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The Source Of Morality: Euthyphro's Dilemma

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posted on Jan, 12 2011 @ 10:46 PM
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"Morality" is just our an extension of our instinct to preserve the species, we are a group animal after all so it makes sense we'd evolve to cooperate.
Of course we evolved for interspecies competition as well, so violence against other people will seem justifiable, at the moment and under stressful enough circumstances. Won't necessarily seem justifiable to onlookers who can't fully comprehend what motivated a person to do something #ed, and who aren't even supposed to able to. Enraging yourself beyond control at will isn't something most people do so it hasn't exactly been favored by natural selection




posted on Jan, 12 2011 @ 11:29 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by didact
It's a good question, why don't we just all slaughter each other and take what we want when we want it? Most people have a sense of morality...where did it come from, did it evolve?


Indeed, where did it come from. I have a good idea where it came from, but I'm interested in where YOU think morality came from.


We perceive morality as if we are the true source to morality. Because we each have our own mind that perceive reality from different observation points. We have the ability to observe other moral beings and have thoughts about their morality or behaviour.

Some think that our morality are instincts we have obtained through time "experiance" to be able to co exist with the time we live in.



edit on 27.06.08 by spy66 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 12 2011 @ 11:33 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 12:41 AM
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reply to post by Purushottama
 


I agree with that.

But I wonder. If given a long enough time line would any cultures morality evolve into some universally fundamental set of morals.

Are inherently immoral behaviors weeded out over time, while inherently moral behaviors are achieved over time?
We do not necessarily know how to identify an immoral behavior as opposed to moral behaviors and vice versa. Perhaps, Idealistic traditions hinder the evolution of morality.

At any rate, culture heavily influences our morality.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 12:45 AM
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If morality is something inherent in the laws of the universe. Does that suggest intelligent life was meant to be? Since it takes a creature with a certain level of cognition and memory skills to even consider these ideas.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 02:49 AM
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Originally posted by Marulo
If morality is something inherent in the laws of the universe. Does that suggest intelligent life was meant to be? Since it takes a creature with a certain level of cognition and memory skills to even consider these ideas.


Well morality is measured by the choices we make. If you dont exist you dont have to worry about morality and moral values. Because you are not a part of the equation.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 10:00 AM
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It's been interesting to see the various viewpoints.

Not to introduce anything too technical, but the Kantian "Categorical Imperative" is a useful notion, in my opinion, that may help narrow things down. Kant basically proposed a "means" of judging moral actions, by asking us to imagine what the consequences would be, if the action was a universal law. An easy way to see what he's talking about might be to think about a person who is always "taking" (let's say from the system). Obviously, if everyone did this, you wouldn't have anything left to take! Therefore, this general action ("taking") could not be moral, as judged in this manner. Common sense I guess.

What this implies is another notion, usually referred to a "enlightened self-interest". Theists may not encounter some of these arguments, but atheists do, precisely because they do not appeal to a "god" as source for their morality.

SO, putting it together, we might say that human nature could be broadly regarded as a "source" (at least provisionally speaking), and in the above case, the enlightened self-interest highlights the faculty of "reason" particularly.

The other part of human nature is probably best labelled as "emotional", and it can't be ignored for a complete picture of course. This is where "empathy" is generally seen to play a role. Our "programming" is such that we are able to see the "other" as reflections of ourselves, and we act accordingly. Golden Rule.

So, where does that leave theists? God is the programmer of course!

But after considering the above points, considering the possibility that reason is indeed involved (and together with the empathetic function, could even be considered "sufficient") in the process of formulating what society ends up calling "moral", considering that we see "ourselves" in others, it could all boil down to "true self-interest" (when put in the highest context). Which seems to squeeze out the need for a "law giver".

Does this point to relativism? Yes, and no. I think that Kant was successful in showing that you could "test" moral actions for "moralness". But this doesn't mean there is an "absolute" per se, it would just be a reflection of reason and logic being applied to the given situation.

Interestingly, seen from this direction, the absence of an "absolute" does NOT then automatically default to true "relativism", because we would be far from speaking of the arbitrary "morality" so often propped up as a straw man by theists.

Is such a "naturalistic" view enough?

