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Right from wrong, learned or natural?

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posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 01:02 AM
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Some religious people like to argue that with out religion how would a person know right from wrong? They think that you aren't born with knowing whats right and wrong that it has to be taught. While I don't know if it's taught or not I can assure you i'm not religious and I have a very strong sense of right and wrong and I was raised an atheist.



So my question, right and wrong, born with it or learned. Your thoughts?
edit on 5-3-2011 by XxRagingxPandaxX because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 01:10 AM
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reply to post by XxRagingxPandaxX
 
No one interested? lol



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 01:14 AM
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reply to post by XxRagingxPandaxX
 


I think it is a bit of both. A lot of guidance and taught morals and ethics can go a long way, but I also believe that some people just don't have a decent bone in their body, even if their parents are good moral people.

I have a friend whose 4 yr old is a holy terror. She is already stealing, completely pre-meditated. Her mother had scolded and tried to teach her what is wrong about it, but even when talking with her, the little girl looks at her mother like she could kill her, she swats at her mother, scares her mother (like hiding and not answering) and seems to enjoy deeply her mother's reactions. I hate to say it, but the child is evil or something. I kid you not. And she didn't get it from her parents, they are good and decent people, with much interest in seeing that the child gets help quickly. They have taken her to a doctor last week, to see about what medically can be done, and may be putting her into therapy sessions with a phsycologist as well.



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 01:18 AM
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reply to post by XxRagingxPandaxX
 


A think it is a combination of learned behaviour, natural instinct, and innate conscience.

Some of the learned behaviour may have also accumulated over the course of many lifetimes of reincarnation as a human, manifesting as particular tendencies, attractions and aversions in this present life.



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 01:19 AM
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reply to post by space cadet
 
hmmmmm interesting, ya there are just some terrible people out there, but there are many good ones




posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 01:21 AM
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reply to post by mysticnoon
 
ya I just think some things are universal, equality, love, compassion, etc.

Are you suggesting a Scientologist point of view or?



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 01:25 AM
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Right and wrong are byproducts of knowledge. When one is able to know something, he knows that thing in exclusion to something else. He thus makes a differentiation, and this is a completely natural and human trait, something animals do not share, atleast in regards to knowing and THEN reflecting on what is known.

In this way our reality is 3 dimensional. We look, or learn, reflect and then form an opinion. Animals, on the other hand, look and if its suits their instincts, respond. Thus its apt that such creatures walk on 4s, while humans with a quiet dignity walk erect, with the ability to choose freely. Thus, mans face is in the 'air' or spirit, whereas an animals head faces the ground, or earth/instinct. Its nature is different from ours. Likewise, water is different from fire. Waters nature is to descend, while fires nature is to ascend, yearning for the abstract.

Those who think conscience is unnatural are unconsciously trying to justify some desire they have. Whether that be for looser morals, or an outright disdain for everything patriarchial (and thus tradition). All i know is such people are incoherent and reason (which socialists, nazis and liberals seem to disdain) is not on their side.

This a popular view nowadays because the radical progressives, liberals, and new age culture imported from the east (buddhism/hinduism) has made these ideas 'trendy'. Not so long ago a large portion of the world thought communism was the "it" thing. Times change, and opinions change. But one thing that is Human, that is divinely bestowed, and NOT created, and thus cannot be altered without severely perverting the human form, is free will.

There are those who worship power and the will to power. These one choose to ignore the reality of their evil, and insidious influence. Fortunately, the 'universe' will not ignore their actions, or their profoundly selfish and fascistic imposition of their power on others.

The bible teaches 10 commandments, all of which are perfectly practical and weonderfully simple. They are not abstract philosophical opinions, which seem to have no practical advice, but laws of conduct between G-d and man (the first 5) and man and man (the last 5). They teach man in a profoundly insightful and intuitional way that actions are more important than words. The means, is the way to achieve the end. Evil, will only produce evil.



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 01:29 AM
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As an atheist, wouldn't you describe right and wrong in terms of actions which benefit or harm you and or your offsprings survival? And for nature or nuture wouldn't these actions be dictated by ones cells and genes and dna as it has developed over several million years causing one to be capable of teaching ones young the proper actions to take for their survival?



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 01:29 AM
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reply to post by space cadet
 


If the parents are smart they'll seek some spiritual source for help. Doctors, and psychologists, although sometimes helpful, tend to complicate things.

Her issue she seems to be one that is very rooted in her being; in her unconscious nature. She has to awaken to a reality that is beyond herself and her own desires. NO HUMAN BEING is permanently beyond the truth of good and evil. A simple intellectual understanding of the matter is all that is needed. With understanding, comes an emotional appreciation of the intellectual truth. If not immediately, eventually.

