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]