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The Mystery Of Morality-from An Exchristian

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Hi everyone, my name is Laura, and I am fairly new to this fantastic site. I had been indoctrinated into the ridiculousness of Christianity since birth and went through Christain elementry and High School being brainwashed by non-sense as I went. I eventually left probably in October or November of 05 not only because of the incongruencies of the faith but also because of a need to maintain my sanity. There is still one gaping problem: How do I deal with morality?

 

It is now obvious to me that Chirstianity and other religious beliefs do not solve the problem This is because opinions of what iss right and wrong ie morality change from indidvidual to indidvidual, form religious sect to sect and within the individuals among them, and from religion to religion. This leaves us with a multitude of opinions varying widely, slightly and all ranges in between. There are countless numbers of interpretations of biblical and likely other religious texts, and variances on even what the correct way to interpret them is. Therefore, how is one to know what is really right and wrong?

Take lying for example. Some starch fundamentalists will say that it is always wrong no matter what even though they fail to realize that in the OT bible Rahab lies to help the Isrealite spies. Could not God made another way in which lying wasn't neccessary? But others will say that she wasn't lying, she was simply "not telling the truth"-a completely different thing. Please, don't make me throw up on you-serioiusly. Some will say it's okay under certain circumstances. So maybe she was lying in the name of Jesus. Some might say that it was something she chose to do out of free will, that while wrong, just happened to help god. That still doesn't completely line up.

Another example is murder. Among Christians, some will say it's always wrong, others will say it's okay among certain circumstances (ooh, or maybe it's not called murder, it's called killing-which is okay). In the Old Testament OT, ther are countless writtings of God commanding the Isrealits to kill in his name even though he commands us not to kill. Surely a god that is truely just would not disobey his own rules. I mean, come on. The rules of killing are different among other religions, notably in certain tribes where cannibalism is considered okay. Many people in society will say that murder is wrong exept in war or self defense, while others will disagree. So who is right, and is it possible to tell? Im starting to think there is no answer because we make up the rules each for ourselves, therefore there is no true right or wrong.

 

Then there is ethics-codes of conduct not tied to religion. Problem here is these codes change amongst people too. My mother, upon my questioning her about this mystery of morality, told me that people genereally do what they each see best. This is a true statement. But this means that right and wrong is up the mind of each individual, therfore being inconsistent. Along this line of reasoning, I could murder my boss if I decided it was okay-afterall, I make the rules, right? Stille, religion is not evenconsistant on this subject and many others, so it does not provide the answer.

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First, welcome to ExC!

 

Glad you found us.

 

But this means that right and wrong is up the mind of each individual, therfore being inconsistent.

 

Correct.

 

Inconsistencies are fine. I believe that smoking pot is perfectly okay, therefore I smoke pot. The government does not believe that smoking pot is okay, therefore I must hide it from them.

 

Along this line of reasoning, I could murder my boss if I decided it was okay-afterall, I make the rules, right?

 

Actually, no, you don't. You make the decision whether or not to follow the rules.

 

Regardless of your beliefs, unless you have the personal power to stand against the government (which you don't), then you must abide by those laws... or just not get caught.

 

I could murder another human being if given the reason to, however, since the right to take another human life legally has been reserved by the government, if I did so, I would go to jail. The fear of jail is enough to tip the scales towards society's view of murder rather than my own when given the choice to either murder my boss (a frequent fantasy of mine) or not.

 

In the above example of smoking pot, I've made the decision to break the law because the fear of a $100 fine isn't enough to make my decision for me.

 

I have a comfort-based view of "morality."

 

That which makes me comfortable is good, that which makes me uncomfortable is bad.

 

Going to jail = Bad

Not going to jail = Good

 

Hence why I follow some laws and not others.

 

In the end though, you'll be the one who has to decide what your new, religion-free morality encompasses, no one can make that decision for you.

 

One of the perks of being a Freethinker is thinking for yourself.

