Reading Philosophy

Mar 17, 2008 05:17 # 45583

mrsbeenstalk * posts about...

Morals

I have been having an ongoing debate on morals with one of my close friends.
She says that morals are backed up by laws, but she can't give me a reason why.
I disagree, and say that morals are backed by logic, because morals are ideas of right and wrong.
What are your opinions?
Which should we follow?
Etcetera etcetera...

Mar 17, 2008 08:01 # 45584

null throws in his two cents...

Re: Morals

I'd say laws are derived from morals. Laws are made because somebody with morals feels there's a need for the morals to be enforced.
Of course laws can't be perfect (just as democracy isn't perfect, it's just the least evil), and thus it may happen that a law stands in the way of the same morals that it's been based on (think of the rich ripping off the poor; what Robin Hood did was technically illegal, according to a law based on the belief that stealing is morally wrong, but many would argue he did the right thing).

As for morals, they're probably based on what we're taught as children, and our own desires vs. what society is willing to tolerate. The perception of what's socially acceptable and what not has changed so many times over the last few centuries.

Hmm, one could probably smoke a joint and then ponder over this topic for hours...

When life hands you a lemon, that's 40% of your RDA of vitamin C taken care of.

This post was edited by null on Mar 17, 2008.

Mar 17, 2008 19:36 # 45588

Turings_child *** replies...

Re: Morals

69% | 2

I disagree entirely, morals are personal values, and my personal values may not always agree with the letter of the law. I am however generally law abiding.

Nor is legislation always morally sound. A law designed to protect landowners to the disadvantage of tenants is not moral.

The smoking joints thing is a good example. It is against the law but I don't have a problem with it. I don't smoke anything but if anyone else does like the odd joint then so be it

I thinks therefore I is

Mar 18, 2008 08:23 # 45590

null replies...

Re: Morals

I disagree entirely, morals are personal values, and my personal values may not always agree with the letter of the law.

Haha, I didn't mean to state that either. I mean, it's the way it would be in a perfect world, but we all know how many hot dogs the phrase "it should be like that" can buy...

Still, I daresay laws are (or were, before somebody invented party donations and lobbyists) usually strongly influenced by the lawmakers' perception of what is right and wrong. It's illegal to steal or kill somebody because that would be, well, wrong.

A law specifically crafted to allow the rich to exploit the poor, or say, telephone companies from prosecution for illegal wiretapping, is of course obviously based on personal greed / lust for power and not on morals.

When life hands you a lemon, that's 40% of your RDA of vitamin C taken care of.

Mar 18, 2008 20:54 # 45595

Turings_child *** replies...

Re: Morals

I see where you are coming from but it's gotta be said that laws are becoming further removed from reinforcement of moral standards by the year.

It's all about money and influence now. I'm not christian but 10 or 20 simple laws like the 10 commandments would cover most moral issues. The usa constitution seems a good statement of morals so why do you need a gazillion other laws?

Money power and influence but no sign of morals.

I thinks therefore I is

Mar 19, 2008 11:10 # 45597

null replies...

Re: Morals

but it's gotta be said that laws are becoming further removed from reinforcement of moral standards by the year.

Ahah, I wouldn't go as far as to vehemently disagree with this statement in public.

I'm not christian but 10 or 20 simple laws like the 10 commandments would cover most moral issues.

You're probably right. But it's the details that make things complicated. And if you want to make sure that everyone is treated equally before the law, there need to be rules (i.e. laws) for every possible situation.
Thou shalt not steal. That's an easy rule. But what happens if I, say, steal your car and crash it, but can't pay for it - how much money do I own you, and how do you get it? Or if the next day you see a person in your car who unknowingly bought it from me? These questions can be answered on a case-by-case basis by common sense and morals, but personal opinions on a case-by-case basis are not an acceptable approach for a constitutional state.

