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I grew-up eating; bacon, sausages, chicken, ham and beef. Those animals which are not so endeared to me and that I grew-up eating I now don't mind eating.
I agree with your sliding-scale theory, but I think that it ranges from animals that we value as a society and individually. For example: Western society values cats and dogs as pets; whereas in eastern society cats and dogs are eaten. I would never dream of eating cats and dogs, for me it is a totally immoral action, but people from the east who eat cats and dogs don't see it as an immoral action. Individually, some people value spiders and keep them as pets i.e. - tarantulas, those individuals would view the killing of spiders as immoral, because they value them.
Philohof wrote:I am not really able to be very interested in what is an immoral action because ultimately I take "morals" to come from Latin "mores", English "custom", "tradition".
So, an immoral action ultimately is always something that goes against custums or tradition, also in the case that philosophers try to build a universally valid version of it and one that is based on reason.
But, you know, custums or traditions is always something, that does not belong to me; it belongs to the other people. I cannot change anything there, it is just about following the rule or not.
That is why I am much more interested in ethics. Ethics for me is to think about how I want to live, what I want to do?
An unethical action therefore would be, if a person does not reflect on what she is doing, if she just lives out of habit or if she lives automatically.
(If a person acts morally without thinking about her actions, according to my definition she would also act unethically.)
Nikole Doucette wrote:This opinion may be pretty out there, but in a survival of the fittest scenario, such as throughout the book Might is Right, the mightier person performing an act in another's offense is only immoral due to the mind frame we humans have today. Why is stealing immoral? What makes such things immoral? What makes murder immoral? It is the man made laws, religions, and ethics that make us think something is immoral. In reality, it is really just another action we take. If the Bible taught us survival of the fittest: stealing food from someone would not be immoral, especially if we needed it. That person one stole from had every right to fend one off and keep his/her food safe from that person. His lack of wit, strength, or knowledge is his own doing. Immorality is in the eyes of the individual.
Nikole Doucette wrote:It is just a shame that morality has been fed to us through generations of mental training, making the individual standpoint to be in line with other, preventing us to think our own thought (but thats why we have philosophy!)...
Thinkingcat wrote:I broadly agree. But suppose I suggested that we strive to reduce the total amount of suffering in the world, would you consider that as no more moral than suggesting I just try to look after myself? I can't prove that one viewpoint is better than another, but the understanding that if I find suffering unpleasant then so must other people, and that there is no reason to believe they are less important than I, suggests to me and perhaps a majority of people that all moralities are not equally defensible.
Thinkingcat wrote:It is a shame in some ways, but in another way it's just as well. What do you think would happen if society were to admit that there is no absolute right and wrong and everyone should make her own mind up? There would be plenty of people who would seize on this to justify behaviour which was less considerate to others. Technically it might be 'fair' to tell people the truth, but in practice societies depend on various lies and secrets to control people for the overall good of its members. It's not ideal, but we're still struggling to find a better way. A little knowldege is a dangerous thing, too many people are unable to understand the whole truth, so we have to keep quite a lot of things in the dark and play a bit of game in order to get things to work.
-- Updated Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:32 am to add the following --
Moral and ethics differ from area to area, thus it can be a matter of local culture.philoreaderguy wrote:What makes an action immoral? How do we know if a certain choice, action, or behavior is immoral?
Nikole Doucette wrote:To make an attempt to end suffering in the world seems to be what people nowadays do. There are charities, donation banks, missions, volunteering and so on that give people a better rest at night. I do not consider their conscience of morale to be better than mine (which I am very selfish). So no, their morale is not any better than mine, because the people who attempt to better the world are doing it for a reason, which is ultimately selfish anyhow. Offering the monthly tithes and sponsoring a poor child like stated before, merely makes them feel like they have good morale. It is a part of the conditioning process we have gained through worldwide occults and religions. It has become a part of our culture and daily existence, which also infers to your other questions...
philoreaderguy wrote:What makes an action immoral? How do we know if a certain choice, action, or behavior is immoral?
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