I was very different as a child than i am today. One can change and no person is completely evil, especially at that age. Although, i do admit that there are many people who are evil and willfully so. Even despite the fact that they understand that what they do is evil. In this case, whether they know it or not, they are the living incarnation of a very evil archetypal reality.



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 01:30 AM
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reply to post by dontreally
 
well as far as the 10 commandments go it mentions nothing about rape which I think is bad.... and besides that it says he's a jealous god, and god is perfect so jealousy isn't bad? I don't think so...



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 01:42 AM
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reply to post by XxRagingxPandaxX
 


Well, the word for jealous in the bible also has the connotation of zealous.

Forget what you think you know about the bible (im not saying you havent read it. fundamentally, the bible cannot be properly understood outside of Hebrew). The ten commandments give clear unambiguous rules for how one should conduct himself in his affairs.

As for rape, the 10 commandments implicitly prohibtis that.

Thou shalt not sleep with thy neighbors wife, definitely implies that if one shouldnt sleep with another mans wife, all the more so, he shouldnt forcibly have sex with an unconsenting woman. Its an A Fortiori principle in Jewish ethics.

Also as for jealousy itself. I think in the context of marriage, jealously can be a good thing. When a man is jealous for his wife, it actually strengthens his longing and desire for his wife, therebye directing his attention away from other woman.

In this sense, jealousy is good and natural. An unhealuthy jealousy would be one that creates conflict and disharmony. But if both understand the value that jealousy can have in the relationship, this emotion can be utilized towards a positive end.



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 01:51 AM
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reply to post by dontreally
 
Okay number one your right about the Hebrew thing, but then you go on to mention that the 10 commandments are very clear; some of it isn't. like though shall not kill? or thou shall not murder? There is a difference murder is killing without the condoning of authority, for example the death sentence isn't murder because the law carries it out, thats how the jew interpret it, but thou shall not kill is entirely different, so which is correct? I don't know. Also I had a good laugh about you trying to tie in rape to the 10 commandments, it's not in there! Just because you have sex with another mans wife does not mean it's rape, she could have wanted it, it does specifically not mention rape, along with abuse of children, racism, sexism, slavery, and torturing others among other things.



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 01:51 AM
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reply to post by XxRagingxPandaxX
 


If a sense or rightness or wrongness were inate and biological, there would be no need for systems like religion or philosophy to attempt to guide our behaviour away from wrongness (non preferable) and rightness. (preferable) Since a plant reacts automatically to sustain itself from its enviroment, it does not need a nutritionist to advise in on what nutrients to absorb in order to live. Similarly, if humans knew innately the distinction between good and evil, no systems of thought would be required in order to behave 'rightly'.

Thus right and wrong arrise from mans unique ability to act against his own best interest. Beyond his basic instincual programming of 'if hungry, eat.' or 'if thirsty, drink', man has no innate or inborn guide that might act as a feedback mechanism against 'wrong' or immoral behaviour. If he did, we would expect humans to act morally universally, as anyone who did not would be subject to his own overriding negative feedback. This is obviously not the case as immorality, in our current world, is almost universal. The most horrible crimes are not only not punished, but rewarded in todays world. (see GWB2 getting a heafty pension and a library named after him to boot after murdering over a million people) If morality and good behaviour were innate, we would not expect this to be the case.

If innate morality is eliminated then, but goodness and moral behaviour surely exist, where does it come from? And what it its nature? What is good, and what is evil? Basically the most ancient and fundamental question posed by humans since ancient times. Billions have died over this question. Here is one philosophers crack at it: (not mine)

Stephan Molenuex

Understanding Universally Preferable Behavior
Here is how I understood the chain of reasoning. I am mostly taking this from the book, and injecting my own thoughts where I deem appropriate:

1. Reality is composed of objects in the universe, all of which have certain natures, meaning certain specific, and delimitable inputs on them and certain interactions between them yield certain specific, and delimitable outputs (events). These events are, all other things being equal, reproducible or consistent.

2. Logic is the set of objective and consistent rules derived from the consistency of reality:

- Identity: A = A – An object/event is that object/event and not another object/event. A rock on earth is that rock on earth, and not a tree at the same time.

- Non-Contradiction: A AND non-A is false – A proposition that states that something is a thing/event and not that thing/event at the same time is always false. A thing can’t be a tree and not a tree at the same time. An apple can’t fall downward and upward at the same time.

- Excluded middle: A OR non-A is true – A proposition about a thing/event is either true or false. A thing is either an apple or not an apple. An apple either falls down or doesn’t fall down. There is nothing in-between.

3. Validity: A human’s statement about objective reality is a theory. A theory that complies with the 3 laws of logic is valid.

