KShrike wrote: mbklein wrote: KShrike wrote: jalohones wrote:
KShrike wrote:Have sex with your mother. Right now.
Come back to me once you have done it, and tell me that you were brave enough to do this thing that just CAN'T POSSIBLY be immoral.
Or, to paraphrase, "If you won't do it right now then it can't possibly be moral."
I didn't say it is impossible for incest to be immoral, nor did I ask you to commit anything that I consider to be an offensive act. I asked a question which I consider a fair one, given that you invited a discussion of morality. Your respone of "Go have sex with your Mum!" doesn't really do much to strengthen whatever your argument actually is.
If having sex with your mother is offensive than it can't possibly be moral.
Better yet. Tell me WHY you would never have sex with your mother. Is it social? Is it some sort of inner moral standards? Is it because you are told not to?
Go eat a live banana slug. Right now. If you won't do it, eating slugs must be an inherently immoral act.
You say you aren't a troll. But you behave exactly like a troll. There's no way an outside observer can tell the difference. So your idea of what a troll is, must involve how the troll feels inside. Probably you feel like a troll just plays with his victims, he says outrageous things just to get them outraged and then he sits back and chuckles that he can affect them so much. But it turns out that sincere people can troll each other, they each feel compelled to speak out and state their sincere positions which enrage the other. And there is no way either of them can tell that the other is not a troll, because a "real" troll would pretend to be just as outraged as the sincere victim. So -- with no intention to -- people victimize each other. As L Ron Hubbard said, we are all of us victims and victims of victims.
My response to you then should be independent of whether you are really a troll or not. There is no possible way I can tell the difference, so I must either guess which it is and respond according to my guess, likely getting it wrong, or else respond in a way that's appropriate regardless of whether you're sincere. Walking away is one method that's appropriate either way. Nobody owes you a reply.
You have asked a fundamental question. What is morality and how do we know?
Fearless above suggested that morality depends on predicted consequences. It's immoral to do things that will hurt people. By this standard, to be sure you're doing the right thing you need to know the entire future history of the human race. The effects of your actions will reverberate throughout the future, and how do you know which consequences will be more important? So for example, there are probably things you could do which would further development of alternative energy. It's possible if we don't get adequate alternative energy we will inevitably get into a genocidal war where 90% of humanity is killed. Maybe the most important thing you can do in the next 20 years is whatever furthers alternate energy. However, we might be heading toward an ecological catastrophe. Maybe there's no way the earth can sustain 7 billion people. If you do something that prevents a catastrophe where 90% of humans die, the long-run consequences may be much worse.
The most important decisions of your life have consequences you do not know and cannot predict well at all. So I say this is an utterly inadequate basis to decide morality. And yet we have an ethical obligation to do what we can toward good consequences, even though we cannot know what will happen.
If we can't judge by results because we don't know the results, should we base our morality on things people told us? People who know even less about results? Obviously not.
Maybe you should do the right thing completely independent of results. Like, if you do the right thing and it has horrible results, at least you can say you did the right thing. The results weren't your fault because you did the right thing. If you do something that results in everybody in the world dying, and humanity goes extinct along with a million other species, but it was the right thing, then nobody should complain about it afterward. Probably somebody else was involved who did the wrong thing, and that makes it all their fault.
If you don't know what to do, but you believe somebody knows better, then you should follow whoever you think has the best advice. If God told somebody else what you should do, but God did not tell you, then you should believe the guy that you believe gets the inside info from God. What if you're wrong? What if that guy didn't get his info from God but somebody else did? You have to make a choice, and decide who you think is the real prophet. Unless God tells you personally who to believe, you just have to do the best you can. Why would God put you in a position where you go to Hell if you believe the wrong prophet and there's no way for you to know which is which except by your own judgement? I don't know. I'm not God. But Jesus said you'll know them by their fruits, which to my understanding goes back to judging by results.
For myself, I take a more pragmatic view. It doesn't matter why people believe in a morality. The fact is, people do believe in various moralities, and they punish minorities who disagree. We must live with that fact. If you do something that the large majority of people disagree with, you will face bad consequences. So don't do it. If people get offended when you pay them with your left hand, then don't pay them with your left hand. If they think it's immoral to wear clothing in warm weather, then strip. Or go somewhere else. There's no point arguing with them whether their morality is right because they hate being trolled.
More and more, the USA is being taken over by a libertarian philosophy which says it's immoral to enforce morality on anybody unless you can prove that they hurt other people. How will they enforce that morality? I shudder to think.... Will it collapse under the weight of its own contradiction? Probably not for a long time -- lots of other contradictory moralities haven't. You disagree so you want to argue that your morality is right and theirs is wrong. Good luck with that. When they come after you, remember you have the defense that you aren't hurting anybody but yourself. Maybe it will help.
The Law of Fives is true. I see it everywhere I look for it.