The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby Jägerbombastic on May 9th, 2016, 2:02 pm 

Einstein once said, " People only who do good because they fear punishment and hope for a reward, then we are a sorry lot."

Is doing good because you don't want punishment really good? if the person doing good looks for a reward for it really good or any better of a person? or is it a product of mental conditioning like rats in a maze?

Part of it could be from mental conditioning at a young age. when we do good things like pick up our toys we might get a gold star or something. But when it comes to an age where you are expected to do it all the time than the reward ceases and you do it anyways because you know it will receive approval from others. . Like rats in a maze we were trained with an conditioned stimulus ( the golden star as a reward) and given a positive response, therefore we are more likely to repeat such habit.
I think that we still unconsciously do this in our everyday lives like giving to the poor. If that was true is anything we really do still good from a morally standpoint? or just partially good because it also fulfills and unconscious desire to feel praised?
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby Serpent on May 9th, 2016, 5:31 pm 

Jägerbombastic » May 9th, 2016, 1:02 pm wrote:Is doing good because you don't want punishment really good?

Punishment isn't for failing to do good; it's usually for doing bad. Most people don't particularly want to do a lot of bad things, but everyone is sometimes tempted to do one bad thing, and fear of punishment very often does stop us. If neighbor's houses don't get burned down, mouthy kids don't get walloped, rich old relatives aren't smothered in their beds, then fear of punishment serves its purpose.

if the person doing good looks for a reward for it really good or any better of a person? or is it a product of mental conditioning like rats in a maze?

Is there a substantive difference between rats and humans? I doubt it. We learn from our elders how to get along in our societies. But there is one between the two situations. The maze rats are trained by humans for a human agenda; what they learn has no relevance to rat society. Regular humans are taught by adults in human society and what they learn is relevant.... to the society as the adults perceive it.
In volatile historical periods, that may change from one generation to the next; the parents' mores may become obsolete by the time the children grow up. Usually not, though - and anyway, we can't predict our babies' adult environment; we can only teach them what we know.

Of course, they will continue to do some things that were approved-of when they were very young. They will also recognize why some of the things their parents insisted on were good and right and continue to do those things voluntarily. They will rebel against some and stop doing them. They will also discover some good things to do in their own environments for their own rewards. Then they will teach their children whatever they believe, at that time, is good.

If that was true is anything we really do still good from a morally standpoint? or just partially good because it also fulfills and unconscious desire to feel praised?

Very rarely does a human being have one single pure motive for any action. Doing good results in good, whatever the reason for the person doing it. Whether it's virtuous enough is his own private problem.
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby Jägerbombastic on May 9th, 2016, 6:18 pm 

Serpent » May 9th, 2016, 5:31 pm wrote:
Jägerbombastic » May 9th, 2016, 1:02 pm wrote:Is doing good because you don't want punishment really good?

Punishment isn't for failing to do good; it's usually for doing bad. Most people don't particularly want to do a lot of bad things, but everyone is sometimes tempted to do one bad thing, and fear of punishment very often does stop us. If neighbor's houses don't get burned down, mouthy kids don't get walloped, rich old relatives aren't smothered in their beds, then fear of punishment serves its purpose
.

A good point, however isn't the opposite of good bad? or is there a difference between bad and doing bad?

if the person doing good looks for a reward for it really good or any better of a person? or is it a product of mental conditioning like rats in a maze?

Is there a substantive difference between rats and humans? I doubt it. We learn from our elders how to get along in our societies. But there is one between the two situations. The maze rats are trained by humans for a human agenda; what they learn has no relevance to rat society. Regular humans are taught by adults in human society and what they learn is relevant.... to the society as the adults perceive it.
In volatile historical periods, that may change from one generation to the next; the parents' mores may become obsolete by the time the children grow up. Usually not, though - and anyway, we can't predict our babies' adult environment; we can only teach them what we know.

