I am pretty sure what this means to me, but what does it mean to you? Does it inspire thoughts of close-minded religious bigots in you or does it connect with warm feelings of love for others and treating them well?
Where does it start and end? Is it just “not harming others”? What then of others that harm others? What of people that harm themselves? When and where do we have the moral obligation to intervene in the affairs of others?
Can we clearly define “Morality” so that there is no confusion of the boundaries between goodness and control?
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Morality for me, is unique. My moral code is based on a very short set of broad principles.
Never hurt anyone, physically or emotionally.
Don’t be nosy; other peoples’ business is other peoples’ business.
If someone is doing something you don’t like, express how it makes you feel and why it is wrong without making them feel bad and without intervening (with rare exceptions).
I have had many friends that harm themselves. Take for example a cutter. I won’t turn them in to some clinic or tell their folks on them. But I will tell them how much it upsets me, and if they try to do it around me, then I will physically intervene. For people who harm others, I try to understand why they do that. It’s only because of the way they were raised or something someone did to them, generally, so I am very understanding and feel sorry for them. I try to be immensely supportive of them and help them to change in my subtle way, without showing disgust of their actions like most do.
In general, the role I play is as the close ally who doesn’t judge, but who also doesn’t agree with what they are doing, and helps them but talking it out calmly. My words generally seem to impact people very powerfully, so this method has helped a lot of people out of a lot of shit.
compassion – empathy – “peer” pressure
Those are the 3 words I allign with morality in my head, while running over this question. Took some definitions from google quick to try and break this down.
Compassion – Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others: “the victims should be treated with compassion”.
Empathy – The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
Peer Pressure – Influence from members of one’s peer group.
To me, those are what basically form morality. We set morals for all humans to live by (peer pressure) and people are expected to act a certain way, pertaining to certain morals we all deem suitable. Some people say “well there really is not right and wrong in the universe it’s just what we label it as so” well, ok, but we still label it so.
In general I just think morality means basic understanding, awareness and the ability to give empathy and compassion, thus living a life in a certain manner.
“Can we clearly define “Morality” so that there is no confusion of the boundaries between goodness and control?”
Well, not unless people are ready to be these changes they strive for everyone else to be. A lot of morality I think is being able to self-reflect and like I said have that awareness to aknowledge what the ins and outs of situations are. When you don’t have understanding, you don’t have firm “morals” I would think? The confusion goes much deeper than just being confused about what’s good and how we control ourselves and others.
Thanks guys. I want to elaborate more.
I agree that each given circumstance has potentially a variety of ways to address it and therefore a variety of outcomes. Is morality doing the right thing or is it the intent to do the right thing, even if the outcome is inadvertantly wrong?
@ojai, you say that people say there is not really right or wrong in the universe, that is just labels we give. Do you think that people can be naturally inclined to help others and not harm others, or is this a learned phenomena in people?
@trek79, I think it’s both, my friend. Humans are naturally inclined to help others and not harms others. We don’t have cold hearts by nature, I don’t think. Being a conscious species such as ourselves we do a lot of thinking. Boom boom boom thoughts on everything. We attempt to analyze, breakdown and make sense of things, all things. With this thinking and the way we communicate, we are able to both see and show how to care for others and how not to care others. I say both because I feel like even though we are nurturing people by nature, we are still and always will be learning how to treat others. The world stays the same but the people change and we must continue to learn how to cooperate and treat eachother throughout these changes. We have basics wants and needs as humans…you know shelter, love, food, all that. Those are our real driving factors. I think our morals and how we go about them though are often all messed up because we misconstrue the value of these things versus how we value other truely non important things. Know what I mean? We’ll never stop learning how to treat people because quite frankly we haven’t even figured it out yet. I think the only thing not keeping people from completely tearing other people apart via greed, violence and all other forms of harm is just our nurturing nature. We care. But often our ideals just seem misconstrued, thus affecting our “morals”. Did I answer your question? Hahaha, I got sort of caught up with this and cleaning up around my house.
If you are into questioning the bounds of human morality, then check this out:
@ojai, Yes, that answers well. By nature we are caring but knowing how to care is something we learn.
The main idea of that question is as you said: Some people say “well there really is not right and wrong in the universe it’s just what we label it as so” well, ok, but we still label it so.” and as you said “…we are nurturing people by nature” Just that as a person who has come to understand Nihilism, I came to this belief that all human values are artificial, yet we have this naturally existing value, as natural as instinct, a fundamental part of our being that has always been there, built in to us NOT programmed throughout our life.
This natural nurturing nature cannot be artificial, and the statement “well there really is not right and wrong in the universe it’s just what we label it as so” cannot really be true in its entirety, for there it is, something pure, real and beneficial, no matter what you label it, it exists as a loving force that we didn’t just invent but is what we are built on.
@snaysler, Thank you for that link, it looks interesting but it is not working properly atm, it is my computers fault, I will keep trying.
@snaysler, I did that moral consistency test and it said I should re-evaluate my moral code. I said it was wrong to kill and wrong to torture, and it criticized me when I killed and tortured. But I stand by my statement that it is wrong to kill and torture, but hold what I did was less wrong than the alternative.