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Is there a such thing as true morality? Or is it made up?

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posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 06:01 AM
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Someone was saying that if you "cheat' on your wife; you'll feel "guilt" because certain morals are "embedded" within us (by God or nature if you don't believe in a God). Anyway, what about religions that believe in polygamy, many wives? Obviously there is nothing inside of them making them feel "guilt" if they believe that this is the way it should be - divine - natural.

Is morality just relative to the religions and society we grew up in? Is there really no "good" or "evil"?


Even if we define "good" as "beneficial (productive)" and evil as "destructive (harmful)", what would justify that actually being TRUE morality?

If something is unhealthy why should that be considered "evil"? Why should cigarettes be considered "evil" just for being healthy?

To some people "good" is "whatever feel good/right" and "bad" is "whatever feels bad/wrong", but isn't that circular logic?

If we don't like something we could just say "this is unwanted" or "this is wanted" or even "this is healthy" or "this is unhealthy" but why must we attach "good" and "bad" as to seemingly give our preferences some authority?

Why is "life" considered "good" and "death" considered "bad"? If a tornado happens is that "bad"?

Things are just happening...
edit on 28-8-2012 by arpgme because: (no reason given)

edit on 28-8-2012 by arpgme because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 06:31 AM
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Oscar Wilde put it best

"Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike."



posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 06:39 AM
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Basically... Morality should be based off intentions and the result of our actions.


People need to stop being so objective and start being a little more rational.

If you intend to do right then that's all that matters; but at the same time try to produce an outcome where no one feels hurt by the situation. Sure some people are just almost genetically butthurt about everything anyone says, but try to be sensitive to it.

EDIT: And the answer to your "good vs bad" question.. No such thing.. Yin and Yang. It's all an illusion of the mind; but yet the perception of it exists, thus it exists in some manner.
edit on 8/28/2012 by JELLYWAX because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 07:21 AM
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reply to post by JELLYWAX
 


It only exists as an idea, not as an absolute. If it was, it would always been wrong to kill but armies, and victims who call for the death penalty do not feel that way... It is all relative.



posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 07:25 AM
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reply to post by arpgme
 



Originally posted by arpgme
Is morality just relative to the religions and society we grew up in? Is there really no "good" or "evil"?


I would say Yes to that question. Morality is relative to the "life context" of a person. When we are born and grow up, we are taught to have a certain context about life. We learn attitudes, beliefs and opinions about the world and life. That context dictates our morals.

There is no Universal "good" and "bad", everything just is. We label things as "good" and "bad" because it allows us, on a very base level, to feel "good" when we choose the "good" things. If I see that someone has killed a dog, I can feel "good" about myself, because that action is "bad" and I would never do that action. Therefore, I am "good".

That's my opinion, anyway.


I really like how you've presented the question. Very clear.



posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 07:42 AM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


Thats a simple way of putting it, only you should add that one persons morality is always most certainly different than anothers. So we group together with those who feel the same about morality as we do...say a band of thieves or a gang of prostitutes or a bunch of nuns......we all group with those who share the same base of morality. So no one sense of it is actually right or wrong...but how we percieve that which we are willing to let slide on principals that are alike in nature.

A thief would never confront another thief for stealing....a monk might, but not another thief.

I guess it really depends on your definition of such....and how far that grey area goes within the constraints of your personal morality.



posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 07:44 AM
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Here is what I wrote on the subject in another thread, to someone who believed that morals come from a god, and that without that god and the morals he gave us, we would kill, steal lie destroy and have sex with anyone we see.. He challenged me to explain how morals could come from a natural source.

"Of course morals are subjective, but what you seem to ignore is that we are all members of the same species, and because of that fact, we share a certain number of things.
To start, we share the same brain, with the same functions. Have you ever heard about empathy, or mirror neurons ? It's what enables us to feel inside us what others may feel inside them, it's what enables us also to learn through imitating, mimicking. Everything you listed is completely explainable within the natural world, without having to resort to a magical being.
There's no "good" or "evil", but there is only suffering/pain and well-being. "Do to others as you would have them do to you" is human philosophy, and not divine commandment. It is human philosophy derived from biological constraints.

Besides, and just for the fun, in a war it is acceptable to kill someone, you can even become a "hero" for doing so. It is acceptable to kill, lie, steal, destroy, if the "others" are considered enemies, so thanks to the subjective and geometrically variable nature of morals. Also, we have seen tribes where "having sex with anyone you see" is morally acceptable and even encouraged. "



posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 08:01 AM
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reply to post by Kastogere
 


Agreed. If you look at the political issues of today (like marriage equality and personal freedom), we can see different morals from people who were raised in very similar circumstances. What we learn throughout life, from our individual experiences, adds to what we learned as children and our morals can change. All the input we receive in life has the possibility of influencing our individual morality.