Even if they are trained by humans we have learned a lot about our own psychology and conditioning a human being. iI guess at an extent we really cant say what the child will learn in their environment.
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby Jägerbombastic on May 9th, 2016, 6:19 pm 

Serpent » May 9th, 2016, 5:31 pm wrote:
Jägerbombastic » May 9th, 2016, 1:02 pm wrote:Is doing good because you don't want punishment really good?

Punishment isn't for failing to do good; it's usually for doing bad. Most people don't particularly want to do a lot of bad things, but everyone is sometimes tempted to do one bad thing, and fear of punishment very often does stop us. If neighbor's houses don't get burned down, mouthy kids don't get walloped, rich old relatives aren't smothered in their beds, then fear of punishment serves its purpose
.

A good point, however isn't the opposite of good bad? or is there a difference between bad and doing bad?

if the person doing good looks for a reward for it really good or any better of a person? or is it a product of mental conditioning like rats in a maze?


Is there a substantive difference between rats and humans? I doubt it. We learn from our elders how to get along in our societies. But there is one between the two situations. The maze rats are trained by humans for a human agenda; what they learn has no relevance to rat society. Regular humans are taught by adults in human society and what they learn is relevant.... to the society as the adults perceive it.
In volatile historical periods, that may change from one generation to the next; the parents' mores may become obsolete by the time the children grow up. Usually not, though - and anyway, we can't predict our babies' adult environment; we can only teach them what we know.


Even if they are trained by humans we have learned a lot about our own psychology and conditioning a human being. iI guess at an extent we really cant say what the child will learn in their environment.
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby Dave_Oblad on May 9th, 2016, 6:35 pm 

Hi all,

I go to work everyday. They pay me for it. Is that not an expected reward?

If I don't go to work, I don't get paid.. but that is a neutral result and not a punishment.

Regards,

Dave :^)
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby Serpent on May 9th, 2016, 6:55 pm 

What was the question?
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby Old Rasputin on May 9th, 2016, 11:05 pm 

Jägerbombastic wrote:Is doing good because you don't want punishment really good? if the person doing good looks for a reward for it really good or any better of a person? or is it a product of mental conditioning like rats in a maze?

…I think that we still unconsciously do this in our everyday lives like giving to the poor. If that was true is anything we really do still good from a morally standpoint? or just partially good because it also fulfills and unconscious desire to feel praised?

I think anything and everything we do can ONLY be for purely selfish reasons. If "good" comes from it, then we are falsely perceived as “doing good” (...when in actuality we "did it for self").

It is our wants and desires that drive us to do as we do. And since it is impossible to do other than what we desire (i.e. as we would first have to have that desire to do so), then we are left with no option to do anything other than what WE (selfishly) desire.
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby uninfinite on May 10th, 2016, 12:17 am 

Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong...

I don't want to be an ass about it, but WRONG.

Couldn't be wronger. You could try, but would not succeed.

A full compliment of wrongness has been supplied, and received with thanks.

A surfeit of wrongness, a glut, your cup runneth over with wrongness.

Wrong squared, wrong raised to the power of wrong, absolute wrong.

If you say wrong enough, it just sounds wrong.

You're that kind of wrong!
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby TheVat on May 10th, 2016, 10:14 am 

Cogent and compelling rebuttal.

:-)
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby uninfinite on May 10th, 2016, 10:29 am 

Braininvat » May 10th, 2016, 3:14 pm wrote:Cogent and compelling rebuttal.

