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Are morality and ethics dead in the US?

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posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 10:18 AM
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a reply to: grandmakdw

Religious morals and ethics are dead in this country, but morality and ethics DEFINITELY still exist in this country. You don't need religion to have morals or ethics.




posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 10:48 AM
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Yesterday after our spectacular dialogue I went outside to sit in the absolutely GORGEOUS weather and picked an essay in a Philosophy anthology I own (was my daughter's textbook) - I just flipped through the pages and selected one....

It happened to be titled:
Dialogue on Good, Evil, and the Existence of God. by John Perry And Perry happens to be a contemporary philosopher - this dialogue was first published in 1999.


The three characters are Perry's inventions, but he gives them cute backgrounds.

The Dialogue is not a verbatim transcript of a discussion, but a reconstruction based on Miller's terse notes and Dave's recollections. Also, Perry's draws from his knowledge of Gretchen's personality.

As the Dialogue was published in 1999, supposedly several years after Miller's death, the Dialogue must have fictionally occurred in the early 1990s.

SAM MILLER: Sam is a Presbyterian chaplain. Sam kept detailed, dry notes of the arguments posited during philosophical discussion with Gretchen and Dave. Several years after Miller's death, Perry found these notes in Miller's copy of Augustine's Confessions.

DAVE COHEN: Dave has a Jewish name and seems to believe in god, though he serves as a bridge between Sam and Gretchen's divide. Dave provided much information about how the discussions actually went.

GRETCHEN WEIROB: Gretchen is an agnostic or atheist philosopher stricken by a cold. Gretchen did not assist Perry in reconstructing the Dialogue, but he knows her personality well.


It is in modern English, so easier for lay-readers to understand and follow than, for example, Plato's dialogues of Socrates.

As you are a voracious reader and thinker, I think it might be of interest to you. It very much reminded me of the exchanges between you and other ATS members (see? I do think about YOU when I'm not on ATS!)

John Perry Barlow has done a Reddit AMA just two years ago, which is still in circulation. Here is a list of his tenets (it's TENETS, not TENANTS! gah!) ) derived from that AMA (listed on his wiki page, linked above):


1. Be patient. No matter what.
2. Don’t badmouth: Assign responsibility, not blame. Say nothing of another you wouldn’t say to him.
3. Never assume the motives of others are, to them, less noble than yours are to you.
4, Expand your sense of the possible.
5. Don’t trouble yourself with matters you truly cannot change.
6. Expect no more of anyone than you can deliver yourself.
7. Tolerate ambiguity.
8. Laugh at yourself frequently.
9. Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right.
10. Never forget that, no matter how certain, you might be wrong.
11. Give up blood sports.
12. Remember that your life belongs to others as well. Don’t risk it frivolously.
13. Never lie to anyone for any reason.
14. Learn the needs of those around you and respect them.
15. Avoid the pursuit of happiness. Seek to define your mission and pursue that.
16. Reduce your use of the first personal pronoun.
17. Praise at least as often as you disparage.
18. Admit your errors freely and soon.
19. Become less suspicious of joy.
20. Understand humility.
21. Remember that love forgives everything.
22. Foster dignity.
23. Live memorably.
24. Love yourself.
25. Endure.

(Yeah, I just bolded the ones I thought were most pertinent to the communication issues apparent here on ATS.)

Here's a video from Pittstate Philosophy that introduces the story and main points.


part 2


part 3


(apparently the 4th video isn't on his video catalog, but he states at the end of part 3 that it will contain - or supposedly does but I can't find it - the atheist argument of the Dialogue).

I'm sorry I can't find a free copy of the Perry-Barlow piece. Sorry about that......

So - I'd be interested to know how this is received by ATS members, in any case.
Please remember: I AM AN AGNOSTIC.