That is why I believe that morality cannot be legislated, aside from the morals that keep a society functional, like murder, theft, assault, etc.

edit on 8/28/2012 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 08:05 AM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


Very spot on....good post...another star senor'!



posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 08:20 AM
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reply to post by arpgme
 


There are some aspects of morality that are absolute true whatever the context, note that morality only makes sense when it is the base line of a significative number, not even the absolute majority, of the population.

It is like stating that someone is crazy, we can argue that everyone is crazy, or that only the crazy people are really experiencing reality, the same is true to the what is morally acceptable.

Morality has also a very close relation between good and evil, that is the contrast or bipolarity is more significant than the specific border line, true evil and true good is more important to identify than the gray border line. In biological terms and that is what I would define as the base line of morality if defaults to pain and pleasure, you do not like pain and you seek pleasure all subsequent decisions are done only as optimizations on those motivators.

I'm sure than you are looking at the pleasure motivation and thinking well I can see several pleasuring things that would be morally wrong, in that concept you are forgetting that morality makes only sense in a social context (even if most of us would refute that notion, when put in daring situations, especially if you are alone you would find yourself making pretty amoral decisions if you were forced to opt, even if you would be internally rewarded by sticking to a good morality). You can probably rationalize away moral guidelines since the compass is your own conscience...



posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 09:41 AM
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Originally posted by Panic2k11

There are some aspects of morality that are absolute true whatever the context


Such as? I know later on you said that "Pleasure" is good and "Pain" is bad, well what happens when someone takes pleasure in giving another pain? Is that now "bad"? Why?

If you say it is bad because it is going against another's will, then it is not absolute, you added an exception...



Originally posted by Panic2k11
In biological terms and that is what I would define as the base line of morality if defaults to pain and pleasure, you do not like pain and you seek pleasure all subsequent decisions are done only as optimizations on those motivators.


But why should we call "pleasure" - "good" and "pain" - "bad"? Why not just call it what it is - pain and pleasure?

What is the justification of calling something "good" or "bad"?



posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 10:11 AM
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I can certainly think of situations where pleasure would be considered a "bad" thing, and pain a "good" thing.

One who takes pleasure in having sex without consent, for example. And some pain could be a warning sign that the body is giving us to get something checked out.

I won't go into other definitions of "good pain".



posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 10:35 AM
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reply to post by arpgme
 



In my view, "morality" is the label used for the behaviour of the individual in a community of other individuals. How one conducts themselves in the community will show whether they are being morally thoughtful, or not. For those individuals who do not wish to think morally, communities create "laws". All laws are disputable, therefore the community may create some type of justice system.

Morality must be learned, therefore one may be quite ignorant when it comes to moral understanding, while others may be quite sophisticated. Experiencing and contemplating your freedom, and the freedom of others appears to be the most direct way of apprehending moral thought.

The words, "good", and "bad", are expressions of personal values, and don't necessarily stand well as clearly understandable terms, especially when a context is appropriated.





posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 10:49 AM
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reply to post by trysts
 


I agree with you that morality beyond what is painful or enjoyable for oneself is built upon a learning process but one can be moral without any external dependency, after all beyond those basic motivators there is nothing that would erode the consistency of what has been learned as moral behavior.

Moral guides decisions toward self and others. Moral beyond the primal motivators is dependent on empathy.



posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 11:09 AM
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Originally posted by Panic2k11
reply to post by trysts
 


I agree with you that morality beyond what is painful or enjoyable for oneself is built upon a learning process but one can be moral without any external dependency, after all beyond those basic motivators there is nothing that would erode the consistency of what has been learned as moral behavior.

Moral guides decisions toward self and others. Moral beyond the primal motivators is dependent on empathy.


Hi, Panic2k11.
I think we differ, in that I don't think morality has any purpose in a situation where the individual is not interacting with other Beings. I think the purpose of morality is a way of thought and conduct when in a community of Others. Therefore, moral thought is not based upon my private joys or pains(though they are definitely "guides" in empathy, rather than, "primal motivators"). Did I read you correctly, or did I misinterpret you?



posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 11:11 AM
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reply to post by arpgme
 




I know later on you said that "Pleasure" is good and "Pain" is bad, well what happens when someone takes pleasure in giving another pain? Is that now "bad"? Why?