:-)



That's what you get when people act only for selfish reasons. I like telling people they're wrong and I like telling jokes. What I don't like is having to explain to people why they're wrong. This is so much more convenient. So thanks, Old Rasputin and others who think we only act for selfish reasons. You have saved me the trouble of explaining why that's a wrongheaded view.
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby Old Rasputin on May 10th, 2016, 12:09 pm 

uninfinite wrote:Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong...
I don't want to be an ass about it, but WRONG.
Couldn't be wronger. You could try, but would not succeed.
A full compliment of wrongness has been supplied, and received with thanks.
A surfeit of wrongness, a glut, your cup runneth over with wrongness.
Wrong squared, wrong raised to the power of wrong, absolute wrong.
If you say wrong enough, it just sounds wrong.
You're that kind of wrong!
uninfinite wrote:That's what you get when people act only for selfish reasons. I like telling people they're wrong and I like telling jokes. What I don't like is having to explain to people why they're wrong. This is so much more convenient. So thanks, Old Rasputin and others who think we only act for selfish reasons. You have saved me the trouble of explaining why that's a wrongheaded view.

Thanks uninfinite, ...a very interesting/creative reply :-)

But, if at some point in time, you acquire the desire to explain my wrongness, then you can be certain of my desire to listen.
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby TheVat on May 10th, 2016, 12:27 pm 

uninfinite » May 10th, 2016, 7:29 am wrote:
Braininvat » May 10th, 2016, 3:14 pm wrote:Cogent and compelling rebuttal.

:-)



That's what you get when people act only for selfish reasons. I like telling people they're wrong and I like telling jokes. What I don't like is having to explain to people why they're wrong. This is so much more convenient. So thanks, Old Rasputin and others who think we only act for selfish reasons. You have saved me the trouble of explaining why that's a wrongheaded view.


I thought that might be what you were (cleverly) up to with that reply. And I like having people know that I am able to comprehend cleverness and wit because that makes me feel smarter and better and more viable reproductively! And I want any fertile women (especially if they resemble Grace Kelly or Kate Winslet, age 25) reading this to know that I value altruism and selflessness in a highly conspicuous way that makes me a more attractive person in terms of joyful copulation that leads to offspring I don't have to look after.
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby Serpent on May 10th, 2016, 1:51 pm 

Nothing self-serving there!
Funny I never noticed the resemblance between those two women before.
This is a most educative forum.
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby uninfinite on May 10th, 2016, 1:52 pm 

Ha ha. Good fun. If we get any sharper we will cut our own throats! So instead, consider causality as the source of right and wrong. Follow if you will, this line of thought.

From the DNA up - the organism has a relation to a causal reality, which confers upon the organism a need to be right to survive. At first, this is purely physiological. It needed to be physically arranged in such a way as to internalize energy and expel waste, else die out. But the organism is evolving. It grows limbs and eyes - and so becomes capable of behaviour. Similarly, the behaviours of the organism have to be right in relation to the causal environment - else it does not survive to breed and becomes extinct. Evolution continues, eventually resulting in human beings - with a new level of relation to reality, based in turn upon the old, behavioural and physiological rightness of the organism, going all the way back to the structure of DNA.

Humans are intellectually aware, and need to be right, in an intellectual sense, in relation to a causal reality in order to survive to breed, else become extinct. However, part of the human environment is other humans. As suggested by brainvat above, we develop a sense of empathy and morality in order to understand what is right of an inter-subjective environment.

One more important step; within the hunter-gatherer tribe, ruled by an alpha male - the empathetic moral sense was sufficient to mediate inter-social relationships. However, when tribes joined together to form multi-tribal social groups it was necessary for an objective expression of morality, else every time a resource issue arose - the multi-tribal group would split along old tribal lines. They needed a common, objective expression of morality - and that's why everyone has religion - as the basis for law.

In relation to the question, human beings are moral creatures. We do right, because doing right is ingrained into us at the physiological, behavioural and intellectual levels. We are also intellectual creatures, and so the terms in which we do right are not purely mechanical - but highly variable. We are not incapable of doing wrong knowing it is wrong - but will almost always seek to rationalize, to justify our behaviours in some way - to construe what is wrong as being in some sense right. From tripping over a kerb and turning into a short jog, to apologizing by explaining what you didn't know at the time - and had that been the case you would therefore have been right, to focusing solely upon the profit to ourselves from theft - to the exclusion of loss to another - we instinctually aspire to rightness.