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(I accedentally posted before I was finished. Here is the rest:)

 

So, this led me to start thinking that there really is no right or wrong or ethics, since codes by their definition are supposed to be absolute (meaning for everyone) but obviously are not. Besides, they are basically the same thing-both are codes, one simply being tied to religion and some kind of eternall damnation for not following to the letter. So, it seems very, completely, obviously apparent to me theat these codes are merely creations of the human imagination, and since they are all different there is no right or wrong. (by the way, I was taught that if you think it's wrong, it is. Then you could say that others beliefs about what is wrong means it is wrong for them, but not for me even though they are claiming it is wrong period. But that simply does not make since. Either it is or is not right, and it still does not account for numberous interpretations of the Bible. It is still all the same thing)

This led me to start thinking that we are all just animals (a thought that doesn't really bother me) and that we likely evolved from lower life forms. Now, while the theory of evolution is a bit sketch, it utilizes far more scientific means of analysis and proof than any of the religions which are typically based on faith- a notion so completely illogical and rediculous, it almost makes me sick. What 'proof' they do probid eis pften poorly researched, studies and analyzed quick fixes for validation their beliefs. Anyway, if we are evolved animals, then that means we whould act as such. That caused me to llok at their behaviors. They are basically simple: survive and procreate at all costs. Survival of the fittest can be weell seen in nature.. Animals will do whatever is in their best interst, wheter it be a fox breaking into a chicken coop to steal chickens, to two animals fighting it to the death over posessions such as territory and girls. As far as procreation, animals have sex without regard to any sort of "animal marriage" in order to preserve the species which is a key component of surviving. Some animals mate for life, while others opt for the one night stand. I've even heard of homosexual acts in nature(which according to Christians is wrong because it is "not natural"-looks like their wrong), and I even saw a kangaroo masturbate!

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Excellent reply Jose. I'd like to just add that my morality is based on a combination of the above "comfort based" and my own (self-imposed) litmus test as to whether I cause physical or emotional harm to another.

 

Example: I am pro-choice (this is a big flip for me as an ex-fundy) HOWEVER, I would never (most likely never) have an abortion myself. Why? My personal convictions tell me that it's not right for me to do. Because it's such a hot topic of debate AND currently legal in the U.S., I cannot legislate my morality on another person. If a woman chooses to get an abortion I do not judge her in the least. It does not harm ME, either physically or emotionally. Her decision is hers alone.

 

Another example: Lying may or may not be "bad." By my lying to someone, am I hurting them in any way? Helping them?

 

My actions are my own and I must choose whether or not said actions will hurt another person. If it doesn't, and it brings me pleasure in some way, and I'm not afraid of the consequences, I will usually do it.

 

Hope that was a bit clearer than mud.

 

(I accedentally posted before I was finished. Here is the rest:)

 

So, this led me to start thinking that there really is no right or wrong or ethics, since codes by their definition are supposed to be absolute (meaning for everyone) but obviously are not. Besides, they are basically the same thing-both are codes, one simply being tied to religion and some kind of eternall damnation for not following to the letter. So, it seems very, completely, obviously apparent to me theat these codes are merely creations of the human imagination, and since they are all different there is no right or wrong. (by the way, I was taught that if you think it's wrong, it is. Then you could say that others beliefs about what is wrong means it is wrong for them, but not for me even though they are claiming it is wrong period. But that simply does not make since. Either it is or is not right, and it still does not account for numberous interpretations of the Bible. It is still all the same thing)

This led me to start thinking that we are all just animals (a thought that doesn't really bother me) and that we likely evolved from lower life forms. Now, while the theory of evolution is a bit sketch, it utilizes far more scientific means of analysis and proof than any of the religions which are typically based on faith- a notion so completely illogical and rediculous, it almost makes me sick. What 'proof' they do probid eis pften poorly researched, studies and analyzed quick fixes for validation their beliefs. Anyway, if we are evolved animals, then that means we whould act as such. That caused me to llok at their behaviors. They are basically simple: survive and procreate at all costs. Survival of the fittest can be weell seen in nature.. Animals will do whatever is in their best interst, wheter it be a fox breaking into a chicken coop to steal chickens, to two animals fighting it to the death over posessions such as territory and girls. As far as procreation, animals have sex without regard to any sort of "animal marriage" in order to preserve the species which is a key component of surviving. Some animals mate for life, while others opt for the one night stand. I've even heard of homosexual acts in nature(which according to Christians is wrong because it is "not natural"-looks like their wrong), and I even saw a kangaroo masturbate!

