Ethics and Morality - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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Ethics and Morality

Iíve engaged with a lot of commenters here, and I regularly engage from a position of morality and ethics. Some have vehemently opposed this position, others just argued that my morality / ethos is incorrect.

So Iím curious my fellow TAM members, do you believe in morality? In ethics? If not, why not? If so, why?

For the sake of continuity, Iíd like to use the following definitions of morality and ethics so we don't get too confused:
ďMorality is understanding the distinction between right and wrong and living according to that understanding, and ethics is the philosophy of how that morality guides individual and group behavior. The two are closely related, with morality being the foundation of ethics.Ē

In other words, Morality is defining what is right and wrong. Ethics is the philosophy by which we ask questions RE: Morality and itís place in society.

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post #2 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 10:39 AM
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Re: Ethics and Morality

This post is the "poster child" for moral relativism. You seem to think your view points are moral and ethical, yet, people you would assume are moral and ethical disagree with you. This, they are on the side of immoral and unethical. How is this possible?
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post #3 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 10:55 AM
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Cool Re: Ethics and Morality

I totally believe in morality and ethics!

But if I feel that if my or anyone's jaded views on that subject matter transgresses anywhere upon their moral or ethical rights, then I hope and pray that I would be among the very first to speak up!

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post #4 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Ethics and Morality

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This post is the "poster child" for moral relativism. You seem to think your view points are moral and ethical, yet, people you would assume are moral and ethical disagree with you. This, they are on the side of immoral and unethical. How is this possible?
There are many options here, and you completely ignore them. There could be no morals and all things relative. I could be right on some things, wrong on others. It is my proposition that morality exists, and that it is not relative, but objective, and that we can discern and understand it.

What is your case for moral relativism? Is it your contention that consensus is necessary for a statement to be correct? If we all disagree on whether the earth is flat or round, does that mean it is neither? If we can't agree on whether the sun is a burning inferno flying in an endless space, or a limited space or pulled by a god and his chariot across the sky, or carried by a god and his boat each day, or a god dying and being reborn each day, or any number of other things, does that mean that there is no sun and none of the explanations are correct?
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post #5 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 11:23 AM
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Re: Ethics and Morality

I started out believing in a black and white morality and ethics. No room for error.

But then I realized that mankind does not have the mental equipment, the mental training, the mental inclination, the free will necessary to walk this tight line.

I was forced to blur the lines of right and wrong. We are chemical beings. Some of us have chemistry that is out of balance, some of us have childhood experiences that knocked any sense of balance to the floor.

Being overly judicial and being an unforgiving and avenging angel helps no one. That said, I think all of us should do our best to be the better man or women, in every case. Trying to do our best to be moral and ethical.

Guide others, do not Goad others.
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post #6 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 11:30 AM
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Re: Ethics and Morality

I believe that morality is fixed. And it is hard to be moral as well as ethical.

The problem with moral relativism is someone will come up with some sort of paradox that 'makes it appear to not be fixed'. Similar to Sherlock last night: no one would kill the warden, so he kills himself and then his wife dies at the hand of someone else. One could claim moral relativism. The correct answer is that you can't kill someone 'hoping' it will stop the other murder.
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post #7 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Ethics and Morality

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Originally Posted by arbitrator View Post
I totally believe in morality and ethics!

But if I feel that if my or anyone's jaded views on that subject matter transgresses anywhere upon their moral or ethical rights, then I hope and pray that I would be among the very first to speak up!
But should they speak up, are you obligated to agree or accept their views?

By forcing your ethos on others, they may think you wrong for violating theirs. But does that invalidate your ethos? Let's examine for example the Aztecs, and how their religion requires ritual sacrifice, and the cutting out of the hearts of such sacrifices. As many as 30,000 have been sacrificed at one temple in a day. When 2 such ethos as this and Christianity (or any other diametrically opposed ethos) meet, they by nature cannot co-exist. One must crush the other.
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post #8 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 12:05 PM
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Re: Ethics and Morality

To me morality and ethics are similar but involve different spheres of activity: morality involves interactions with people, ethics involves interactions with businesses and organizations. Morality is also more about goals, ethics about acceptable ways to achieve those goals. But I admit the concepts are fuzzy to me.

I have a narrowly defined range of behaviors that I consider moral / ethical for myself and a wider range that I consider acceptable for others. I think this is necessary, otherwise you cannot consider anyone else moral / ethical unless they exactly match your beliefs.