4. Accuracy: A theory that is confirmed by observable evidence in reality is considered accurate.

5. Truth: A theory that is both valid and accurate is true.

6. Preference is the level at which a human being places the desire to perform an action in relation to the desire to perform other actions at any given moment in time. For example at nighttime one prefers sleeping over running. But on the next morning one may prefer running to sleeping. Preferences only exist in people’s minds, meaning they are subjective. Observable human actions, however, are the objective manifestations of subjective preferences. When someone can be observed running then he is showing by his very action that he set out to run because he preferred the act to that of sleeping.

7. Preferable Behavior:When somebody says that some other human being should prefer one thing over another he is making a statement about preferable behavior.

8. Universally Preferable Behavior: When somebody says that all people at all times and at all places should prefer one thing over another, then he is making a statement about universally preferable behavior (UPB). In short: UPB is any behavior that all humans at all times and at all places should follow. Arguing against the conceptual existence of UPB requires engaging in a debate. But once someone engages in a debate to convince another person, he inevitably implies that all people at all times and at all places should rather prefer truth to falsehood. Once he starts advancing arguments and reasons as to why he is right, then on top of that he affirms that everyone should base his beliefs on universal standards of validity and accuracy. He also affirms that using the same language as your conversation partner is universally preferable. It is impossible to attempt to refute UPB without affirming it in the process. Thus the act of debating and arguing implicitly and inevitably affirms the conceptual existence of UPB.

(I would actually suggest that the commonly known term “Ethics” is a good substitute for the word “UPB”. Molyneux, meanwhile, equates “Ethics” to “Morality”. This is just about semantics, but it does seem to make sense to me and it helps put existing terminologies into context with this new approach.)

9. Morality is defined as all rules about universally preferable behavior where avoidance of the inflicted effects of at least one of the choices would require the use of violence or considerable effort, for example “It is universally preferable to refrain from murder.”

10. Aesthetics is defined as all rules about universally preferable behavior where the inflicted effects of all presented choices can be avoided without the use of violence and without considerable effort, for example “It is universally preferable to be on time.”

11. The UPB Framework is the process of examining the truth (validity+accuracy) of moral and aesthetic rules. This means that, just as physical or mathematical theories, any true ethical theory needs to be logically consistent (valid) and empirically verifiable (accurate).



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 01:53 AM
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reply to post by XxRagingxPandaxX
 
What about thou shall not worship graven images, the catholic version of the bible's 10 commandments doesn't mention that!



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 01:59 AM
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reply to post by Neo_Serf
 
wow, very well written, i'm impressed



However could one not argue that everyone has an inner voice of what is right and wrong but some choose to ignore it? Not saying this is my opinion just saying is not a legit argument?



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 02:08 AM
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reply to post by XxRagingxPandaxX
 





There is a difference murder is killing without the condoning of authority, for example the death sentence isn't murder because the law carries it out, thats how the jew interpret it, but thou shall not kill is entirely different, so which is correct


When one commits murder, he should be tried, and if convicted of the act, should himself be killed. That to me is perfectly sensible and just. A murderer doesnt deserve to continue living. The bible also makes exception to those who killed unintentionally. In that case, theyre permitted to live in a city of refuge.




I don't know. Also I had a good laugh about you trying to tie in rape to the 10 commandments, it's not in there!


The latter 5 commandments deal with five areas in human society that are fundamentally different.

5. Honor thy father and mother = Respect for Elders and Tradition
6. Do not murder = Respect for Life
7. Do not commit adultery = Respect for Sexuality
8. Do not steal = Respect for Property
9. Do not bear false witness against your neighbor = Respect for your Fellow
10. Thou shalt not covet = Respect for Yourself

The final commandment, thou shalt not covet, is very similar to eastern ideas of not to desire. Desire is good when directed to wholesome and productive ends, but some desire leads to ones subsequent enslavement to those very desires.

Anyways. I dont want to derail your thread. Its clear you dont like the Bible very much, atleast what you think you know of it. I only mentioned the 10 commandments because they are the basic reason for why man , western man particularly, has endeavored to live a more moral life.



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 02:17 AM
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A new baby? A new chance to teach this baby good or evil. A clean slate, on which we all write distortions.

Unfortunately, we all brainwash our kids into our own beliefs and values.

Then that baby turns into a teenager and challenges our beliefs - just as well!

A child is a precious gift, and a huge burden - unfortunately most of us manage to screw up our chances, at that beginning.

But the baby is born human, and therefore not perfect.

I think nurture is stronger than nature.