Hi laura. First, welcome to Ex-C. You'll find a great group of people here. :)

 

It appears to me that you are still in the midst of your decompression from your deconversion. You are still looking at the world through Christian-colored glasses and that's ok. Give yourself some time to work through all this stuff. I hope our answers so far have been of some help, and I imagine you'll get a few more that will help you.

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(Damn it! I did it again, and I was almost finished)

 

Anyway, I considered "natures's rules" but then had to ask myself: "We are much more intelligent and socially somplex. How do we mix our animal nautres with our evolved animal natures?" And still it is hard to accept that murder, the most etreme therefore effective example, is okay. Maybe I simply fell like that because it is how I have been taught to feel. Afterall, society looks down upon one person killing another except in war when it is to our benefit, and those individula serial killers themselves and cannibalistic tribes apparently have no code against it. So, maybe we should all do whatever is in each's best interest, like most people do anyway.

 

So, you basically see my confusion. I feel like this is the best "answer" I can or ever will come up with. Yet my heart is still not (and may never be) completely satisfied because I feel like there should be something more or better or something-that there must be an answer. I feel the compulsion to look for more. Yet, my brain tells me that there is no answer, or rather that the only answer is that there is no real right or wrong, just human perception-even extending to the extremes of murder. It tells me that this "answer" is the best I'll get. Both tell me a lot of things. I guess all I can do is block it from my mind and do whatever is in my best interest and do what I feel like-just like the animals. Or I may decide that the whole theory needs to be reworked. Still, I want to know what you're take is. Maybe you have something to offer that I have not thought of, or maybe I have made a logical error somewhere. Just keep in mind what I have already pointed out.

So, what is your take? How do you solve the mystery of morality?-Laura

 

First, welcome to ExC!

 

Glad you found us.

 

But this means that right and wrong is up the mind of each individual, therfore being inconsistent.

 

Correct.

 

Inconsistencies are fine. I believe that smoking pot is perfectly okay, therefore I smoke pot. The government does not believe that smoking pot is okay, therefore I must hide it from them.

 

Along this line of reasoning, I could murder my boss if I decided it was okay-afterall, I make the rules, right?

 

Actually, no, you don't. You make the decision whether or not to follow the rules.

 

Regardless of your beliefs, unless you have the personal power to stand against the government (which you don't), then you must abide by those laws... or just not get caught.

 

I could murder another human being if given the reason to, however, since the right to take another human life legally has been reserved by the government, if I did so, I would go to jail. The fear of jail is enough to tip the scales towards society's view of murder rather than my own when given the choice to either murder my boss (a frequent fantasy of mine) or not.

 

In the above example of smoking pot, I've made the decision to break the law because the fear of a $100 fine isn't enough to make my decision for me.

 

I have a comfort-based view of "morality."

 

That which makes me comfortable is good, that which makes me uncomfortable is bad.

 

Going to jail = Bad

Not going to jail = Good

 

Hence why I follow some laws and not others.

 

In the end though, you'll be the one who has to decide what your new, religion-free morality encompasses, no one can make that decision for you.

 

One of the perks of being a Freethinker is thinking for yourself.

 

 

I see your point about being confined to the governements rules, and I agree that I too would not commit a crime if the punishment made me "uncomfortable". So, along the lines of murder, I see your point that the government makes the rules. But I wonder, just because they are the government's rules, does that make them the rules (Im speaking of morality) for everyone?

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In my understanding & opinion, ones sense of morality is closely linked our experience & level of desire, suffering, and our ability to empathize (along with understanding of cause and effect).

