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#112749 - 01/12/13 04:40 PM Re: If I Were the Devil [Re: Sini]  
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Ah ... a better example Sini, but still too locked into the "immoral" concept, as theft is construed by most people of faith to be immoral.

Hmmmm .... I might say:

As an employer, I trusted you with the cash drawer ... it was very "unethical", not too mention illegal, for you to seal from the cash drawer.


#112762 - 01/12/13 08:40 PM Re: If I Were the Devil [Re: Longshanks]  
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Originally Posted By: Longshanks
Sini's "Moral Luck" example is not the best, because the action is inherently immoral in most people's mind (i.e. Playing Russion Roulette).

The classic example is:

You & I both run a red light, I get pulled over & receive a ticket for my action. You happen to strike & kill a pedestrian who though it was safe to cross the street. You are charged with manslaughter.

Our actions were exactly the same, we both ran a red light ... but the outcomes & punishments were very different.

Most people will view your action as "less moral" than mine, because of the outcome ... even though, as a matter of fact, our actions were identical ... we both ran a red light & both received punishment for our actions.

Thus the idea of "Moral Luck". Seems, I had it in this scenario & you did not ... of course the pedestrian happened to be very unlucky as well.

My suggestion is that when engaging in a conversations such as this, with someone who has with no religous belief, use the term "Ethics" rather than "Morals" ... describe things as "Unethical" rather than "Immoral". These are terms they can relate to & neutralizes the conversation from all that is "God", or "Jesus" related ... most of the time, without them even realizing it.

After all, Ethics, is just a secular term for the age-old concept of Morals. It can be quite comical & I often crack myself up interchanging the two terms depending on who I am talking to.


Not really the same thing.
One person got a ticket the other got a ticket and manslaughter charges.
They both did the same thing up to a point.


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#112766 - 01/12/13 10:07 PM Re: If I Were the Devil [Re: Helemoto]  
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Yes, "they both did the same thing up to a point". Shouldn't they also receive the same moral judgment?


#112767 - 01/12/13 10:12 PM Re: If I Were the Devil [Re: Sini]  
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Thank you both for clarifying the position. I still think the term "moral luck" is a misnomer.

In each of these scenarios someone did something wrong or immoral. The only difference in them is the consequences. It is no less wrong to run a red light if you don't get a ticket than if you do. Killing someone as a consequence of you running the light is an additional act and judged independently of the traffic violation. i.e. you get a ticket for running the light, and jail time for the homicide. I don't understand the idea of considering these events the same.

The idea of interchanging morals and ethics is just semantics. The word moral is used in the definition of ethics, and ethical is given as a synonym for moral. If anything ethics is the more subjective of the two since most people can agree on what is right and wrong, but often differ on what is good and bad. I've always referenced ethics as more like unto law. As in, ethics are the codification of a set of morals, like definition 2.

Definition of MORAL
1
a : of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior : ethical <moral judgments>
b : expressing or teaching a conception of right behavior <a moral poem>
c : conforming to a standard of right behavior
d : sanctioned by or operative on one's conscience or ethical judgment <a moral obligation>
e : capable of right and wrong action <a moral agent>

Definition of ETHIC
1
plural but sing or plural in constr : the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation
2
a : a set of moral principles : a theory or system of moral values
Originally Posted By: sini
you also have to admit that there are various level of morally wrong. You can't say that both stealing bread to feed a starving child and going on a killing spree are the same kinds of wrong.
I agree

Originally Posted By: sini
As such, "play" and kill, and "play" and not kill would produce different wrong types.

Here is better example:

You stole money from your employer, but when you got home you had a change of heart.

Option A: You returned and put money back before anyone noticed.
Option B: On the way to return money you were arrested by police that was alerted about theft.
For me both of these are equally wrong or equally immoral, only the consequence for the wrong action is different.

Originally Posted By: sini
Moral judgment implies that moral actor intentionally did something, but in many situations this is not the case!
So, in Longshank's scenario the driver didn't intentionally kill a person. However, I don't hold that murderer (perhaps killer is a better word since murderer usually implies intent) in the same esteem I do a guy who beats his grandmother to death with a hammer. For the car driver, I feel sorry for him and the victim. For the asshole with a hammer, I think he should get the chair. That's moral judgement to me. One guy must pay for the consequences of his actions as prescribed by law, the other is a piece of shit who doesn't deserve to go on breathing.

Still not sure I'm understanding the nuance here.


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#112772 - 01/13/13 04:14 AM Re: If I Were the Devil [Re: Sini]  
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Originally Posted By: sini
Yes, "they both did the same thing up to a point". Shouldn't they also receive the same moral judgment?


Only for the same offence.
As one did not kill anyone then they in this story get a ticket.
The other that killed someone gets a ticket and manslaughter charges which a judge or jury will determine the judgment.


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#112783 - 01/13/13 03:43 PM Re: If I Were the Devil [Re: Stubs]  
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Kaotic ... the interchanging of the terms is simply an exercize I use when discussing topics with those aethist types who can't get past the religous aspects of Morality.

In my experience, inserting the term Ethics instead moves the discussion past their fixation, that is all.

"Moral Luck" was a philisophical idea put forth by Bernard Williams.

The "luck" part of this scenario it is about the fact the action was the same but through factors outside of the control of the driver (i.e. a pedestrian crossing), the outcome was different. Some people would view both the driver & pedestrian as "unlucky" in this situation, or "at the wrong place at the wrong time".

The scenario paints the penalties in such an extreme way to illustrate the "Moral" aspect of the concept.


#112784 - 01/13/13 05:13 PM Re: If I Were the Devil [Re: Longshanks]  
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First you have to believe in luck. As it is not a physical thing that you can not touch or prove means it is not real.


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#112786 - 01/13/13 05:22 PM Re: If I Were the Devil [Re: Helemoto]  
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We can substitute and use term uncertainty. The conclusion is still the same - whenever you assign moral judgment you could be judging circumstances and not the person's actions. This cannot be explained from within absolute morality point of view.

All of these examples hopefully lead you to a conclusion - our morals are uncodified and often arbitrary extra-judicial laws.

My personal opinion is that morals are vestigial leftovers of religions dogma, as such they should be treated akin to Sharia law - with a healthy dose of skepticism.


#112787 - 01/13/13 05:28 PM Re: If I Were the Devil [Re: Sini]  
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Specific examples that irk me are sexuality and marriage laws. "You shall not lie with a man, as with a woman" is a basis for all discrimination against sexual minorities. Instead of channeling conversation into rational and more productive Darwinian fitness we have "god hate fags" hysteria.

As to Longshanks' point on morals and ethics - you can't interchange these terms. Ethics are subset of Morals, where Not Ethics portion contains all kinds of religious junk that has nothing to do with rational concepts of right and wrong.

Last edited by sini; 01/13/13 05:32 PM.

#112789 - 01/13/13 05:37 PM Re: If I Were the Devil [Re: Sini]  
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Ok, "moral luck" is philosophical word games designed to discredit the idea that there is a right and wrong. Got it.

Originally Posted By: sini
Specific examples that irk me are sexuality and marriage laws. "You shall not lie with a man, as with a woman" is a basis for all discrimination against sexual minorities. Instead of channeling conversation into rational and more productive Darwinian fitness we have "god hate fags" hysteria.

As to Longshanks' point on morals and ethics - you can't interchange these terms. Ethics are subset of Morals, where Not Ethics portion contains all kinds of religious junk that has nothing to do with rational concepts of right and wrong.
Two questions:
1. How does homosexuality fit into a Darwinian world?
2. How do you "rationally" define right and wrong?


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