ETA: AND, I have not finished reading the Dialogue myself, as of yet. I've only gotten through part of the First Afternoon section (the second of the four sections).


edit on 8/24/2015 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 10:52 AM
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a reply to: grandmakdw

Well, I have been alive for 55 years, and while never having been a religious person, I continue to think murder, lying, cheating and stealing is wrong. It's not wrong because a god says so. It's wrong because if allowed with impunity, it would bring absolute chaos. Not hell fire and brimstone, just real-life, day-to-day chaos.

I know you think religion is the answer to a wonderful life in America, but real-life facts just don't support that.

Having order over chaos does make life more enjoyable, though.



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 12:29 PM
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Hmmm. So, thinking......it's been a long day, and I'm tired, but I was just (again!) thinking about this while offline.

(Proof that I am cognizant of 'relationships' I have built.. Whether it's a shop-keeper, my niece, my doctor, my neighbor, my client from years ago with whom I shared an 'intimate' (personal and complex) bit of interaction over many months, OR WHOEVER and don't just toss them aside when engaged in other activities....in fact, I CAN'T! )

I actually DO think about people who I "know" from their ATS posts. I DO think about people who take the time and make the effort to really interact with me. Now, make no mistake - the interaction with the clerk whom I addressed when checking in at the lab this morning has no reason to stick in my brain. But, people I've worked with or known in non-trivial capacities for at least a few months - such as my good friend from grad school - or my co-actor in my improv venue - or the parents and children I've been privileged to know over the years that I worked with them -


I am not able to "forget", or to disconnect myself from the "relationship".

I think it's interesting that you say that I (or any ATS members and conversations) NEVER cross your mind when you're not on ATS. But you seem to have an invested bit into the relationships you are building here - slowly, over time, with records to show what you have said and done in this venue.

Yet, this thread you started was based on two recent posts from two ATS members (I have no idea who, and that's fine). You said they "got you thinking." And so you asked a question, and placed it in the "rant" forum - rather than in the Social Issues or Political Madness or RFT or Philosophy forums.

It's turned out that you have acquired quite a thoughtful bunch of ATS members here, who DO appear in those other forums....and who HAVE had previous interaction with you.

So - I'm confused. You never think about any of us fellow members of ATS when you're not on ATS? Or you, in fact, do think about at least a few of us-------and even if you don't remember which member, you do think about their "posts" that make you 'think' and ask questions like the one in the OP.

Now - you didn't SAY FOR YOUR TITLE: 'morality and ethics are dead' -- but every one of your posts indicates that you are SURE, and CONVINCED, that morality and ethics "are, in fact dead" ...

despite the documented responses indicating that the answer to your OP question is (to their mind): "No. Morality and ethics are not dead."

You have instead insisted we are all "wrong." So - why did you ask a question, rather than just making a declarative statement? Your audience would probably have been a much different subset of members.
That's what I think.

What were you after? What did you want to hear? That you were correct? That you might be mistaken? Someone to please reassure you that it ain't so? Or was this a troll line to bring the non-theists to argue with you?





edit on 8/24/2015 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 12:59 PM
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Hey, gran. Was just doing some more thinking.

I have made an effort - a concerted effort - to really understand you in the course of our exchanges. To understand how you are, and why, and to gain clarity in what exactly it is you think and how you arrive at your worldview.

I have noticed a pattern. I just now made some notes about it.
It occurs to me that my effort to reach out and to be compassionate/empathetic regarding your stance on things like religion and society and philosophy and politics has been mistreated. You continue to 'project' onto others, yet accuse them of 'projecting' onto you.

The only reason I say this is to extend the premise of your OP (question).....
which is more moral??

A) For a person [called "me"] to try and really pay attention and make sure I understand another person [called "you"]?? To provide you with several ideas to help us engage in mutual understanding, such as y/n questions, political stance quizzes, etc. so I can better understand you?

Or

2) For you to have
"made up your mind" that morals and ethics ARE dead, and
that some of us members WILL say something that you can feel bad about or blame them for, before you have heard them out? And
that the y/n suggestion was 'a little game' and
that respondents were playing and trying to 'make you look immoral'?