 

Generally speaking, people seek pleasure and avoid distress on a nearly absolute level. Nobody wants to suffer and everyone wants pleasure. So, one's own experience with pleasure/suffering directlly shapes what one person wants for themselves. Depending on their level of empathy, they apply this measure to others who are similar to them. The person says, 'I don't want to die, so you probably don't want to die' or 'I don't want to burn in hellfire, so you probably don't want to burn in hellfire'.

 

So, people set up rules and social mores which support their desires, fears, etc and their understanding of what causes a threat to personal safety and hapiness. If they believe that a wrathful god will swallow their town or burn it to the ground based on certain actions, then they will adjust their mores appropriately. If they belief that murder is destructive to society and threatens the safety & well being of their society, then they will also adjust their morality likewise.

 

That's the concise version of my understanding of how it works.

 

_/\_

 

take care

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First, welcome to ExC!

 

Glad you found us.

 

But this means that right and wrong is up the mind of each individual, therfore being inconsistent.

 

Correct.

 

Inconsistencies are fine. I believe that smoking pot is perfectly okay, therefore I smoke pot. The government does not believe that smoking pot is okay, therefore I must hide it from them.

 

Along this line of reasoning, I could murder my boss if I decided it was okay-afterall, I make the rules, right?

 

Actually, no, you don't. You make the decision whether or not to follow the rules.

 

Regardless of your beliefs, unless you have the personal power to stand against the government (which you don't), then you must abide by those laws... or just not get caught.

 

I could murder another human being if given the reason to, however, since the right to take another human life legally has been reserved by the government, if I did so, I would go to jail. The fear of jail is enough to tip the scales towards society's view of murder rather than my own when given the choice to either murder my boss (a frequent fantasy of mine) or not.

 

In the above example of smoking pot, I've made the decision to break the law because the fear of a $100 fine isn't enough to make my decision for me.

 

I have a comfort-based view of "morality."

 

That which makes me comfortable is good, that which makes me uncomfortable is bad.

 

Going to jail = Bad

Not going to jail = Good

 

Hence why I follow some laws and not others.

 

In the end though, you'll be the one who has to decide what your new, religion-free morality encompasses, no one can make that decision for you.

 

One of the perks of being a Freethinker is thinking for yourself.

I forgot to ask! *whispering :) * where and how (and how much$) would a person, oh, let's just say, i mean just out of curiousity.....get some pot?? Just out of curiousity... ;)

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In my understanding & opinion, ones sense of morality is closely linked our experience & level of desire, suffering, and our ability to empathize (along with understanding of cause and effect).

 

Generally speaking, people seek pleasure and avoid distress on a nearly absolute level. Nobody wants to suffer and everyone wants pleasure. So, one's own experience with pleasure/suffering directlly shapes what one person wants for themselves.

 

<snip>

 

Also, a person will avoid pleasure only if they gain some other benefit from doing so, and it outweighs their perceived gain from avoiding the pleasure, even if it is not readily seen from an outsider's P.O.V.

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Along this line of reasoning, I could murder my boss if I decided it was okay-afterall, I make the rules, right?

 

Yup, you do. But you don't really want to murder your boss because you'd get in trouble, or everyone would think you were a psycho, or you might miss them once you've cooled down, etc.

 

Here's my view: Morality is always selfish. Christians are moral to win favor with God. I am moral to win favor with others around me. Morality is a way to work toward our own ends.

 

EDIT-This link explains what I'm trying to say much better than I can:

http://www.ministerturnsatheist.org/moralitywithoutgod.html

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Don't let Francois see this thread...

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laura, welcome to the site, I am so glad you posted as I identify so strongly with what you said.

 

If your church background is anything like mine, you have been told umpteen times that morality is dictated by the LORD who is perfect, so you unquestioningly accept that morality exists and that moral behaviour is laid out in the Bible for all to follow. Also, you may have been told that the notions of the Lord Jesus and morality are inextricably linked: Lose God and kiss any sense of morality goodbye.

 

I still struggle with this. You state your belief that "there really is no right or wrong or ethics," and at the present time, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I must state though that I studied maths and physics at university so don't have any detailed knowledge of philosophy. My philosophical ideas come from a few random ideas hashed together while discussing life and the universe in my university bar and a few half-read books.

