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  • Morals

    Who decides what is good, bad, right and wrong; and by what standard?

    Are our morals based upon a mixture of social/parental/experienced influence?

    How do we consciously judge what morals to adopt for ourselves?

    How do you personally define "morals" (outside of a dictionary definition)?
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    Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. - Buddha

    Question everything.

  • #2
    I believe that morals are subjective, however many cultures' morals have been defined by religion. My moral code is defined by how the things I do and say make me feel. If I feel guilt or shame for something I did, then that something *might* be immoral.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Philosophia View Post
      Who decides what is good, bad, right and wrong; and by what standard?
      When you pose this question, what sort of answer are you looking for? Do you wish to know how people in fact make moral decisions, or how they ought to? In the former case, the answers are surely obvious. In the latter case, perhaps the answers are not so obvious: but it seems clear that people do make moral decisions all the time, in accord with many standards, some rational, some not, some in between.

      Are our morals based upon a mixture of social/parental/experienced influence?
      It seems likely that most people learn their moral ideas from these sources.

      How do we consciously judge what morals to adopt for ourselves?
      Again, there are lots of cards here you could pull.

      You might judge things in a utilitarian way, and say that the right thing to do is that which produces the best consequences: the most benefit, the least harm.

      You could say that there are moral duties, which ought to be fulfilled regardless of consequences: such duties arising from some conception of human nature, or human reason, or divine command.

      You could live your life in accord with a conception of moral character, and follow the Heroic Virtues, or the Classical Virtues, or the character values of another similar moral tradition.

      How do you personally define "morals" (outside of a dictionary definition)?
      I define ethics as the study of what is excellent in human affairs; the practice of the qualities of moral character which one needs in order to fully flourish as a human being, and to be successful in the pursuit of the worthwhile life.

      In this way my thinking is similar to that of Aristotle, as you find it in the Nicomachean Ethics, although I am also strongly influenced by other moral traditions too.
      -----------------
      Brendan Myers

      Home page: http://brendanmyers.net
      Podcast: http://stonegatepodshow.net

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      • #4
        I think our morals are decided by each of us. For me, it's really as simple as treating others as I'd like to be treated. I try to act in a way that I can inspire others to follow suit (my daughter specifically).

        Signature Photos From JKP.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Philosophia View Post
          Who decides what is good, bad, right and wrong; and by what standard?

          Are our morals based upon a mixture of social/parental/experienced influence?

          How do we consciously judge what morals to adopt for ourselves?

          How do you personally define "morals" (outside of a dictionary definition)?
          Learning better judgment helps to better judgment, so each person, while still availing themselves to the wisdom and knowledge of the wise, ultimately decides what is moral and just. It's something we struggle to develop in a life well examined.

          I should not that as someone into orthopraxy (correct practices, including but not limited to functional ethics, virtues, hospitality and equality), I don't see morals only as something handed to us by God(s) and I don't accept black and white good/bad scenarios. They often don't fit. I also don't morals, virtues, and ethics in terms of legalism.

          Our morals are based on a variety of influences, beliefs, experiences, emotions, and even worldviews...things that may include religion/spirituality but that religion, spiritual or rationalist paths alone can't address (something that differentiates religion from myopic limited religionism).

          Speaking of worldviews, they have a powerful guiding force upon morals, virtues, ethics and all that. So much so that when we have an increasingly deeper functional understanding of both the equality and abuse power metaparadigms, we learn to add, tweak or discard morals as well as more carefully define them. In fact, we often start with and constantly revisit definitions and what they mean in terms of various elements in our lives.

          I define morals by way of dictionary and by way of the equality power paradigm and the personal excellence it demands.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Philosophia View Post
            Who decides what is good, bad, right and wrong; and by what standard?

            Are our morals based upon a mixture of social/parental/experienced influence?

            How do we consciously judge what morals to adopt for ourselves?

            How do you personally define "morals" (outside of a dictionary definition)?
            I think in todays world, society decides what is right and wrong. The law and judgement by others offer incentive to do the right thing. Dont kill that guy thats taking an annoyingly long time in front of you at the ATM, because you'll go to jail.

            But I also belive that once upon a time, before laws and consequences, a basic human instinct told the first few people right from wrong. That it was based on nothing more than respect for human life. plain and simple. Over the many, many years, philosophers and thinkers just expanded and colored in the shades of grey : )
            ~blessed be~

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            • #7
              I'm also fairly orthopraxic, but at least by my understanding of my faith, at the end of the day, all of the Roman virtues were based on the idea of reciprocity. I'm a good guest, but you must be a good host. I'll obey the laws, but the government should be just. It's the way society should work, and it did more often then not in ancient times.

              There were certain things that were just wrong because they were wrong -- Iove did send a flood after being served a human sacrifice. That kind of stuff. But interpersonal relationships seem to mostly be guided by the idea that you were to behave reciprically.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Philosophia View Post
                Who decides what is good, bad, right and wrong; and by what standard?