Furthermore, the Yes/No questions, or the revealing quiz were ridiculous...
and finally,
That no matter WHAT, you will only keep repeating that "morals and ethics are dead and here's what's wrong with all of you because you people who persecute me, hate God, hate Religion are evidence of it! See how you are?"
?

Hmmm?
(the obvious oxymoron of A and 2 are meant as levity, btw)



heh. Anyway, just gonna leave this here. For future thought, or condemnation, or whatever use it might have.

Toodles!

edit on 8/24/2015 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 01:06 PM
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a reply to: grandmakdw

Yes.

They are dead.

We can tweet our anguish over Cecil the lion, or Boko Haram raping hundreds of little girls, and that appears to be enough.

It's the perception of doing something instead of actually doing something.



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 01:12 PM
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a reply to: beezzer


It's the perception of doing something instead of actually doing something.

Kind of like being firmly pro-life, but not adopting or being willing and contributing to efforts to provide for the unwanted children, and bitching about taxes being too high?

Kinda like that?

Maybe you're right.
Could be.


edit on 8/24/2015 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 01:13 PM
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a reply to: beezzer

True. Feel-good activism seems to be the new thing. Basically everything in the modern U.S. is just some kind of marketing ploy appealing to people's narcissism, including most activist movements.



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 01:13 PM
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originally posted by: BuzzyWigs
a reply to: beezzer


It's the perception of doing something instead of actually doing something.

Kind of like being firmly pro-life, but not adopting or willing to provide for the unwanted children, and bitching about taxes being too high?

Kinda like that?

Maybe you're right.
Could be.



And you know I haven't done anything?

Really?

How interesting.

Quick to judge someone who simply provides an opinion, aren't you?
edit on 24-8-2015 by beezzer because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 01:15 PM
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originally posted by: Talorc
a reply to: beezzer

True. Feel-good activism seems to be the new thing. Basically everything in the modern U.S. is just some kind of marketing ploy appealing to people's narcissism, including most activist movements.


I like that.

"Feel-good activism".

It doesn't take any effort, but it gives the illusion that you "care".



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 01:16 PM
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a reply to: beezzer

Get caught up on the thread, bro.

(You're late! But I'm sure gran will be ecstatic and that you've finally arrived to agree with her!)

I was getting tired, to be honest. Hey, btw, have you heard of the United Church of Bacon?

I thought of you immediately when I discovered it, beez! Truly, I did. Thought you'd get a kick out of it.



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 01:19 PM
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a reply to: beezzer

And you know I haven't done anything?

Really?

How interesting.

Quick to judge someone who simply provides an opinion, aren't you?


No - I asked a question of you. Did I say that the elements of the question were YOUR opinion?
No, I didn't. I said "kind of like" and then spoke in indeterminate terms - a total hypothetical. Never said you said it, or think it.

See what I did there?
(Persecution much?)



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 01:20 PM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Nah. Think I'll leave.


Maybe tomorrow. Though the posts here certainly reflect the death of morality and ethics.

Just my humble opinion, though.



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 01:21 PM
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originally posted by: BuzzyWigs
a reply to: beezzer

And you know I haven't done anything?

Really?

How interesting.

Quick to judge someone who simply provides an opinion, aren't you?


No - I asked a question of you. Did I say that the elements of the question were YOUR opinion?
No, I didn't. I said "kind of like" and then spoke in indeterminate terms - a total hypothetical. Never said you said it, or think it.

See what I did there?
(Persecution much?)


You insinuated as much.

Not in the mood to spar today.

Go kick a kitten or something, have fun!




posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 01:21 PM
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a reply to: beezzer

Okay, not my circus....
but hey, DO check out the United Church of Bacon, bro! I thought of you, seriously.

And, oh - if you are still here - I was asking a "kind of like" question aimed at "a person who" thinks those things.
Pretty obvious.
I didn't accuse you of anything.