It's the same with anarchy, I believe that if you put a bunch of anarchists on a remote island, they'd start creating and enforcing basic rules within a month and eventually end up with either feudalism or what we know as a modern state.

Or you needn't even talk about politics here. Pick any piece of software and watch how more details are added and how it gets more complex with each new release. That's because people can (and will) always think of new (sub-sub-sub-)features they want. As a software developer you will never reach a point where all of your customers say, "this program does everything I could ever wish for and there's not a single thing I'd like added or changed."
I think that pronciple applies to every aspect of live, including laws.

When life hands you a lemon, that's 40% of your RDA of vitamin C taken care of.

Mar 18, 2008 23:02 # 45596

harold_maude *** replies...

Re: Morals

Well here's my 2 cents or maybe it should be 5 cents due to inflation.
Anyway, from my perspective morals can be personal, social morals, and the one's having to do with the law.

The first one has to do with what you personally know and believe is right or wrong in dealing with other people and how you choose to live.

The second one has to do with what is acceptable to the society you live in. Example: if you live in a place where something is accepted as right, then it's ok to do it.
But in another place it might be socially unacceptable and to do the same thing that some other place might be ok, is considered wrong.

The third one has to do with what the laws say and whether you choose to abide by them or not.

I think that covers what I believe morals are.

Now as to how a person should live.
It's about choice. Some people will choose to go against any moral standard that exists simply because they feel that it's ok to live that way, and it doesn't matter who it affects.
My own personal moral code tells me that to hurt another intentionally is wrong so I live my life accordingly.

Does that help?

Mar 19, 2008 19:27 # 45598

Turings_child *** replies...

Re: Morals

?% | 1

Seriously guys I do know why laws exist and that there is always something which needs some legislation (Curious, this brings to mind the counter racism thread, as there is more and more legislation in this country to placate radical minorities than ever.)

Leaving that aside though the UK IS the nanny state which attempts to wrap us up in cotton wool. We have laws wrapped in laws wrapped in laws and it is difficult to see them all as morally justifiable.

It'd just be nice to go back to simpler times where 20 or 30 laws would ensure justice for all.

I thinks therefore I is

Mar 20, 2008 08:34 # 45600

null throws in his two cents...

Re: Morals

Amen to that. I just don't see it happening unless there's a radical change in human nature.
Thought of the day: It seems that nothing can sabotage an idealistic idea better than a group of determined idealists.
I think I'll need to ponder that idea for a while.

When life hands you a lemon, that's 40% of your RDA of vitamin C taken care of.

Mar 20, 2008 18:26 # 45601

Turings_child *** replies...

Re: Morals

Consider this grasshopper

Idealists only deal in ideas, not practical ability. It's knowing the specific gravity of a pot of jam but not how to get the lid off.

BTW my name is Phil, feel free to misuse it!!! :-)

I thinks therefore I is

Mar 20, 2008 22:47 # 45602

harold_maude *** replies...

Re: Morals

Here I am again...and I have been reading the posts since I put my thoughts in to this.

The problem with the goverment as it exists is that there is just too much.
Period.
And now that there are laws being passed which are stripping away the freedoms for which our forfathers were willing to go it on their own without the help of anyone else.
Many are now public record, and to their credit there are people who are in the senate and congress who are questioning the validity of what is being done.

I wish people would just really take the time to understand what the orignal constitution was and the bill of rights are.
That's all we really needed then, and now.
All these add on laws, many of which are simply rediclous, should just be thrown out with yesterdays trash, like the one that says it's illegal to hunt whales in Oklahoma...there are no whales in Oklahoma, which makes the law pointless.
It's nonsense like that keeps comming up.
Some of it isn't dangerous to mankind but many others are.

The question becomes this when looking at what is going on and what is just being passed one after another and ask yourself this question, is this right and just or something else?
I truely believe that when you search your heart, you'll know and when you know it becomes a matter of concience.
when it becomes a matter of concience then the choice is clear as to what is right and what is wrong, in what we do or don't do.


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