 

You are quite correct to make a distinction between legally right and morally right. It is legally wrong for me to rob someone, but that tells us nothing about whether it is morally wrong for me to do so. I don't think anyone (except ultra-radical religious-types) is foolish enough to equate legality with morality!

 

I also like your point that just because our human (animal) nature would like us to pass on our genes and so encourages us to behave in ways that will enable us to do so, that it automatically follows that I am morally required to behave in such ways. As a human, I am able to think outside the box, so why not step outside it? I don't understand people who say, "Well, evolution requires that humans do this and this to pass on their genes, therefore that is a moral action..."

 

At this point please don't misunderstand me - volunteering to help homeless people and socially-excluded teenagers is a big part of my life. I just currently ignore my belief that there is no right or wrong.

 

I always find it interesting to see what the Great Minds have to say on such matters. Perhaps you have heard of Bertrand Russell and David Hume. Bertrand Russell is the author of the best-selling philosophy book of the twentieth-century, and I'd really encourage you to read it. It's called History of Western Philosophy. In it, Russell admits that he has no idea if absolutes exist and in his chapter on Hume describes how the great man did not believe in right and wrong, indeed quotes him as recommending "carelessness and inattention" when it comes to such matters.

 

Basically Russell and Hume, two of the most intelligent philosophers to have lived (both good men very interested in social justice) admit that, in their view, absolutes are a no-show (at best an unknown) but to ignore this fact and live a "good life", in the conventional sense of the term.

 

I find the argument that:

 

1) There is no morality so, from a theoretical point of view, you can do as you please

 

but you simply have to

 

2) Make sure you give money to charity and look after the poor

 

entirely unsatisfactory. Does anyone know of any serious, and I mean serious, attempts to construct morality in the absence of an all-knowing god?

 

Actually, the existence of the biblical God doesn't solve the problem of morality as far as I can see. Why should I do what he says? How do I know his idea of morality is correct, let alone the best morality? What is best? Well, cos you'll go to hell if you disagree, that's how you know he's right. It just moves the problem of absolutes up a level.

 

In closing I would urge you most strongly to start reading some philosophy books to fill the philosophical void left by your rejection of Christianity. I hope you never have to realise this, but you're currently like a boat sailing through life's waters without a rudder. You're perhaps currently staggering around with some vague Christian notions of what to do and how to behave, but you'll no longer have the foundation on which they are based. Read! Read!

 

God this is a long post, sorry :(

 

So, you basically see my confusion. I feel like this is the best "answer" I can or ever will come up with. Yet my heart is still not (and may never be) completely satisfied because I feel like there should be something more or better or something-that there must be an answer. I feel the compulsion to look for more. Yet, my brain tells me that there is no answer, or rather that the only answer is that there is no real right or wrong, just human perception-even extending to the extremes of murder. It tells me that this "answer" is the best I'll get. Both tell me a lot of things. I guess all I can do is block it from my mind and do whatever is in my best interest and do what I feel like-just like the animals. Or I may decide that the whole theory needs to be reworked.?
This just sums up my current beliefs and desires perfectly. This site is so great for discussions with like-minded people! I would add that your desire to find absolutes, something concrete, is so strong because of your prior week-by-week pulpit-bashing for so many years. That said, I think the desire to do the right thing is intensely human. Except for psychopaths of course, who have no conscience.

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One final, and off-topic, post: I still find it hard to grapple with my new-found finiteness. I am here for another 60 years maybe, and that's it! I just re-read a Human Rights Watch alert. My intellect says, "So what, who cares about some random refugees, even refugees fleeing from the horrors of Sudan? We'll all be dead one day and then universe will end and then that's it." But my gut instinct fills me with rage, "How can this happen? What can I do to try and make sure it doesn't happen again?"

 

I feel suffer "cosmic loneliness" from time to time and life seems like a meaingless sequence of events sometimes. Ah well!