I was actually CONCEDING that maybe morals and ethics ARE DEAD!

bah

edit on 8/24/2015 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 01:25 PM
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a reply to: beezzer the thing is most non believers don't go around judging standards of morality and ethics, we find ourselves in the position of having to defend the fact we do have morals and ethics, it may not be written down, but the golden rule is universal, existing from religion to business practice. It's been a concept as old as man and older than Christianity. To me it always makes me pose the question. If you didn't believe in God and Christianity, would you be less moral and unethical? I don't believe it would change your morality or ethics.



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 01:37 PM
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originally posted by: woodwardjnr
a reply to: beezzer the thing is most non believers don't go around judging standards of morality and ethics, we find ourselves in the position of having to defend the fact we do have morals and ethics, it may not be written down, but the golden rule is universal, existing from religion to business practice. It's been a concept as old as man and older than Christianity. To me it always makes me pose the question. If you didn't believe in God and Christianity, would you be less moral and unethical? I don't believe it would change your morality or ethics.



Where do morals and ethics come from?

You may not believe, I may not believe what you believe. . .

But we all pretty much come from the same point, culturally.

Morals and ethics are culturally based. And culturally biased.

Our "culture" in the west has been losing cohesion for quite some time. As a culture, we're easily offended, quick to judge. Culturally, our emotional maturity is that of a 14 year old girl. Full of drama and no substance.

I've spent considerable time in different cultures. They may not have the same ethics and morality as we do in the west, but they do have ethics and morality based on their culture.


Along with our culture, our ethics and morals are becoming a thing of the past.

*meh*

Just providing an opinion.



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 01:41 PM
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a reply to: kaylaluv
a reply to: Krazysh0t


originally posted by: BuzzyWigs
Hey, gran. Was just doing some more thinking.

I have made an effort - a concerted effort - to really understand you in the course of our exchanges. To understand how you are, and why, and to gain clarity in what exactly it is you think and how you arrive at your worldview.

I have noticed a pattern. I just now made some notes about it.
It occurs to me that my effort to reach out and to be compassionate/empathetic regarding your stance on things like religion and society and philosophy and politics has been mistreated. You continue to 'project' onto others, yet accuse them of 'projecting' onto you.

The only reason I say this is to extend the premise of your OP (question).....
which is more moral??

A) For me to try and really pay attention and make sure I understand you?? To provide you with several ideas to help us engage in mutual understanding, such as y/n questions, political stance quizzes, etc. so I can better understand you?

Or

2) For you to have
"made up your mind" that morals and ethics ARE dead, and
that some of us members WILL say something that you can feel bad about or blame them for, before you have heard them out? And
that the y/n suggestion was 'a little game' and
that respondents were playing and trying to 'make you look immoral'? ....


To be honest with you I love being absurdist and pushing people to their farthest reaches of logic and thinking.

That is why I have no trouble separating you as a person
your online persona from your ideas and what you say online.

If you haven't noticed yet being absurdist
forces people to really think, to really dig deep
into their presuppositions.

Quite often, I will point out the consequences of
people's thought in order to challenge them to
think of the unintended consequences of their
ideas or logic.

I pushed my students hard to think outside of
preconceptions. I actually gave extra points to
students who could prove anything I said in the
classroom to be wrong and could prove it to the
entire class, in front of me. I learned from it,
more importantly the students learned not to
take what anyone says as truth, but to search
for the truth themselves. It made them better
persons and less likely to follow any ideology
blindly.

I actually forced my grad students to bring in
research every class and then proceed to rip
apart the research. Which is quite easy to do
with the majority of scientific research.
At first they panicked, but normally I would give
them an A for their presentation of the research
even if I ripped the research (not the student,
but the research to pieces).
After the classes ended they thanked me for
opening their eyes to always questioning and
always search for the truth and never to accept
as truth anything anyone has to say without
lots of research to back it up.

I had students tell me what the textbook in
your class says is almost opposite to what I
am learning in womens studies, who is right?
(BTW, I didn't write the textbook, it was
selected by the department chair in Marriage
and Family and in Parenting). I would tell them
when you take my test, I am right and our
textbook is right. When you are in womens
studies and take a test, your instructor and her
text are right. Then go and decide for yourself,
don't listen to me or her as to what is right,
you are here to learn to think for yourself.