I do not particularly said it was good or bad only identified the primal motivators for any sentient action, as a living being you seek pleasure and avoid pain, these thresholds are defined in the self but can be extended to a majority of individuals (seeking and avoiding the same things). A retrograde process would constitute an aberration or abnormal behavior and is often sanctioned by society in an act of self preservation of the group. Interestingly enough I defend that the occurrence and existence of aberrant behaviors are (or have been) necessary in the overall evolution of human societies (or derived from necessary exception processes).

Sex for instance as the source of all of us is a simple example of how morality evolves and is shaped not only as a group but by a learning process (indoctrination) affects the self.



If you say it is bad because it is going against another's will, then it is not absolute, you added an exception...


This is not particular of morality, moral dictates are enforced by society and even supplant the moral guidelines of oneself. It is in your self interest to at least seem to fallow a society moral rules, nature also makes it clear that the optimal path is collaboration and cooperation, from the simple virus to the complex human societies, as a group there is a large benefit to be had...




But why should we call "pleasure" - "good" and "pain" - "bad"? Why not just call it what it is - pain and pleasure? What is the justification of calling something "good" or "bad"?


I used it as differentiation, it is hardly unreasonable to accept that pleasure is good and pain is bad (even if there are instance that it may seem otherwise, if you look deeper the actor, the one making the decision is ultimately guided by this rule).

As for the definition of good and bad I agree that it can be confusing, but the same can be state about order and chaos, black or white (colors for instance are a very interesting subject in relation to how cultures give meaning to abstracts). In any case a presume that you got the meaning of my use of the labels even if we certainly disagree in some cases about what is good and bad...



posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 11:16 AM
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reply to post by Panic2k11
 


But why call it "good" or "bad" at all when there are other words that we already have for it?


We can call it "healthy" or "unhealthy" or "compassionate" or "in-compassionate" or "wanted" or "unwanted", why use the term "morality" and "good" and "evil" when we already have words for this sort of this?

It is like those people that call "The Universe" God... Why not just call it what it is "The Universe"?



posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 11:37 AM
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reply to post by trysts
 


It depends, when you refer to others do you simply mean external reality or as I interpreted it other humans.

For instance, if I was alone in the world and came across a lake with a beautiful reflection of the environment around I would make a conscientious effort not to destroy that beauty as it was giving me pleasure. This does not require me to interact with any sentience beyond myself. (I have used abstracts like beauty and the emotional response to it on purpose as they are internal concepts)

Now I could agree that in this setup it is not really a moral decision as I was the sole observer and the only one impacted by my decision but I had a gain in being constructive and taking the time to admire the scene, since there was nothing else motivating me to act otherwise I see my action as good and so morally superior. Had I acted in reverse not noticing the beauty of the scene and thrown a rock into the lake I would have been destructive and probably prevented myself to gain something from its observation, and so bad and morally objectionable.

In this cases the morality is mostly asserted after the facts in reflection of what happened at the time I would probably not define it as a moral decision but acted instinctively toward my own gain. That is you can act morally toward yourself.

A more complex example could be made like the use you give to your imagination or for instance if you dabble in lucid dreaming, The experiences you seek and create are mostly for the pursuit of your pleasure the morality considerations can only be made after the fact if they were beneficial or detrimental to you.

An ultimate example of this type of conundrum is for instance the decision to commit suicide here there are two moral guidelines ones right to self determination and the impact of the decision on others.



posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 11:48 AM
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reply to post by arpgme
 




It is like those people that call "The Universe" God... Why not just call it what it is "The Universe"?


Well there is always issue with meanings and definitions but as I said in this case I doubt that you are failing to understand what I meant, and only choosing to pick on the more vast issue of concepts and that can be argued forever as "good" and "bad" are expressions of personal values the simple concepts about what moral and morality is can also be discussed and we will probably find that in the minutia we would be in disagreement .

I'm one of those persons that regards the universe (known reality) as God. I define myself as a Pantheist. But I do not think I've ever use the terms interchangeably and I never refer to God, to me it is simply a concept, a belief that reality is not simply what we observe or know. But that is another discussion.
edit on 28-8-2012 by Panic2k11 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 28 2012 @ 12:12 PM
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reply to post by Panic2k11
 


Sure, but if that's the case, "good" and "evil" are meaningless words since it give a false "mystical" or "religious" feeling behind it. It is just made up social rules.




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