So, I consider it immoral for me to cheat on my wife, but will not judge someone else for doing so under some circumstances. I consider it unethical to deceive by omission in a business presentation, but do not judge others for doing so.


I don't really know the basis of my morality. I'm not religious. Some of my morals come from a very basic attempt to avoid tragedies of the commons: the world is a worse place if everyone steals than if no one steals. I generally believe it is moral to behave in ways that you wish other people would behave.
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post #9 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 12:19 PM
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Re: Ethics and Morality

IMO, ethics is the fundamental philosophical basis and analysis of morality. Morality is a group's conclusions or assertions about behavior. Morality can therefore be unethical. Some moral principles held by some groups clearly and directly result in unnecessary harm to others, ranging from discrimination to murder (depending on the culture or the point in time).

So, I question anyone who claims to be moral, and look at whether their beliefs and actions could or have done harm to others, especially when those others pose no material and significant threat to them or society. The whole issue of hate and intolerance for homosexuals and gay marriage is one of the most recent and obvious examples of morality that is unethical. Religion is often immoral and unethical, when it supports and condones evil attitudes and behaviors.

Love is an ideal thing; marriage is a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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post #10 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 12:30 PM
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Re: Ethics and Morality

IMO, a key tenet to morality is the ability and willingness to consider another's belief system and address one's own, constantly, to see whether one's own is skewed or lacking information, and be willing to adapt one's own if new insight is presented.

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post #11 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 12:45 PM
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Re: Ethics and Morality

Do people see any actions which do not harm others as being immoral? Is adult incest OK if precautions are taken so that no pregnancy results? If so, how does that differ in morality from say infidelity if the infidelity occurs under conditions where the spouse cannot find out?
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post #12 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 12:58 PM
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Re: Ethics and Morality

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Do people see any actions which do not harm others as being immoral? Is adult incest OK if precautions are taken so that no pregnancy results? If so, how does that differ in morality from say infidelity if the infidelity occurs under conditions where the spouse cannot find out?
I would say that if there is any realistic potential to cause harm, then the action is - to some degree - unethical. In the case of infidelity even where it can't be discovered, there is still the potential to harm your partner if you transmit an STD, or decide to leave them when you would not have otherwise. Still, there are going to be competing priorities where pursuing my own well-being may produce greater good than the harm produced. For example, surgeons do harm by cutting people up, but the potential good far outweighs the harm in most cases.

Love is an ideal thing; marriage is a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

CELIBACY IS NOT HEREDITARY.
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post #13 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 01:02 PM
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Re: Ethics and Morality

Yes, I believe in morality and ethics.

Every individual, every society, every culture, every legal system, indeed every institution has an idea about what is right and wrong, with some principles or assumptions underlying those judgements (whether explicit or tacit).

That said, there is an awful lot of disagreement as to what counts as right or wrong in a given instance. And while many will appeal to similar principles and assumptions, they will weight them differently, interpret them differently, and sometimes introduce more controversial ideals. They will also have vastly different interpretations as to the source and purpose of morality and ethics.
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post #14 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 01:04 PM
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Re: Ethics and Morality

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Do people see any actions which do not harm others as being immoral? Is adult incest OK if precautions are taken so that no pregnancy results? If so, how does that differ in morality from say infidelity if the infidelity occurs under conditions where the spouse cannot find out?
I don't see how infidelity can't impact a marriage. At the very least, the WS, by lying (not telling the truth IS lying), damages the relationship. It may not be obvious to those involved, but it has impact. I lost a very close friend, because I went NC on him after his affair. Life is to short to 'hang' with immoral folks.

Won't comment on the incest thing, makes me sick to think about.
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post #15 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 01:04 PM
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Re: Ethics and Morality

truth, history, morality and even ethics at time are written by those in power, these words have much fluidity they change and changed over time....we were all standing the house of burgess (va) in 1745, we would proclaiming the slavery is a moral issue in so far that it is the responsibility of the white man to take responsibility of the black man for he does not have the sense to take care of himself...or if we were all listening Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes on my 1927 when reading his verdict in the Buck vs. Bell case where he said "We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world if, instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. . . . Three generations of imbeciles are enough.Ē ...now i ask you is moral...is it ethical ? apparently once upon a time it was......it was immoral to own "Lady Chatterly Lover", or "Ulysses"....so what you all believe moral today or ethical can change and probably will change in time....for better or worse.
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