What do you think?
If you think I am wrong, clearly you have misunderstood!
haha.
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby Old Rasputin on May 10th, 2016, 4:09 pm 

Uninfinite, it seems to me that you are trying to equivocate one meaning of “right” to another. You start off by saying that an organism “needs to be right to survive” --- meaning that an organism must be compatible (both physically and behaviorally) with his environment in order to survive. And then you end up with an intellectual organism needing to be morally good/righteous in order to survive.

I don’t think “intellectual rightness” has anything to do with survival. In the real world, it is “survival of the fittest”, not “survival of the goodest”.

It is “dog eat dog”, “kill, or be killed”, and “swimming with the sharks”. Being good and righteous, although sounds noble, is not a necessity for survival, imo.

...anyways, don’t good guys always finish last?
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby uninfinite on May 10th, 2016, 5:42 pm 

Old Rasputin » May 10th, 2016, 9:09 pm wrote:
Uninfinite, it seems to me that you are trying to equivocate one meaning of “right” to another. You start off by saying that an organism “needs to be right to survive” --- meaning that an organism must be compatible (both physically and behaviorally) with his environment in order to survive. And then you end up with an intellectual organism needing to be morally good/righteous in order to survive.


That's correct, only this is a very brief statement of the idea, and while you may have got the impression that I'm drawing a straight line from physical, behavioral and intellectual rightness through to moral good, that's not quite the case. A longer version would discuss the moral behaviors of apes - that also live in social groups. They share food and groom eachother, and remember who is likely to reciprocate. Those more likely to share are more often shared with by others. I did mention inter-subjectivity - and that other humans are part of the human environment, in relation to which the organism continues to respond rightly, else suffer and die out. It really only requires you accept that empathetic and moral behaviors are an advantage to survival and breeding within the social group - but instead you say:

I don’t think “intellectual rightness” has anything to do with survival. In the real world, it is “survival of the fittest”, not “survival of the goodest”. It is “dog eat dog”, “kill, or be killed”, and “swimming with the sharks”. Being good and righteous, although sounds noble, is not a necessity for survival, imo.


Do you really think that? Consider all the countless generations of mothers who have raised their offspring - and ask yourself how that could have happened if it were survival of the fittest in a dog eat dog sort of way. Human reproduction is not based on rape - with the female afterward, left alone to fend for the young. Rather, humans are social animals and offspring were raised within a tribal setting, with males and females both contributing to the raising of the young.

The term 'fittest' is perhaps misleading; but in reality, it has many senses - not alluding merely to the most healthy and capable of violence, but whatever attributes meet the demands of survival. Sardines for example, out-breed the hunger of predators - they're not fast, they can't fight, and get eaten in their millions, but breed in their billions. It is their profligacy that makes them fit to survive as a species. In humans therefore, the knitting together of the tribe through empathy and morality would make the tribe fitter - better able to survive in all sorts of ways.
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby Serpent on May 10th, 2016, 5:55 pm 

Old Rasputin » May 10th, 2016, 3:09 pm wrote:It is “dog eat dog”,

They don't. It would be counter-productive to the pack and to the species. Wild dogs have very strict social protocols, status and family structures, rights and responsibilities. Domestic dogs are retarded in artificial puppyhood and defer to their human pack-leader - still according to canine law, even though its been suborned by a dominant species.
Being good and righteous, although sounds noble, is not a necessity for survival, imo.

That depends on the circumstances. Within one's normal [peaceable, productive, stable, relatively healthy] community, righteousness can be a matter of very great importance. What each community considers righteous may vary. Goodness, oth, is pretty much universally recognized and appreciated.

...anyways, don’t good guys always finish last?

