HungryHobo wrote:This doesn't dictate how you judge good and bad.
Umm, we're discussing how we should judge good and bad.
it just introduced a more sane assumption than assuming that you are gods gift to the world and that things could only be worse without you.
Tyndmyr never assumed anything of the sort. His argument (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) is that taking no action at all is neither good nor bad because it is equivalent to not existing.
I help the person == I'm good.
I neither help nor harm the person (I do nothing) == I'm neutral.
I harm the person == I'm bad.
I disagree with this argument, but it is consistent and offers a stable moral compass.
pick your favorite
OK; everyone who's ever lived. This basically gives me moral license to do anything, on the grounds that it's not worse than what half of everyone who's ever lived would have done.
Who's most likely to be in your place?
Literally anybody, or more likely nobody.
who do you want to be comparable with?
This is not really relevant to a discussion of moral codes. Of course, I would like to be compared to my peers, and to great moral individuals in history. And I would like to come out well in these comparisons. But that doesn't mean that if my peers think that slavery is OK, my belief that slavery is OK is morally good. It's still bad, just more understandable.
it only makes any difference when more than half the people in your reference group would act better under your own moral system.
Under my moral system, keeping slaves is morally wrong. Not calling CPS or the police if I sincerely believe my neighbour is abusing his daughter is morally wrong. Whether the majority of people in some reference group believe the same is irrelevant. If everyone but me captures and sells slaves and I only buy slaves, then I may be morally superior to them, but I'm still morally bad. But, if 'better than average' is the standard for judgement, only owning slaves while everyone else trades in them would be morally good. Not just better than my peers, but actually good.
I will not accept this as my moral compass.
On the other hand, if you mean to say that you should try to be better than the current average on some fixed scale, then I completely agree and the only remaining discussion is what scale should be used.