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Take lying for example. Some starch fundamentalists will say that it is always wrong no matter what even though they fail to realize that in the OT bible Rahab lies to help the Isrealite spies. Could not God made another way in which lying wasn't neccessary? But others will say that she wasn't lying, she was simply "not telling the truth"-a completely different thing.

 

 

Not telling the truth = lying. It's as simple as that.

 

Even Paul teaches Moral relativism when it comes to glorifing god

 

Romans 3:7: If through my lies God’s truth abounds to His glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner?

 

Philippians 1:18: In every way, whether in pretense conviction or in truth, Jesus is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

Please sure to check the site in my signature, you will all sorts of speculation and semantic twisting that is being used in apologetics. And off course there are fitting answers given also

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<snip>

I hope you never have to realise this, but you're currently like a boat sailing through life's waters without a rudder. You're perhaps currently staggering around with some vague Christian notions of what to do and how to behave, but you'll no longer have the foundation on which they are based. Read! Read!

Probably the best advice I got, as I was in the midst of my deconversion, was the following quote from J.R.R. Tolkien:

 

"All that is gold does not glitter. Not all those who wander are lost"

 

Food for thought, anyway. :thanks:

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I forgot to ask! *whispering * where and how (and how much$) would a person, oh, let's just say, i mean just out of curiousity.....get some pot?? Just out of curiousity...

 

A paranoid pot-smoker is a free pot-smoker. :grin:

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I see morality and ethics as what is good for life in general...

 

Like, if you go kill your boss, it might improve part of your life but, since going around killing people willy-nilly puts everyone at risk of being killed, it's not much good for life. (ok, I figure that's not come out right, but I hope you can see what I mean)

 

Pot smokers... you smoke, that's fine. Nothing morally wrong with it, unless it effects others.

Would you smoke and drive? Well, that's putting others at risk... again, not good for life. (depending on how much you smoke and how it affects you, of course...)

 

It's that kind of thing that's the basis of my morals and ethics, though it can lead to moral conflict when the only choices are both bad...

 

 

 

Of course, some people would say that I have nothing to base my morals on, and to them I say... "I base mine on life, what do you base yours on?"

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One final, and off-topic, post: I still find it hard to grapple with my new-found finiteness. I am here for another 60 years maybe, and that's it! I just re-read a Human Rights Watch alert. My intellect says, "So what, who cares about some random refugees, even refugees fleeing from the horrors of Sudan? We'll all be dead one day and then universe will end and then that's it." But my gut instinct fills me with rage, "How can this happen? What can I do to try and make sure it doesn't happen again?"

 

I feel suffer "cosmic loneliness" from time to time and life seems like a meaingless sequence of events sometimes. Ah well!

 

I used to feel those things (cosmic loneliness, moral confusion, etc.) and be very depressed after I first became an apostate, but they just suddenly dissapeared one day.

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Don't let Francois see this thread...

 

:grin:

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I think perhaps your problem with "morality without God" is simply because in a religious context, you are used to thinking of ethics or morality as a "code" or a set of laws. It just can't work that way.

 

Morality and ethics are not "do's and don't's", they are a method for making decisions. As for god being a part of the process, I like to remind people that philosophies of ethics and social morality were first expounded upon by ancient Greek philosophers and early Roman senators -- people who had religions that were, by and large, devoid of moral guidance.

 

Assuming, of course, that you actually want to be a good person (we'll leave sociopaths out of the question for the moment), just ask yourself, How would a "good person" treat me?

It doesn't have to be complicated. For me, the first principles are:

 

Doing something that makes someone happy is a good thing.

Doing something that makes someone feel bad is a bad thing.

 

Simple, really -- and it covers 99% of daily life.

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cathuria, thanks for your thoughts! Having had a think, here's my repsonse.

 

The trouble immediately sets in when you ask your question, "How would a "good person" treat me?"

 

Determing what is good (if such a thing even exists) is the important thing. How a good person would behave is then simply an immediate consequence of determing what is good.

 

Doing something that makes someone happy is a good thing.

Doing something that makes someone feel bad is a bad thing.