That's nice guys. And it's referring to competition, not day-to-day community relations.
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby Old Rasputin on May 11th, 2016, 11:55 am 

To be technically correct, it is not possible to “do good” or to “do bad”. Good or bad is just a subjective label assigned to the resultant of our actions. The classic example is with Robin Hood stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. We only perceive Robin Hood doing “good”, or doing “bad”, dependent upon our subjective view. (i.e. democrats say “good”, republicans say “bad”).

Our actions are actually caused by our desires (…and NOT by what is good/right!). Whether it be, the desire to be “perceived as good”, or the desire to “gain benefit”, or the desire to “satisfy a guilty conscience”, or the desire to “maintain loyalty”, or whatever. It is our desires (wants/urges) that dictate our actions.

We don’t do anything for the sake of righteousness or goodness. It is only our egos that have falsely convinced us of such.
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby uninfinite on May 11th, 2016, 1:13 pm 

Old Rasputin » May 11th, 2016, 4:55 pm wrote:
To be technically correct, it is not possible to “do good” or to “do bad”. Good or bad is just a subjective label assigned to the resultant of our actions. The classic example is with Robin Hood stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. We only perceive Robin Hood doing “good”, or doing “bad”, dependent upon our subjective view. (i.e. democrats say “good”, republicans say “bad”).


As you maintain that it's not possible to do good or do bad, you dismiss everything I've said - in favor of a Nietzschian conception of moral nihilism; precisely what these remarks are intended to refute. The natural connotation of my remarks is that human beings ARE moral animals with a moral sense - like a sense of humor; we have a sensitivity to the moral implications of our actions and those of others. Yet you maintain your survival of the fittest/dog eat dog idea of evolution, and an objectivized idea of morality, despite everything I've said - and simply restate your original view. Thus, I'm wasting my time responding to your remarks.


Our actions are actually caused by our desires (…and NOT by what is good/right). Whether it be, the desire to be “perceived as good”, or the desire to “gain benefit”, or the desire to “satisfy a guilty conscience”, or the desire to “maintain loyalty”, or whatever. It is our desires (wants/urges) that dictate our actions.

We don’t do anything for the sake of righteousness or goodness. It is only our egos that have falsely convinced us of such.
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby Old Rasputin on May 11th, 2016, 5:33 pm 

uninfinite wrote:The natural connotation of my remarks is that human beings ARE moral animals with a moral sense - like a sense of humor; we have a sensitivity to the moral implications of our actions and those of others.

Morality is a just game that human’s play. There are no real morals. There is no good or bad.

We all run around wanting to stick the label of “good”, “holy”, “pious” on ourselves, and stick the labels of “bad”, “evil”, on others. It’s just a judgmental game of identifying/positioning/distinguishing ourselves within a group/pack/society. From my perspective, it is a silly childish game.

We do what we do because of our wants/desires, not because of a silly game called morality.
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby mtbturtle on May 11th, 2016, 5:45 pm 

Old Rasputin » Wed May 11, 2016 4:33 pm wrote:
uninfinite wrote:The natural connotation of my remarks is that human beings ARE moral animals with a moral sense - like a sense of humor; we have a sensitivity to the moral implications of our actions and those of others.

Morality is a just game that human’s play. There are no real morals. There is no good or bad.

We all run around wanting to stick the label of “good”, “holy”, “pious” on ourselves, and stick the labels of “bad”, “evil”, on others. It’s just a judgmental game of identifying/positioning/distinguishing ourselves within a group/pack/society. From my perspective, it is a silly childish game.

We do what we do because of our wants/desires, not because of a silly game called morality.


So you say but all I see is empty assertion. You offer us no reason, no argument leading me to wonder if your ego isn't getting in the way.
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby Serpent on May 11th, 2016, 6:13 pm 

Old Rasputin » May 11th, 2016, 4:33 pm wrote:We all run around wanting to stick the label of “good”, “holy”, “pious” on ourselves,

Some of us do so, and some have labels stuck on them by others. Those are three separate labels, though, each worth defining and inspecting for social significance.

and stick the labels of “bad”, “evil”, on others.

