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The Question of Morality

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Sir Dargorn, Sep 17, 2003.

  1. Sir Dargorn Gems: 21/31
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    You may consider yourself a moral person, doing what you believe to be the right things and behaving in the right way.

    But let me ask you a question.

    Would you ever murder someone you disliked?

    No?

    Predictable answer. But what if noone found you out. What if i told you that you would come to no harm and no single person would realise what you had done?

    Still no?

    Then what if i could prove to you that god does not exist and that absolutely consequences come of your actions, in either this life or the next?

    No again?

    Then what if everyone around you, your friends and family, the people you respect and admire, all encouraged you. Then would you kill a man you disliked in cold blood. If society said it was ok would you do it?

    Think about it hard.

    The question is this. Is our sense of morality one which is inbuilt. Or is morality in fact just a fear of punishment and willingness to conform?
     
  2. Sprite Gems: 15/31
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    For some people I'm sure it is just a question of behaving a certain way because of wanting to be liked, which is why people do things in gangs that they would never do on their own initiative. But there is also such a thing as a conscience, although not everyone has the same kind of conscience and I suspect that many people have no conscience at all. No matter how much everyone else might think it's OK or even preferable to do something, if you know it is evil and do it anyway, your conscience will keep you awake in agonies of guilt for the rest of your life. Morality does not change whether someone else will find out about your actions or not.
     
  3. Rallymama Gems: 31/31
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    I find it dreadfully egotistical to think that someone should cease to live simply because I dislike him/her.

    Still No.
     
  4. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    Interesting question. Some people do not live by a code, and they would do it no question. Others of us do, and the fact that WE would know what we had done is enough to prevent us from doing something so wrong.
    That said, while I haven't killed anyone, I've violated my own code of morality in the past because of weakness. No one knows a thing about it, because I covered my tracks 100%, but I still feel like garbage. I'm not worried about anyone else finding out abot it, but my own, ingrained code is ripping me apart.
     
  5. Morgoth

    Morgoth La lune ne garde aucune rancune Veteran

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    Do you mean 'no consequences'?

    Well then yeah, then I can kill, it's not like he will 'die' or something, or hit the floor, or bleed, or that I would feel guilty about it. Since there would be no consequences :p

    But seriously, no, maybe he would forgive me, but how can I ever forgive myself?


    Edit:
    Morality is learned by, no wait... created by your environment. You don't create society, society creates you! :p

    [ September 17, 2003, 16:41: Message edited by: Morgoth ]
     
  6. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Eh, still no so far. Have any further questions?
     
  7. Mystra's Chosen Gems: 22/31
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    I think a decent example of such a situtation is if you got Saddam Hussein or Osama (or whatever other flavor of the week terrorist) in a room, alone, with a gun.

    a) Society encourages it
    b) No consequences will come of it
    c) God would proably forgive you

    Most people here would probably say "yes", but if you were in a room, could you really step up and pull the trigger? Whatching him squirm and beg would be too much for me. I'd probably pistol-whip him, but I doubt I could actually shoot anyone, no matter how vile. There's always that nagging question "could he possible change?"
     
  8. Lokken Gems: 26/31
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    I'd still say no, killing someone disgusts me personally. I have no care for the penalties, even if I was penalized for not killing the person I disliked, I still wouldn't do it.

    and if I stood alone with Hitler in a room, I wouldn't shoot him. Rather I'd have a dialogue as I would find it more interesting.
     
  9. Grey Magistrate Gems: 14/31
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    Interesting topic, Sir Dargorn. Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5), addresses much the same issue, when He says that murder is on much the same level as getting unrighteously angry with someone. In other words, if you get unfairly angry with someone but don't "do" anything to them because you fear the social consequences, then it's still evil. Morality extends further than the expected punishment for a given transgression.

    But if we accept your presuppositions - neither divine nor social accountability - then of course murder becomes very practical. This is not a new idea - it's standard social darwinist morality. You, as an individual, profit from the protection provided to you by your neighbors' mistaken belief that society or God or whatever will punish them if they attack you. But you, as an individual, also profit if you see through these moral illusions and act accordingly.

    So to your question: if there is no God, then regardless of whether morality is socially constructed or biologically inherent, you personally profit if your neighbors obey the rules and you break them. Go murder at will!

    (Thank goodness your presuppositions are flawed...)
     
  10. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I wouldnt kill someone for simple dislike, but if there were a plain and obvious gain for me to make out of it and as you said no risk whatsoever that I would get caught I am not so sure about my actions. Put me in the situation and we shall see... We humans are selfish creatures and I cant help but wonder if the people who adamantly say "NO!" have really thought about it.
     
  11. Rastor Gems: 30/31
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    I don't even like insulting someone. I'm going to still say 'no' to all of your questions.

    In that instance, possibly, but those would be extenuating circumstances, wouldn't they? The reason would be that killing them would prevent them from killing other innocents. That brings the whole martyr thing in, but for this example I suppose we're assuming ceteris paribus.
     
  12. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    I wouldn't be so sure... There special passages about sinners sinning in hope of receiving God's mercy :nono:
     
  13. Oaz Gems: 29/31
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    Situation #3 is certainly an interesting one. To me, the existence of God and the validity of the Bible has essentially been disproved. But it's by faith we believe.

    Aside from that, I would like to point a decade-old poll. It asked: "If you could rape a person without any consequences, would you do it?"

    Two-thirds answered yes.


    (Wait... if everyone around me encouraged me to murder, wouldn't that count the disliked person in question? Kind of changes the view a bit, but I'm sure that's not what you mean.)
     
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