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 02:18 AM
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reply to post by dontreally
 




Weak, I like many morals the bible presents but I think it causes mass delusion and that is never good. Also, o yea western man has done a great job striving to follow the morals of the bible, crusades, countless religious wars, killing and or enslaving every indigenous population it runs in to, punishing the Jews for things they had nothing to do with, etc. ya Christianity has done so much good for western culture.



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 02:44 AM
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Originally posted by dontreally
reply to post by XxRagingxPandaxX
 


Well, the word for jealous in the bible also has the connotation of zealous.

Forget what you think you know about the bible (im not saying you havent read it. fundamentally, the bible cannot be properly understood outside of Hebrew). The ten commandments give clear unambiguous rules for how one should conduct himself in his affairs.

As for rape, the 10 commandments implicitly prohibtis that.

Thou shalt not sleep with thy neighbors wife, definitely implies that if one shouldnt sleep with another mans wife, all the more so, he shouldnt forcibly have sex with an unconsenting woman. Its an A Fortiori principle in Jewish ethics.

Also as for jealousy itself. I think in the context of marriage, jealously can be a good thing. When a man is jealous for his wife, it actually strengthens his longing and desire for his wife, therebye directing his attention away from other woman.

In this sense, jealousy is good and natural. An unhealuthy jealousy would be one that creates conflict and disharmony. But if both understand the value that jealousy can have in the relationship, this emotion can be utilized towards a positive end.


You said the Ten Commandments were clear and unambiguous and then immediately 'interpreted' the word 'sleep' to imply 'have sex with'. You also said earlier that our 'Jealous' God could be interpreted as Zealous. Hardly clear and unambiguous when the interpretations have to commence within your opening statement is it? Then you twist on interpretations of 'Jealousy' to indicate that it can be a good thing - tell that to the MILLIONS of women who are beaten every night by a jealous husband. Sure there might be a Joe Bloggs or Josephine Bloggs who finds that a tiny wee touch of jealousy strengthens their longing and desire but when weighed against the destruction and human suffering jealousy causes I would hardly be rushing to make it compulsory. So which is it? Jealousy = good or Jealousy = bad? I'm fairly well versed in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic and I can assure you the The Torah or the Pentateuch as well as the Old Testament can indeed be translated with a good degree of accuracy, and the New Testament is even easier to appreciate in English (I Can't speak for other languages). Granted there are some real historical oddities in there (None more so than Proper Names ascribed to God and the gender implicit in them) but Jewish Scholars and Theologians themselves scratch each others eyes out over the meanings currently ascribed to them. So anyone who 'Professes' to know with certainty is walking a very fine line - which brings us back to the OP's question.

One has to define what you are dealing with - So what is right? What is Wrong? They can only be defined in terms of our innate sense of Morality/Justice both of which are problematic as once again they have to be defined and within which frame of reference? A cultural one? A racial one? A gender driven one?

The innate within us you would think would lead to a Universal sense of right and wrong - it doesn't. Ask anyone if killing another human being is justified in anything other than self defence and they will generally say 'No'. And yet we do it daily. Throw a uniform on a soldier and tell him he's fighting the 'right' fight in Iraq or Afghanistan, and off he'll go to kill as many of the guys in the 'wrong' as he possibly can. We execute murderers in cold blood - so the idea that there is an innate, universally agreed sense of justice or right and wrong just doesn't stand up to scrutiny as all of the above behaviours are contested by many, many people.

We are driven to decide what is right and wrong within the framework of our own cultures - for example, the God of the Bible commanded the Jews to kill any woman or child who had 'lain' with a man - but those who had not could be kept by the soldiers themselves for their own gratification. He allowed his soldiers to 'lie' with children (Numbers 31: 17,18) Would you therefore say that was a Universal right of 'Good' people today? No of course you wouldn't.

Let's step out of the Bible for a moment and just look at a social behaviour which has changed over the years and encompasses right and wrong. Just over 100 years ago Sicilian women when making a ferry trip to the mainland would suckle the penises of their male children if they became upset during the ferry crossing. There was nothing sexual about this - it was their practical way of dealing with a wailing baby - at the time and within the culture it was 'right' - It's not right today. But you can't lambast them back then for their cultural practices and beliefs - the behaviour is only wrong today because we have developed a whole new set of mores, values and beliefs within which such behaviour would get you ten years in jail and placed on a register for life.

Society moves, it does not stand still, it develops, hell sometimes it even falls back a bit but it is never static - the sense of right and wrong has to move with it - and is defined by what is learned, understood and expected within the boundaries of any given time and culture. IMHO

Oz


edit on 5-3-2011 by Ozscot because: (no reason given)

edit on 5-3-2011 by Ozscot because: typo



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 02:50 AM
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reply to post by Ozscot
 


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