Again, these are two different labels. 'Bad' is very general: it includes spoiled food, non-arable land, a child who won't sit still to have its hair cut, the part of human nature that pits itself against order and peace, inaccurate information, a ballot that's difficult to read or a film that doesn't meet our standard of entertainment. 'Evil' is reserved for things, acts and persons who that destroy life and wellness - by whatever criteria a given society deems its life and welfare.

The supernatural element tends to intrude here, as many societies set their standard of goodness according to some religious principle.

It’s just a judgmental game of identifying/positioning/distinguishing ourselves within a group/pack/society. From my perspective, it is a silly childish game.

It must be amazing to be that far above the mundane preoccupations of mortals. Nevertheless, for most of us, the choice between good and evil is anything but a game, and if it's childish - try to remember how difficult childhood could sometimes be.

We do what we do because of our wants/desires, not because of a silly game called morality.

Morality is one way of codifying desires so that they can be balanced: one individual's against another's, the individual's against the group's, one group's against another's. Thus, we may come to amicable compromise within families, bloodless truce between feuding clans, lasting peace between nations.
Shared moral values have saved more lives than any other single human concept.
If that is childish, then let a little child lead them all!
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby Old Rasputin on May 13th, 2016, 11:18 am 

Old Rasputin wrote:We do what we do because of our wants/desires, not because of a silly game [of attaching labels] called morality.

Serpent wrote:Morality is one way of codifying desires so that they can be balanced: one individual's against another's, the individual's against the group's, one group's against another's. Thus, we may come to amicable compromise within families, bloodless truce between feuding clans, lasting peace between nations.

Serpent, I have no disagreement with this.

My point is this --- we must first WANT to do those actions that are perceived as morally good, prior to us being labelled/"codified" as doing GOOD. In other words, the WANT always precedes the DOING of GOOD. It is this "want" that causes our actions, that are then labelled as "good".

"GOOD" is just a label, …and a “label” is not a causer of action!
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby uninfinite on May 13th, 2016, 1:30 pm 

Perceived as morally good by whom? How would anyone know they were morally good if it's just a label? Why are the core principles of morality stable throughout history and across the world; like stealing: bad, murder: bad, charity: good - if these are just perceptions?
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby Old Rasputin on May 13th, 2016, 2:34 pm 

uninfinite wrote:Perceived as morally good by whom? How would anyone know they were morally good if it's just a label?

Agreed. There is no such thing as morally good, other than as a subjective label. Democrats label Robin Hood as “morally good”, whereas Republicans label him as “morally bad”. It is just a subjective label, typically used to identify (or justify) one’s actions.


uninfinite wrote:Why are the core principles of morality stable throughout history and across the world; like stealing: bad, murder: bad, charity: good - if these are just perceptions?

It is only a “stable label” within one’s own group.

The group called ISIS believes they are “good” to kill in the name of Allah, whereas another group believes this (killing) to be "bad". Furthermore, the latter group then believes it is “good” to kill in the name of terrorism.

Morality ("label making") is used to justify and promote the actions of each group.
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby Serpent on May 13th, 2016, 2:36 pm 

Old Rasputin » May 13th, 2016, 10:18 am wrote:My point is this --- we must first WANT to do those actions that are perceived as morally good, prior to us being labelled/"codified" as doing GOOD. In other words, the WANT always precedes the DOING of GOOD. It is this "want" that causes our actions, that are then labelled as "good".

"GOOD" is just a label, …and a “label” is not a causer of action!

That sounds like a quibble. What difference does it make what feelings preceded a good action? A normal person, raised by decent parents, generally wants to be good, as well as to be considered good. He doesn't always succeed, and when he fails, he generally feels disappointed, guilty, remorseful, sad. That's the result of early training and is usually impossible to disregard, though certainly not impossible to overrule.

