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Moral Decisions

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posted on May, 13 2010 @ 09:09 AM
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Originally posted by LordBucket
I thought I was clear: desire.

It is even more ambiguous, actually. Desire? Are you suggesting you would choose a young attractive women (person A) over your own mother (person B)? Aren't you denying the emotional attachment you would feel to person B? Also, shouldn't something like reason (saving a person raising two dependants) prevail over desire (a single, hot girl you would love to rescue-screw) in such a circumstance?


What? No, not at all. The thoughts of yesterday should not bind me today. Morality is an external system of rules some people use to short circuit their own free will.

But shouldn't the lessons of the past guide you in the actions you take in the future? Are you suggesting that every event is a concoction of random variables where we cannot apply past experience to solve? If so, then why do we have a memory system? Why is our brain designed to sense, collect and store information we are exposed to?

If you see morality as "an external system of rules some people use to short circuit their own free will", why do you not just steal things from stores that you want? Why not just kill other people that inconvenience you? Do you deny that you have a conscience? Do you think it is by chance that you have a conscience? Now, you will probably say "because I don't want to go to jail" or "suffer because I used my free will". But isn't that ultimately a moral decision you are making internally? Either I will allow myself to suffer or I will not?


I choose what I choose because I choose it. Not because I feel like I'm "supposed to" choose it.

And that is the basis of my message here. If you want to save the girl solely because you think she's pretty, that's your choice. If you want to save your friend over a stranger solely because he's your friend, so be it. But choosing someone (or something) you don't want simply because you allow this entirely artificial construct you call "morality" to impose itself upon you...is silly.

I think I better understand your message now. Thanks for elaborating on it. I agree with much of what you have said.



I find abhorrent the idea that people would choose based on fear of what others might think of them. Or based on fear of having to justify their choices to themselves later. Imagine someone choosing to save the life of a stranger over the life of a good friend solely because they don't want to live with the guilt of choosing based solely on a personal connection.

May I ask what your belief system is? I find it hard to believe that none of your actions are done so in the consideration that you will somehow experience consequences for the actions you take (whether that is judgement, karma, causality etc.) Again, if you do not believe in morality, then what is it that stops you from stealing, killing, assaulting etc.?



There's nothing wrong with making choices in accordance with your preference. Saving the life of a person you want to save is not the same a murdering someone you don't care about.

Let me ask you this: let's say there is a fireman who has arrived at the scene of an apartment building. He goes in and sees 4 cats and one woman lying on the ground. Since he is a keen animal lover, he decides to take all 4 kittens and head for his truck. On the way back for the woman, the house collapses and she is killed instantly. You find out that the woman was your sister. A firemen put the lives of 4 cats ahead of your own sister's life. Would you not hold a grudge against the fireman? In your eyes you might view his actions as murder of somebody he does not care about (your sister) so that he could save lives he does care about (the cats). How should your family respond to this? How should the law respond?

[edit on 13/5/2010 by Dark Ghost]




posted on May, 13 2010 @ 10:24 AM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 




Are you suggesting you would choose a young attractive women
(person A) over your own mother (person B)?


No, I'm saying that I wouldn't allow what was expected of me to make the decision for me. Perhaps I would choose the young attractive woman, or perhaps I would choose my mother...but whichever way I chose, it would be a deliberate choice, not because I felt "obligated" to the choice.



why do you not just steal things from stores that you want?
Why not just kill other people that inconvenience you?


Because I choose not to be the sort of person who does such things. As opposed to choosing not to out of fear of being caught, or fear of the consequences. I don't want to be a thief, so I am not. I don't want to be a murderer, so I am not. If I wanted to be, I would.



Do you deny that you have a conscience?


By "have a conscience" do you mean "do I punish myself in the now for decisions made in the past?" Well...sometimes yes. But in my case it's usually a matter of having said something clumsy and later realizing I could have said something far more elegant. For example...back in high school a girl once asked me if I was a thespian, and rather than admit I didn't know what the word meant, I tried to bluff...and came across as an idiot for it. I do sometimes pull that out and feel bad over the memory. But I perceive the "pulling out the past and feeling bad for it" as an unhealthy obesession. Not a defense mechanism for preventing me from "doing bad things."



you will probably say "because I don't want to go to jail"


No, that's exactly the opposite of what I would say.

Who would you rather be a room with, the person who really wants to rape and kill you, but is terrified of what might happen if they do, or a person who has absolutely no fear of the consequences for raping and murdering you...but has no desire to?

In my worldview, desire as a motivation is preferable to fear as a motivation.

And you, I predict will immediately ask the obvious followup question: would I rather be in a room with a person who wants to murder me but is afraid to, or a person who wants to murder me, and is not afraid to. And yes, of those two, I would rather be in the room with the person who is afraid to murder. But only because I am pursuing my own desire to not be murdered.

Again: desire as a motivation is preferable to fear as a motivation.



I find it hard to believe that none of your actions are done so in the consideration that you will somehow experience consequences


Well, you would be right. I do experience fear, and I do sometimes allow that fear to inhibit me from acting on my desires. But I perceive that fear as the problem, not the desire.



if you do not believe in morality, then what is it that
stops you from stealing, killing, assaulting etc.?


I don't want to do those things. If I did, I probably would.

Does that answer bother you? Then I ask again, would you rather be in the room with a person who wants to hurt you but is afraid to, or a person who has no fear of consequence, but also no desire to harm you?

Don't think of morality is a healthy means of preventing bad things from happening. If a sense of morality is all that prevents someone from acting on their desires...then they're the person in the room who wants to rape and murder you but is afraid to.



A firemen put the lives of 4 cats ahead of your own sister's life.


My initial reaction is to applaud him for his honesty. I recognize that his decision may be unfortunate for me, but I ask...how is it any different from him choosing the life of his own sister over mine? Or a stranger over mine? At what point would you say I should or should not be angry at him for his decision?

I can only judge his actions based on a value system. If you say that he "should" save the life of a woman over four kittens, upon what are you basing that? A value system.

Well, if he values the life of four kittens over the life of a stranger who happens to be my sister, how is that any different?



Would you not hold a grudge against the fireman?


Maybe I would. But maybe I would hold a grudge against him for saving the life of a thousand people I don't know over the life of one I care for.

But my grudge is not his problem.



you might view his actions as murder of somebody he does not care about (your sister)


No. It's definitely not murder. Even if he watches and does nothing, leaving both my sister and the kittens to die...it's still not murder.

One can never be obligated to action by external events. Obligation is something that may only be self-imposed.

[edit on 13-5-2010 by LordBucket]



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