swahili.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.6k

    Lol. I’m a big boy. I can handle it.
  • god must be atheist
    1.9k
    I can handle it.Noah Te Stroete

    Okay, since you can handle it, you must be able to get a grip on it.

    Go for it.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.6k
    If we were born into a world without leaders and with no laws, we would still manage. The community would ostracize individuals with really bad behavior. When and if the community found that the bad individual repented, then s/he would be allowed back into the community.

    Since we do live in a world with leaders and laws, we are all too traumatized by oppression and submission to ever live in a society without laws. Blame Big Brother.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.6k
    Think of a tribe. They are like one big extended family. It need not have a single leader or even several leaders. Members take the roles of leader or follower as the situation required.

    As it stands now, most of us are oppressed and traumatized serfs. Given the chance, many of us would kill the king.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.