My online persona is not me,
and your online persona is not you.

We each get to let go and challenge others to think
in ways that we would never do in person.

I am a Christian, yes.
I am not the kind of Christian that most say "most or all" Christians are....

So you want to know what I really believe outside of my online persona.

Do I believe that abortion should be made illegal?
Not until week 24, when a baby has a chance to live on its own and the life of the mother can be saved by allowing a baby to be born, through induced labor or C-section, an abortion is not necessary, but I know you disagree.

My moral judgement is actually of no importance before 24 weeks since I don't think it should be illegal.

I do however think that treating the 16-24 week old fetus with disrespect and callously like a commodity is immoral, and the 16-24 week old fetus should be given the same respect and dignity we give the brain dead adult donor.

Do I believe that abortion is wrong when the baby will die if born, absolutely not, it is quite moral at any week to save the suffering of both the mother who has to carry it to term and the suffering of a slow death for the newborn.

Do I think the mothers who abort are immoral, no, they made a difficult choice and it is not for me to judge them.

Do I believe morality and ethics are dying in the US.
After great consideration, I do feel that we have abandoned
all cornerstones of morality and have ventured into
morals and ethics being defined by the current popular culture.
Which has led in the past to disastrous results, ie. Nazi's.

Do I feel people are inherently moral and just know
how to be moral and ethical?
No, we are born selfish and
self-centered (we have to in order to survive).
And people will tend to find moral or ethical anything that
is self serving, and that scares me for society also.

Do I feel most people on ats are immoral, not at all.

I think the liberal/progressive movement wants to eliminate
all religion, yes.
I think they wish to convert the religious to their world view
of ethics and morals being defined by current culture.

I think all religions have a lot to offer.
Some have mentioned Buddists and Hindus, they
have as much to contribute to society as Judism
and Christianity and Mormonism etc. I believe
very strongly that having religious people in society
rather than trying to convert them to atheism,
is good for society as it causes people to think deeply
about issues of morality and ethics.

I believe that eliminating all religions entirely as many on
ATS want to do and convert them to atheism, is a huge
mistake as it removes from society another way of seeing
the world that challenges atheistic thinking.

I am not saying atheists are immoral, not all all. But to
eliminate everyone who disagrees with you, through
conversion is harmful to society in general as it stops
people from thinking and challenging and growing and
looking for the best rather than accepting what they
are told is right.

I know that I drive you and Krazy, and Heretic and Kay
absolutely crazy by challenging your thinking and
stretching your minds by looking at the possible
unintended consequences of a certain line of thought.
Because everyone MUST look at the unintended consequences
because just accepting a liberal/progressive/or
even conservative or even a religious
idea/ideal can be dangerous to
everyone without exploring the possible unintended
consequences.

So now I have been honest and you now know what you can expect
from me, I am an absurdist online.




edit on 3Mon, 24 Aug 2015 15:04:41 -0500pm82408pmk241 by grandmakdw because: spelling addition



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 01:45 PM
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The Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity is a maxim, ethical code or morality that essentially states either of the following: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself (directive form).en.m.wikipedia.org...

It crosses all religions and cultures and is basic common sense. It's been around as long as humans existed.



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 01:46 PM
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a reply to: grandmakdw


So now I have been honest and you now know what you can expect
from me, I am an absurdist online.


Huh!!!

Well, BLOW ME DOWN. I am astounded at that disclosure. Based on that, I guess we have more in common than you have recognized.

Just to let you know, though, it is hurtful to us sensitive souls who really are trying to reach out. We're not all "playing" at absurdity. I can play along, but since I just now know this, it's important that you realize that I have been sincere in my posts, and NOT PLAYING.

Have a good night. And, THANK YOU for the (loong-overdue) disclosure.

(hey, did you take the quiz? I'd LOVE it if you PM me with your results!)
edit on 8/24/2015 by BuzzyWigs because: (no reason given)







 
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