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  1. #1
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    Default Is morality absolute?

    Is morality absolute? Is it objective, or can it be black and white? In my opinion, I think that basic morality is absolute, then as situations become more complex, it requires more in-depth thought. Not all situations are black and white, however, respecting another person, is.

    It also depends upon the person's motive. For example, narcissists are responding to what is called a "narcissistic injury," in that they were wounded and haven't dealt with their previous trauma, so anyone that re-opens that wound is triggering narcissistic rage, whether intentionally or unintentionally. The narcissist then uses this to justify their actions- I'm not trying to sympathize with narcissists, but just to show their way of thinking, and their motives. There's Sadistic Personality Disorder, which the motive is pleasure in hurting others. There's poverty and desperation. Even the most civilized person can become a monster when things are desperate.

    I also think that no one is born knowing how to hate. Then experiences shape this belief. However, one can also be born not knowing right from wrong, and must be taught what is okay and what is not okay.

    I have some more things I would like to add, but I would like to hear everyone's thoughts, and I don't want to write a novel . What do you guys think? Is morality objective?
    "Ignis aurum probat"

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  3. #2
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    I wonder what causes black and white thinking anyway? I was reading an article that states it has to do with a split sense of self (a true self that some parts have been abandoned, and a false self) that somehow causes this way of thinking.
    "Ignis aurum probat"

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    Morality is completely subjective.

    I will use the subject of suicide to illustrate.

    I think that suicide in certain situations, such as a temporary financial or life setback or as a result of a breakup, etc, are inappropriate.

    On the other hand, if a person has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's, terminal cancer or some other disease where quality of life will become low to non-existent and hope of reprieve or recovery is gone, suicide is an appropriate and moral choice.

    Bob and Sue Smith are a married couple, both 75 years of age. Sue is in perfect health, Bob is diagnosed with Alzheimer's and beginning to decline. Bob realizes that if he remains alive, his wife will be put through years of misery and stress and emotional heartbreak, watching him die bit by bit, while being forced into the struggle of Alzheimer's care.

    Bob makes a moral choice. He takes his wife out on a dream vacation, puts his affairs in order. He makes his goodbyes to her. He takes his gun, goes to the woods and puts an end to it.

    Sue has to deal with just the one time pain of bereavement. But she recovers and can enjoy the remainder of her golden years in peace.

    So what would typically be considered an immoral act turns into an act of mercy and compassion.

    Each act must be judged purely in its own context.

    There is no black and white code of morality.

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    First, you would have to define 'morality', as the word is very ambiguous. I view morality as a subjective relational aesthetic. It's an internal construct developed by your own emotions, background, experiences and beliefs about your 'place' in the world. Which makes the responsibility completely on you to define & defend what you think is moral - from the belief in and of itself, to the moral grounds for enforcement. If morality was objective, we wouldn't have fought 1000's of wars and there wouldn't be so much death and destruction on this planet. People don't fight wars over whether or not the statue of liberty exists - because its existence is objective.

    I've never once seen someone claim that morality is objective, in conjunction with showcasing the objective properties of such morality - without resorting to metaphysics, religion, or other non-objective modes of thought. With regards to metaphysics & ontology, if morality exists in some 'objective' sense, its in a relational framework, namely a framework which has degrees & variations of morality. Similar to the idea that 'weather' exists, but weather comes in many forms. Some people like cold weather, some don't. You live. You die. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you don't. The universe isn't concerned with your mortality - or your morality. Only you are - and only you are responsible for the actions you take.
    "I could stand in the middle of 5th avenue and shoot somebody and not lose any voters" - Donald J Trump on his supporters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Safiel View Post
    Morality is completely subjective.

    I will use the subject of suicide to illustrate.

    I think that suicide in certain situations, such as a temporary financial or life setback or as a result of a breakup, etc, are inappropriate.

    On the other hand, if a person has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's, terminal cancer or some other disease where quality of life will become low to non-existent and hope of reprieve or recovery is gone, suicide is an appropriate and moral choice.

    Bob and Sue Smith are a married couple, both 75 years of age. Sue is in perfect health, Bob is diagnosed with Alzheimer's and beginning to decline. Bob realizes that if he remains alive, his wife will be put through years of misery and stress and emotional heartbreak, watching him die bit by bit, while being forced into the struggle of Alzheimer's care.

    Bob makes a moral choice. He takes his wife out on a dream vacation, puts his affairs in order. He makes his goodbyes to her. He takes his gun, goes to the woods and puts an end to it.

    Sue has to deal with just the one time pain of bereavement. But she recovers and can enjoy the remainder of her golden years in peace.

    So what would typically be considered an immoral act turns into an act of mercy and compassion.

    Each act must be judged purely in its own context.

    There is no black and white code of morality.
    In that context, what is your definition of 'morality'? It's a term we take for granted and just assume it has a clear meaning.
    "I could stand in the middle of 5th avenue and shoot somebody and not lose any voters" - Donald J Trump on his supporters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phijw View Post
    In that context, what is your definition of 'morality'? It's a term we take for granted and just assume it has a clear meaning.
    Morality cannot be universally defined.

    Morality is defined differently and uniquely by every human being on this planet. My definition of morality would be just that. (ME, MYSELF and I's definition of morality.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Safiel View Post
    Morality cannot be universally defined.

    Morality is defined differently and uniquely by every human being on this planet. My definition of morality would be just that. (ME, MYSELF and I's definition of morality.)
    We all have different opinions, but surely we can define what an 'opinion' is, yes? If "morality" as a generic concept is molded by each individual, what exactly is being molded? What does the word 'morality' refer to? I think both me & you agree on the nature of morality's subjectivity, but I think a clear definition of what morality is does require some generic notion of a systematic belief system. The relational element of it is where subjectivity is.
    "I could stand in the middle of 5th avenue and shoot somebody and not lose any voters" - Donald J Trump on his supporters.