JR



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 10:36 AM
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Originally posted by JR MacBeth
But after considering the above points, considering the possibility that reason is indeed involved (and together with the empathetic function, could even be considered "sufficient") in the process of formulating what society ends up calling "moral", considering that we see "ourselves" in others, it could all boil down to "true self-interest" (when put in the highest context). Which seems to squeeze out the need for a "law giver".


We do "see ourselves" in others, but in general, some rules of morality and ethics break down once we look beyond the small groups we're a part of. Some modern scientists now believe that humans cohabitated in groups of approximately 150 and general morality evolved out of guidelines which served as preservation of these groups. These groups did compete with each other for resources and rules such as not killing, for example, didn't apply whilst "at war", or competing. Morality is much more complex that many realize and cannot easily be reduced to simply being sourced to the divine.

On another note, I'm quite surprised to NOT see the usual barrage of ATS theists I've seen before who absolutely insist that morality is exclusively provided by god(s).



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 10:52 AM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
On another note, I'm quite surprised to NOT see the usual barrage of ATS theists I've seen before who absolutely insist that morality is exclusively provided by god(s).


They're all busy arguing about whether masturbation is a sin


Actually, your thread is in the "philosophy" forum, which I suppose a lot of them don't read. Given the nature of the question, I guess it's a toss up between whether it is one of philosophy or religion, but you'd have had more input from theists if it was in the "religion" forum.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 11:18 AM
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Originally posted by adjensen
They're all busy arguing about whether masturbation is a sin





Actually, your thread is in the "philosophy" forum, which I suppose a lot of them don't read. Given the nature of the question, I guess it's a toss up between whether it is one of philosophy or religion, but you'd have had more input from theists if it was in the "religion" forum.


Unfortunately, the OP topic isn't a "conspiracy in religion" and the "Religion" forum resides in BTS. This seemed to be the best place for it to avoid having it moved to BTS, where threads go to die.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 11:25 AM
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reply to post by Marulo
 





If morality is something inherent in the laws of the universe. Does that suggest intelligent life was meant to be? Since it takes a creature with a certain level of cognition and memory skills to even consider these ideas.


"Morality" can also be seen in other social creatures.

Farley Mowat reported seeing a wolf pack leader repeatedly discipline a pup for hurting the other pups. When that did not work the leader snapped the pup's neck.

I also witnessed something similar.
The stable where I kept my large pony mare had about 20 horses out together in a large area. N+1 piles of hay were put out so all could eat. In this herd, a bully would drive an older pony away from every pile of hay she went to. I witnessed my pony mare intentionally stand between the bully (a large horse) and the bottom of the rung pony so she could eat in peace. If the bully tried to go after the old pony my mare would block him. (Surprised the heck out of me!)

"Morality" is relative and based on the society.

Different "God[s] have "given" different sets of "Morality" to different societies. The reason the different codes of "Morality" are similar is because over time "Morality" would be refined into the set of codes that is the optimal for the continuation of society. Less optimal codes would become extinct because they did not provide the people using that set of codes with an edge in the fight for survival.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 12:05 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
the "Religion" forum resides in BTS. This seemed to be the best place for it to avoid having it moved to BTS, where threads go to die.


Since the changeover that effectively wiped out BTS, I think that the religion forum is somewhat better utilized, though, you're right, it doesn't get the traffic of some of the other forums. Result is that, in this forum, you'll get some theists, like me, who don't necessarily see religion as being limited to... well... religion, but those who aren't interested in philosophy probably don't subscribe to this forum and never saw the thread.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 12:09 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen

Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
the "Religion" forum resides in BTS. This seemed to be the best place for it to avoid having it moved to BTS, where threads go to die.


Since the changeover that effectively wiped out BTS, I think that the religion forum is somewhat better utilized,


Wow! Thanks, adjensen! I'm either not very observant or accustomed to the old way (or both), but I hadn't noticed that forum until you pointed it out. Thank you very kindly, sir.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 12:22 PM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer

Originally posted by adjensen

Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
the "Religion" forum resides in BTS. This seemed to be the best place for it to avoid having it moved to BTS, where threads go to die.


Since the changeover that effectively wiped out BTS, I think that the religion forum is somewhat better utilized,


Wow! Thanks, adjensen! I'm either not very observant or accustomed to the old way (or both), but I hadn't noticed that forum until you pointed it out. Thank you very kindly, sir.