Sometimes we do not want to do those things that we understand to be good, but feel that we must or should. You might make an effort or a sacrifice you would prefer - sometimes, very much prefer - not to make, for the sake of other people, or out of pity, or duty or solidarity or love, none of which motives would detract from the goodness of the act or the benefit that results from the act. A drowning man is not any less saved if his rescuer was reluctant to jump in after him and did, just because it was the right thing to do.

It's not just a label: it's a basic concept of social interaction enshrined in all our languages, moral and legal codes. It's neither arbitrary nor subjective: the fundamental purpose of virtue is the same in all societies (not restricted to humanoid) even if some superficial expressions of it are different in each society.
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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby Old Rasputin on May 13th, 2016, 4:15 pm 

Serpent wrote:That sounds like a quibble. What difference does it make what feelings preceded a good action?

I agree it sounds minor, but without clarifying the chronological causal events as they actually happen, it is easy for us to mistakenly assume that morality is a causer of actions.


Serpent wrote:A normal person, raised by decent parents, generally wants to be good, as well as to be considered good. He doesn't always succeed, and when he fails, he generally feels disappointed, guilty, remorseful, sad. That's the result of early training and is usually impossible to disregard, though certainly not impossible to overrule.

Sometimes we do not want to do those things that we understand to be good, but feel that we must or should. You might make an effort or a sacrifice you would prefer - sometimes, very much prefer - not to make, for the sake of other people, or out of pity, or duty or solidarity or love, none of which motives would detract from the goodness of the act or the benefit that results from the act. A drowning man is not any less saved if his rescuer was reluctant to jump in after him and did, just because it was the right thing to do.

I don't disagree, but how do we know what is “good” or “right”? Isn’t this defined by one’s own societal group, which is determined by the group’s mores; the acquired customs and assumptions that give cohesion to a community or social group?


Serpent wrote:It's not just a label: it's a basic concept of social interaction enshrined in all our languages, moral and legal codes.

It is only a basic concept within one’s own societal group. There are no “universal” morals. That which is considered “good” or “right” in one group, may be considered “bad” or “wrong” in another.
Old Rasputin
 


Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Postby Serpent on May 13th, 2016, 5:00 pm 

Old Rasputin » May 13th, 2016, 3:15 pm wrote:I agree it sounds minor, but without clarifying the chronological causal events as they actually happen, it is easy for us to mistakenly assume that morality is a causer of actions.

I never said it was. I said our sense of what's right is codified as morality. Morality is not a thing or a motive; it's just a handy reference: a code we can consult when choosing how to prioritize our motives.


[wants to be good, as well as to be considered good.]
I don't disagree, but how do we know what is “good” or “right”? Isn’t this defined by one’s own societal group, which is determined by the group’s mores; the acquired customs and assumptions that give cohesion to a community or social group?

Of course. All good and right is interactive: they are the desiderata of group existence. No social animal grows up in a moral vacuum - because, without others of its kind, it could not grow up at all. How does the fact that it's a social phenomenon change the goodness or rightness?


It is only a basic concept within one’s own societal group.

No. The concept of an acceptable code of behaviour is not merely shared by all peoples, but by all social animals.
Again:
the fundamental purpose of virtue is the same in all societies, even if some superficial expressions of it are different.

There are no “universal” morals. That which is considered “good” or “right” in one group, may be considered “bad” or “wrong” in another.

That would be the superficial expressions to which I referred above. You may point out particular practices that are approved in one society and disapproved in another*, but I very much doubt you can name a society that lacks a moral code of any kind.

(btw - these are more likely to be rules regarding what's allowed in terms of personal freedom, such as the age of sexual consent or how much skin one may show in public, rather than reversals of major laws, such as the categories of homicide. I don't think any society rewards the killing of an equal, for example, or the destruction of a fellow citizen's house.)
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