Joined: Feb. 2006
I certainly don't expct that everyone will be moral, all the time. If you know of such a person, who is living, please point that one out to me - I'd become their student!
how would one go about finding such a person?
sir_toejam: Perhaps by acting as Diogenes and wandering around Athens with a lamp looking for an honest face?
You and others keep asserting that morality is relative. I don't buy it. There is no objective argument that proves morality to be relative.
People who enjoy S&M can do so without too much worry, so long as both participants are willing, but if someone performs sadistic acts on another who is unwilling, we consider the sadist to be evil and do everything we can to stop them. (If any reader disagrees, pelase defend your reasoning.)
If morality is relative means all moral decisions are equally valid, then anything goes. No matter what I do to you, you have no recourse. My morality is just as good as yours, so you have no reason to feel peevish if I take your stuff, shoot your dog, eat your children, or torch your home.
BWE: I don't really ahve any frustration with fundamentalists religionist moral codes, other that the fact that the religionist moral codes suffer from their foundation on a false belief - that they were handed down from on high by a prefectly moral being and are therefore immutable. I'm not really frustrated with this, it's just incorrect.
My frustration is more with others in the free-thinking community when they make the claim that morality is relative - for the reasons I noted above.
I believe that we can discover objective moral truths, in the same way that we have discovered objective scientific ones. I believe this is so because our minds are part of our material bodies, and are, therefore, a natural phenomenon. And, so far, whenever we are trying to figure out natrual phemomena, we have been very successful using techniques that lead to objective descriptions - well, that sentence reads like shit.
Try again: Our minds are either a natural occurence or a supernatural one. If supernatural, then all bets are off, because anything could be true. If natural, then our minds are decipherable through natural means, just like all the other natural things around us. If this is so, then just like physiologists can figure out the ranges of nutrition and exercise that help our bodies prosper, moral philosophers can figure out the range of behaviors that help our intellects and emotions prosper. But, just like we don't have to wait to eat until we have consulted with a nutritionist, we don't have to wait to act until we have consulted with a moral philosopher. We can use our own minds as much as possible to figure out what is moral and what is not.
If this is untrue, please help me to see how.
beervolcano: I think you are mistaken regarding your expectation of an objective moral code. I already said that defining the terms was a matter of discussion. We have to talk about who is innocent and who causes harm and what it means to be harmed. Much of this discussion is embodied in the philosophy of law.
The fact that we do create laws and discuss their applicability is evidence to me that we are interested in objective standards for these things.
I already said that an objective moral code isn't absolutist, it doesn't mean that everybody protects their life in the exact same way, or that everyone values the same material goods, or that everyone enjoys the same things (even monks enjoy their aestheticism).
An objective moral code is a collection of observed behaviors that tend to lead to the result of human happiness. Is happiness different for different people? Yes, there is a wide range of what makes people happy, but the fact is that every single person strives for it, even if their happiness comes from physical pain and suffering. When the rest of us step in, is when some inflict physical pain and suffering on others who did not volunteer for it.
But people's moral strength ebbs and flows. Right now, I'd say Americans have very little moral strength because of the pain and suffering we allow our government and businesses to inflict on others who have done us no harm. And even you know what it means to be harmed.