No worries. Like I said, it's the same forum as before, just organized a bit differently, and somewhat better attended than the BTS equivalent.

And now you can weigh in on important issues like this!



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 12:41 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Oohhhhh my goodness

That actually DESERVES to be in BTS



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 05:06 PM
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Morality is a human conception, and therefore not nessecarily created by "God". And if the universe had a concious diety running it on a daily basis, such a diety would be above such human conceptions. We think we know good from evil, and wrong from right, and in our arrogance we assume that these ideas are universal in nature. But just because we say they are doen't make them so.

Religon often speaks of "God's Divine Plan", and I actually agree with this idea. Not that I believe in a sentient being that lords over the universe. Rather, I think the entire universe works in perfect harmony. Things are the way they are because they must be that way.

Would we know Good if there was no such thing as Evil?
Would we know Right if there was no such thing as Wrong?
Would we know Pleasure if there was no such thing as Pain?

These concepts give us a frame of reference. Examples throughout history of good and evil allow us to build our own ideas on these concepts. But if Evil had never existed, we would not know Good. And if sadness had never occured in the history of the world, we would not truly know or appreciate what it means to be happy. Life is neither black or white, but an elegant shade of grey. Life is balance, and on some funadmental level, I think the universe knows what it's doing.


GtkP



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 08:15 PM
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What if God is just a concept of all that is? What if there is no good and evil "Do as thou will"? What if we are God in one collective consciousness of the all?

From my own thinkings of anything at all, when i get to its very orgin there comes paradox. I just explain the paradox as an example.

Your wandering through a forest and are lost. You didn't know where water, food, or anything else was. You stumble apon and mountain and climb it. On top you see more than you seen below.

This applies to the multidimensional theory. A paradox is from the 5D where all possibilities and infinite outcomes exist before you. From our perspective we can't see it, because its infinite. Try imagining a die with infinite number. You can't. From a 5D perspective however, you can.

Infinity within a Finite Space.

Because of these infinite possbilities and infinite outcomes there is no good or evil. There are counter parts but paradoxically they are similiar in the simple fact they are opposite of each other. God and evil, opposites but not really opposite in the fact they both explain morality and that is a similarity.

Instead of defining what is good and what is evil, just look at is as a whole and see it as it is.



posted on Jan, 27 2011 @ 03:49 PM
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reply to post by crimvelvet
 


I consider all life to be intelligent to a certain degree.

However, obviously (as it appears) a single celled organism is not as intelligent as us.

I intended to encompass all life with that statement, not just humans.



posted on Feb, 13 2011 @ 08:02 PM
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exactly which God are we talking about here ? Shiva, YHWH, Allah, Huitzilopochtli, Dagda, Pangu, Amun, Zeus, Ashur, Æsir-Vanir, Svarog, or the self deity ?



posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 07:47 AM
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I think morality and codes of conduct are best measured by thier results. If the world is chaotic and painful, and we obey a certain set of pre-defined moralistic constructs, then we can assume that our morality is false, and thus, either there is no God, or, that we obtained our morality from a false one. However, there is still the chance that God could "flip the script" and turn reality against us no matter what we do, and only create a positive reality when we do whatever he says. In that case, if the reality is positive and without suffering, then we do not have much to worry about, however, if we obey God and things still go awry, then we can assume that God is just a cruel overlord.

I think the problem with the God arguement is that we all instinctivley assume a big white man with a beard and sandals that is especially bossy, and as an irony, this small "belief" in God is what produces strongly atheistic beliefs in people, as they are secretly "rebelling" to the idea of God that they have in thier minds. Those that have not been introduced to the concept of God in the first place would have a more pure perspective on the matter.

My idea? There is a God, just not the God that we all seem to "believe" in, as well as many other "imposters" pretending to be God, because in essence, we are all Gods emissaries, and those that proclaim themselves to be Gods emissaries must come up with a complex set of excuses as to why we are not, and they are. At the top of the list are those claiming to be "prophets" then those claiming to be "enlightened" and then all the others that make some implicit claim about their perceived spiritual superiority, gaining a sense of "higher" from a deep-seated sense of seeing others as "lower".
edit on 14-2-2011 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)




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