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    Morality is simply what you feel is a good way to behave and to interact with others. That is about as much as I can objectively say. The specifics beyond that are subjective.

    Heck, morality varies widely just within the Christian community.

    Some Christians refuse to fight, some Christians are hawks.

    Some Christians approve of alcohol in moderation and some denominations, including Catholics, use alcohol in their services. Other Christians forbid alcohol.

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  19. #9
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    Morality, IMHO, are those codes that enable good people to live harmoniously with one another. For Christians and Jews, these are spelled out in the 10 Commandments. So when is it justified to break a commandment? It seems that when there is a breach of harmony, peace or law, the moral dictate is not absolute. (i.e., killing if someone is attempting to kill you, killing in war and so on) On the other hand, there are some of the commandments that have no exception - not to commit adultery, not to covet, not to replace God with idols.

    Just this week, on one of my discussion groups (and I admit I started it, though it was inspired by a podcast) we discussed a Sherlock Holmes story, the one about the "worst man in London" the blackmailer Milverton. Milverton is blackmailing Holmes' client, and when M. won't deal, Holmes, in the guise of a young plumber, infiltrates M.'s household, romances (and gets engaged to) the maid, burgles the house to steal the letters and, in concealment, witnesses M's murder by a woman he had blackmailed, and then refuses to help the police solve M's murder.
    In the story, Holmes defends his actions as "morally justifiable though technically criminal," and the story is an episode of moral compromise on many levels.
    I'm sure we can all justify our compromise by way of a greater good.

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  22. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Safiel View Post
    Morality is completely subjective.

    I will use the subject of suicide to illustrate.

    I think that suicide in certain situations, such as a temporary financial or life setback or as a result of a breakup, etc, are inappropriate.

    On the other hand, if a person has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's, terminal cancer or some other disease where quality of life will become low to non-existent and hope of reprieve or recovery is gone, suicide is an appropriate and moral choice.

    Bob and Sue Smith are a married couple, both 75 years of age. Sue is in perfect health, Bob is diagnosed with Alzheimer's and beginning to decline. Bob realizes that if he remains alive, his wife will be put through years of misery and stress and emotional heartbreak, watching him die bit by bit, while being forced into the struggle of Alzheimer's care.

    Bob makes a moral choice. He takes his wife out on a dream vacation, puts his affairs in order. He makes his goodbyes to her. He takes his gun, goes to the woods and puts an end to it.

    Sue has to deal with just the one time pain of bereavement. But she recovers and can enjoy the remainder of her golden years in peace.

    So what would typically be considered an immoral act turns into an act of mercy and compassion.

    Each act must be judged purely in its own context.

    There is no black and white code of morality.
    What I don't understand about those opposed to assisted suicide is how they rationally differentiate an example like yours from like one my family experienced a few weeks ago with my father in law. His dementia, maybe Alzheimers though he was never officially diagnosed, got progressively worse over the last 5 years. Then he got to the point where he was slipping in and out of a coma which is was uncertain he'd ever wake from as each period of coma was longer than the last. At the end it had been a week since he'd be conscious. They could have kept his body going on life support for some time and there was minor brain activity. But his wife and family decided not to make him suffer any longer and had support removed and he died soon after. They chose death for him (which I'm not arguing against by the way). Society accepts this but doesn't accept when person makes this choice for themselves.

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  24. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Safiel View Post
    Morality is simply what you feel is a good way to behave and to interact with others. That is about as much as I can objectively say. The specifics beyond that are subjective.

    Heck, morality varies widely just within the Christian community.

    Some Christians refuse to fight, some Christians are hawks.

    Some Christians approve of alcohol in moderation and some denominations, including Catholics, use alcohol in their services. Other Christians forbid alcohol.
    Morality should not be confused with religious values.

    "A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep." - Saul Bellow

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  26. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Safiel View Post
    Morality is completely subjective.

    I will use the subject of suicide to illustrate.

    I think that suicide in certain situations, such as a temporary financial or life setback or as a result of a breakup, etc, are inappropriate.

    On the other hand, if a person has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's, terminal cancer or some other disease where quality of life will become low to non-existent and hope of reprieve or recovery is gone, suicide is an appropriate and moral choice.

    Bob and Sue Smith are a married couple, both 75 years of age. Sue is in perfect health, Bob is diagnosed with Alzheimer's and beginning to decline. Bob realizes that if he remains alive, his wife will be put through years of misery and stress and emotional heartbreak, watching him die bit by bit, while being forced into the struggle of Alzheimer's care.

    Bob makes a moral choice. He takes his wife out on a dream vacation, puts his affairs in order. He makes his goodbyes to her. He takes his gun, goes to the woods and puts an end to it.

    Sue has to deal with just the one time pain of bereavement. But she recovers and can enjoy the remainder of her golden years in peace.

    So what would typically be considered an immoral act turns into an act of mercy and compassion.

    Each act must be judged purely in its own context.

    There is no black and white code of morality.
    That's a great post.

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  28. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Safiel View Post
    Morality is simply what you feel is a good way to behave and to interact with others. That is about as much as I can objectively say. The specifics beyond that are subjective.

    Heck, morality varies widely just within the Christian community.

    Some Christians refuse to fight, some Christians are hawks.

    Some Christians approve of alcohol in moderation and some denominations, including Catholics, use alcohol in their services. Other Christians forbid alcohol.
    It's not just how you interact with others. It's also internal.

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  30. #14
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    Should morality be descriptive or normative? Which is more effective?

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