What makes an action immoral?

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Post Number:#16  Postby Patrarch » December 12th, 2007, 10:41 pm

First I think it needs to be proven that morality exists. I.E. disprove moral nihilism and show that there is more to morality than

"i like x"
"i feel you should do x"
"i desire the results of x"
"x promotes y"
"x is bad"

and other related statements.

Scott is a moral nihilist. Prove him wrong, and show that morality even exists before we debate what decides moral versus immoral :)
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Post Number:#17  Postby number96 » June 8th, 2008, 12:38 am

cynicallyinsane wrote:A man stealing to feed himself is immoral, because stealing is immoral.


But if he doesn't steel and starves to death, he is committing suicide which is violating his own right to live.
Morality in such a circumstance should not be judged in black and white. It is multi layered and really unique to each situation.
I agree with the argument posted above regarding the types of violations...
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Re: What makes an action immoral?

Post Number:#18  Postby nameless » June 11th, 2008, 4:56 pm

philoreaderguy wrote:What makes an action immoral?

Perspective.

How do we know if a certain choice, action, or behavior is immoral?

By your perspective.
This perspective is amoral. So nothing is 'moral' or 'immoral'. It just Is.
That perspective will be different.
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What makes an action immoral?

Post Number:#19  Postby Dewey » June 13th, 2008, 12:19 am

Every one of the above responses is thoughtful and reasonable. How can that be? They are so different. The reason may lie in a comment I heard somewhere, that the philosophy of ethics is not a science; it’s an art.

I like Spinoza’s ideas on the subject. He said: “The terms ‘good and evil’ indicate nothing positive in things considered in themselves nor are they anything else than modes of thought… One and the same thing may at the same time be both good and evil or indifferent – according to the person who makes the judgement of it.”

Imagine a society in which everyone was free to act in accordance with his or her moral judgement each time! It would be utter chaos, of course. That’s why we must live under the rule of laws representing our majority consent as to what is good and what is not.

So, we’re settling for utility at the cost of some of our virtue. Is that the best we can do?
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Re: What makes an action immoral?

Post Number:#20  Postby DantesInferno » June 13th, 2008, 1:38 am

philoreaderguy wrote:What makes an action immoral? How do we know if a certain choice, action, or behavior is immoral?


What makes an action immoral? Technically, by your societal (and personal) standards. What may be immoral to you may be completely fine to another and vice versa. Also, there may be whole civilizations who take part in human cannibalism, which would be immoral to us, but to them it may be an honor to be eaten by the rest of the tribe/society.
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What makes an act immoral?

Post Number:#21  Postby Edward J. Bartek » July 19th, 2008, 10:11 pm

An act is immoral when it breaks a spiritual religious commandment, like the Ten Commandments, which are religiously believed as the word of God. It is unselfishly altruistic. It is based on a universal good. It differs from sensual hedsoism that says getting the most good is having the most pleasure for most individuals. It's good is measured by statistical polls. It is all selfish good, for pleasure is only selfish. Between these is Ethics, made by ratinal man (philosophy) to enable harmony in groups and society as a whole. It is based on self-disciplined moderation to enable he greater social good.

All three, morals-Ethics-Hedonism are necessary for the fulfillment of man's spirit-mind-body. But to avoid one morality dominating the other two, spiritual morals say "No" to the sensual, that says "Yes" to itself, while rational ethics says "Maybe" before joing one side or the other to control excess.

So, in affect, An act is moral if it fulfill a potential in moderation, and denies the self to avoid excess. One excess seeks to destroy the others. Moral, ethical, and hedonistic inhibitions and moderation deny this.
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Post Number:#22  Postby Dreamshift » July 21st, 2008, 5:28 pm

Well, I think I'll be more Nihilistic when it comes to this question than others. Absolute morality derived from a being I likely cannot fully comprehend is risky for two reasons: One, why does it care about me and what I do, and two would I even understand what such said being is trying to say with my limited scope of reality?

So lets start with a Tabula Rasa, a clean slate. If there are no absolutes, and so a dialogue to be had, then we must find a context to base our morality. For me, I find the context should be our environment and how we can survive and thrive the most effeciently, because in the end it is what is most effecient that survives not the most moral (I site the sustainable and relatively peacful lives of the Native Americans and the Europeans who took their land in the name of "Manifiest Desteny").

So our environment is Earth, flora, fauna, and the people that inhabit it. If we are to sustain our existance, we must live harmonously with those things, and doing so is the most effecient and ergo the basis of our morality (in my tabula rasa method of logic). We must care for our Earth and our fellow man/woman to live the most successfully while expanding and growing in sustainable ways as to keep a percieved balance of power with threats foriegn (If the Natives of America could even percieve their threats, they would have likely done so as well, but they didn't have such a good connection to the budding global economy as the Europeans did). If we can do this, I think we'll live both morally and sustainably. I thin that's quite Ulitarian, but I'll stick to my guns until someone gives me a good reason not to.
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Post Number:#23  Postby Coahtemoc » September 8th, 2008, 11:44 pm

In my opinion, an action is defined as moral or immoral by society. If you never lived with human contact, and, say, lived in the wild, and had to kill things to survive, then you'd probably be just fine with that. The same cannot be said for one who lived in, say, the suburbs. If the suburbian killed someone, he/she would either be panicking, or insane (and by kill I mean a random murder, not in self defense). It is our society that says what is immoral or moral. This, I think, is why intolerence for things like homosexuality and other religions; most people are heterosexual, and, for many countries, Christian. because they are different, homosexuality and other religions are seen as taboo or unethical. Then again, intolerence of these things could be caused by humankind's nature to fear/hate that which they do not understand.
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Post Number:#24  Postby Belinda » September 9th, 2008, 8:12 am

Coahtemoc, I agree that morality depends utterly upon mankind's being a social species
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Post Number:#25  Postby Scott » May 26th, 2009, 12:18 pm

Patrarch wrote:First I think it needs to be proven that morality exists. I.E. disprove moral nihilism and show that there is more to morality than

"i like x"
"i feel you should do x"
"i desire the results of x"
"x promotes y"
"x is bad"

and other related statements.