                Are our morals based upon a mixture of social/parental/experienced influence?

                How do we consciously judge what morals to adopt for ourselves?

                How do you personally define "morals" (outside of a dictionary definition)?
                Good questions.
                😈 "It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful." Anton LaVey 😈

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                • #9
                  Well these are just my short opinions. Probably you could write a whole essay for all those questions.

                  Who decides what is good, bad, right and wrong; and by what standard?
                  I think in general it is a mixture of religion and political parties and personalities that influence the normal morals of a society, and most people don't question those things enough. Well sometimes they can get into trouble for questioning them.

                  Are our morals based upon a mixture of social/parental/experienced influence?
                  For most people, I would say yes. I try to make up my own mind about things but I guess that would still come under experienced influence.

                  How do we consciously judge what morals to adopt for ourselves?
                  In the end you can only go by what feels right to you once you have realised that there are no universal truths or judges. That means everyone will come to slightly different conclusions. You have to be logical, trust yourself and then be konsequent (truly live by what you believe).

                  How do you personally define "morals" (outside of a dictionary definition)?
                  Personal rules and beliefs about what is right and wrong.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Philosophia View Post
                    Who decides what is good, bad, right and wrong; and by what standard?
                    The individual, for him/herself. Society for interactions between individuals. There may sometimes be a glaring difference between the two.

                    Are our morals based upon a mixture of social/parental/experienced influence?
                    Obviously.

                    How do we consciously judge what morals to adopt for ourselves?
                    By being exposed to new information, or by having your existing morals challenged by new events.

                    How do you personally define "morals" (outside of a dictionary definition)?
                    I define morals as "what I'd be willing to do if there was no chance I'd be caught."
                    What can we do to help you stop screaming?

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                    • #11
                      Has anyone read The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris? It is an interesting take on morality.

                      Great questions that I've thought a lot about throughout my life. The more I think about the subject the more complicated it gets. I will just say that I started out with a very black and white view on morality and what is right and wrong. The more I read, discuss and think in the subject the more the lines blur. I think we have to decide on our own morality but at the same time understand that just because someone else's view is different doesn't mean they are wrong.

                      Didn't quite answer the question exactly I guess but hope it makes sense.

                      Blinkie from THE ONE AND ONLY FLAIRE! Thanks!! As always YOU'RE THE BEST!!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Philosophia View Post
                        Who decides what is good, bad, right and wrong; and by what standard?

                        Are our morals based upon a mixture of social/parental/experienced influence?

                        How do we consciously judge what morals to adopt for ourselves?

                        How do you personally define "morals" (outside of a dictionary definition)?
                        Starting from the last question and working backwards...
                        How do I personally define morals? I am less and less sure about that. I would say that I am amoral by many people's standards. But I guess morals are those values which go beyond any man made law. My values are based on doing what I want and need and avoiding unnecessary harm to others where possible. The moral part of that is the belief that all people would be happier and safer if they followed the same concept and that those who transgress this line I have invented are not worthy of respect or forgiveness.
                        How do we consciously adopt morals? I think it takes a great deal of will power to consciously adopt a personal moral code rather than accept one imposed from outside but that is what I am trying to do. In effect you need to forget and ignore every moral value you have been taught or have incorporated from society and start again from the beginning. What makes sense, what seems right and wrong to you, no matter what other people think or say. In reality I think most people just accept a moral code; maybe religious, maybe legal which falls roughly in line with their pre-existing sentiments or the norm in their culture or family.

                        So to answer the first two questions I think most people's morals are indeed based mostly on the values of their family or wider community. Sometimes people choose a social environment, group or religion because it corresponds with their own values but most people never really work moral values out entirely for themselves. And I think that is a bad thing.
                        😈 "It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful." Anton LaVey 😈

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Philosophia View Post
                          Who decides what is good, bad, right and wrong; and by what standard?

                          Are our morals based upon a mixture of social/parental/experienced influence?

                          How do we consciously judge what morals to adopt for ourselves?

                          How do you personally define "morals" (outside of a dictionary definition)?
                          What do we mean, stated "morals" - or morals in action?
                          There's hardly a person on the planet who could not - under the right circumstances - be made to do what he/she swore that he/she would never do, no matter how revolting the prospect.
                          All one has to do is threaten his/her survival - or that of a loved one - especially a child - and one doesn't even have to go that far. A large bribe will often do.
                          If the bribe is large enough, a monster can always be found.
                          I have my own set of morals - and I stick to them - but I do not expect anyone else to abide by them.
                          One more thing - trust. I wonder why people are so desperate to find people whom they can trust. In the end, nearly everyone will do what is in his/her own best interests - trust that.
                          Accept the World the way it is - and stop being such a sour puss. It's much easier for a magician to work w/the World rather than against it.
                          OMNIA DEPENDET

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