 

These are, as far as I can see, just definitions, not necessarily truth. I could perhaps put the complete opposite and run with it:

 

Doing something that makes someone happy is a bad thing.

Doing something that makes someone feel bad is a good thing.

 

I agree I would be sad if someone hurt me, I wouldn't like it. But going on to equate hurting someone with immorality is a step too far for me.

 

Like, if you go kill your boss, it might improve part of your life but, since going around killing people willy-nilly puts everyone at risk of being killed, it's not much good for life.

I can see what you are trying to say. Again implicit is the assumption that immoral actions are not "much good for life".

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... Some starch fundamentalists ...

I know this is a serious post, but that particular turn of phrase (above) prompted me to have one of those Drink-Spitting moments. :lol:

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Like, if you go kill your boss, it might improve part of your life but, since going around killing people willy-nilly puts everyone at risk of being killed, it's not much good for life.

I can see what you are trying to say. Again implicit is the assumption that immoral actions are not "much good for life".

Yeah... I kinda stated that at the start.

 

It would be more accurate to say that doing something to someone that I would oppose having done to myself is immoral. (the old Golden Rule...)

It would also be accurate to say that forcing something on someone against their will is usually immoral. (Forcing someone to do something about a problem they have which is affecting others is an example of when it isn't immoral)

 

 

There is one rather obvious problem with this though... the ease with which it can be used to excuse vicious actions "for the Greater Good"

This is where my ethics come into play. It could be argued that banning Christianity altogether and killing anyone who practices it would be moral, as it would solve so many problems... thus, it would be for the Greater Good. Ethically though, I cannot accept that argument, as my guiding ethic is "to do as little harm as is humanly possible"

 

To me, ethics come first... though ethics and morals are "equals" in my life. If they disagree with each other, then I need to take a close look at what I'm doing and find out what is casuing the conflict.

 

Thankfully, I've only needed to do that a couple of times in my life, but I know it will happen again...

 

 

 

 

 

Now, it's 5am here, so there's a good chance I've just rambled on about something that makes little sense... Hell, it wouldn't be the first time. :shrug:

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Don't let Francois see this thread...

 

:grin:

 

 

Who is Francois, and why should he not read this post. I am ignorant, I am afraid.

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Except for psychopaths of course, who have no conscience.

Thank you for your post, Dirac. I'm glad to see that we both share the same understanding. I am amazed to see how many responses my little ol' post recieved in such a short time. It just shows me that I am not alone here, and many people really do care and think about these isssues. Although I feel alone, I cannot logically say that I am. I did have one slight question about your above quote. If there is no right, wrong, or ethics (the same thing), then doesn't that mean that the conscience is driving force of all these ideas of morality and ethics? Afterall, If a person feels it is wrong in their conscience, then they deem it to be wrong (thus comes religion) while this may be different for different people, as I have already talked about. And on comes the conclusion that there is no right/wrong/ethics. This makes me think of another question for everyone to ponder: I there really then anything for anyone (even the crazzies) to feel guilty about? Isn't there some kind of logical contradiction here? -something to think about.

 

Someone mentioned that I am still looking through Christian goggles, and I suspect that may be partially true, but I wonder when it is that I am doing it. I often get confused as to whether my thoughts are mine own, or someone (anyone) elses. I find myself mentally responding to thoughts and people that really aren't there, trying to constantly defend myself. I also find myself feeling constantly guilty about... anything, really...and it leads me to wonder what there really is to feal guilty about since there is no right or wrong. Maybe that's the goggles, or maybe those are my genuine thoughts. I think that I am what others have produced me to be, and I don't like that. I want to be what I would have been without the Christian brainwashing, if that's even possible now. It's all kinda crazy; does anyone else have these experiences?. I know that people change their viewpoint on different things from time to time, as they have the "right" to. I guess I am just struggling with who I am, and predominantly with figurring out who I am, and whether to accept or change it if even possible. Anyway, I'm blabbering again. I'll stop now :)

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if you think that 'who I am' question is tough, what till you get to the 'what I am' question.

 

woo boy. that's a brainfryer.

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