Scott is a moral nihilist. Prove him wrong, and show that morality even exists before we debate what decides moral versus immoral. :)

Yes, we must agree on what it means for something to be 'morally good' or 'immoral' before we can sensibly discuss whether or not a particular action or person is 'moral' or 'immoral.'

People can mean many different things when they make a moral claim. When one elaborates and specifies what they mean, and when people agree on a definition of morality, I believe we are left with an amoral claim, such as I like X, or X is unhealthy, etc.
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Post Number:#26  Postby ape » May 26th, 2009, 3:02 pm

Scott wrote:Yes, we must agree on what it means for something to be 'morally good' or 'immoral' before we can sensibly discuss whether or not a particular action or person is 'moral' or 'immoral.'

People can mean many different things when they make a moral claim. When one elaborates and specifies what they mean, and when people agree on a definition of morality, I believe we are left with an amoral claim, such as I like X, or X is unhealthy, etc.

Matthew 5: 27Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

28But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

So the MR:Mens Rea in immorality is the same MR in murder: malice afore thought.
Verse 28 means:
When whoever hates not having sex or hates ugly women or women with poor shapes or not having had any lately, whoever is already immoral before he even looks and even before he even thinks of sex, and even before he even thinks of looking, and is immoral while looking and even after he stops looking. Note the words: 'already' and /in his heart.' This applies to the blind.
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Post Number:#27  Postby Akui » June 3rd, 2009, 2:28 pm

Morality is just something society creates. People are animals. They, like all animals, have two base desires; Survival of self, and Survival of species. Humans are obviously very good at fulfilling both of those disires. The human world has, in fact, become grossly over populated. Morals and ethics were created in times of conflict and war, to prevent the complete extinction of the tribe or clan which creatd them.
Such things such as homosexuality, which many monotheistic religions veiw as being "immoral," is merely a form of population control. If people refrain from reproducing, then obviously they will not further the over population of the world by creating children. You could, I suppose, even look at serial killers and the such as a natural occurance, an attempt to being down the population of humanity.
Many people veiw killing others as being immoral. When animals kill each other, do we look at it and say, "Evil?" No. We say "It's natrual." Animals kill to survive. They kill both for food, and fight amonst themselves to keep the population levels down and "cull the herd" of weaker individuals. Also, rape. Rape is veiwed as a sin in many human cultures, but it is completely natrual. Most male creatures have an inborn urge to spread thier genes. Chimps rape each other. Many types of animals do. It's a natrual way of making sure only the strongest genes are spread. Somewhere along the path of evolution, Homo Sapiens have picked up the habit of seeing completely natrual actions and labiling them as "evil" or "wrong." Smething only becomes immoral when people lable it as such. like the Tao says; "When people see some things as good, other things become bad." Morality does not exist in nature. Why should in in humanity?
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Post Number:#28  Postby ape » June 3rd, 2009, 5:05 pm

Akui wrote:.. Somewhere along the path of evolution, Homo Sapiens have picked up the habit of seeing completely natrual actions and labiling them as "evil" or "wrong." Smething only becomes immoral when people lable it as such. like the Tao says; "When people see some things as good, other things become bad." Morality does not exist in nature. Why should in in humanity?

Hi Akui.
Xlnt analysis!
So how would you codify in one sentence a code of conduct or of living in which everything in humanity and in nature is all good and all right and all moral, the 'bad' and the 'wrong' and the 'moral' being only shorthanded names or labels for the opposite good and the opposite right and the opposite moral?
With your Code, the Tao would read: "When people see some things as good, other things also become good."
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Post Number:#29  Postby Akui » June 3rd, 2009, 5:14 pm

Hi, ape.
My "Code," as you put it, would be more like, "When people see some things as good, then they see everything that is not good as bad."

What I'm trying to say, is that beyond the existance of the perspective of humanity, there is no "good" or "evil." Survival of the self and of the species is the only Code that applies to all, be they human or otherwise.
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Post Number:#30  Postby ape » June 4th, 2009, 10:27 am

Akui wrote:Hi, ape.
My "Code," as you put it, would be more like, "When people see some things as good, then they see everything that is not good as bad."
Ape: But how cd any thing be bad or be seen as bad if all is good?
There is a way or code that does it, but what do you say is the way or code as you see it?

Akui:
What I'm trying to say, is that beyond the existance of the perspective of humanity, there is no "good" or "evil." Survival of the self and of the species is the only Code that applies to all, be they human or otherwise.

Thanx, Akui.
What I am trying to ask is: Why is only survival the code?
If there is no good nor bad, why isn't lack of survival good and also a part of the code?
What code would make us prepared to accept death as the price of not surviving?
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