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There is no morality in nature, why do we pretend we have it

Enter here to explore ethical issues and discuss the meaning and source of morality.
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Cheese85
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Joined: February 18th, 2015, 4:21 pm

There is no morality in nature, why do we pretend we have it

#1 Postby Cheese85 » February 18th, 2015, 7:45 pm

The title says most of it really.

As there is no morality in nature, why pretend we have it or need it. Nothing in life is based around what's fair, or moral, it's all chaos and chance.

The concept of 'treat others how you would like to be treated' is a reasonable form of pack mentality to keep yourself safe, but we do not practise this in a pure form, even from within that group we fight for hierarchy like all other pack mammals do, and we are willing to break these moral rules when we see fit.

So why must we pretend, why can't we call it as it is, their is no morality, ethics are based on perspective, why pretend things are good or bad, why can't things just be referred to allowed or not allowed, whether people find those things right or wrong, modern society being successful is solely based on what's allowed or not allowed within social groups.

Where those that allow the most usually progress the quickest.

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Altfish
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Re: There is no morality in nature, why do we pretend we hav

#2 Postby Altfish » February 18th, 2015, 8:07 pm

Welcome Cheese85.

Question, on what evidence do you base your assertions?

Cheese85
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Re: There is no morality in nature, why do we pretend we hav

#3 Postby Cheese85 » February 18th, 2015, 8:12 pm

Everyday life I guess!

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Altfish
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Re: There is no morality in nature, why do we pretend we hav

#4 Postby Altfish » February 18th, 2015, 8:22 pm

But evidence proves there is morality in nature...

http://www.centerforinquiry.net/blogs/e ... in_nature/

Cheese85
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Re: There is no morality in nature, why do we pretend we hav

#5 Postby Cheese85 » February 18th, 2015, 8:29 pm

No evidence was put forth, that was as much a statement as my own!

Cheese85
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Re: There is no morality in nature, why do we pretend we hav

#6 Postby Cheese85 » February 18th, 2015, 9:00 pm

The statement made about torture of innocents being immoral is hardly universal.

We also torture innocent people in war, we torture animals, and occasionally people torture others for simply dominance, or because our mothers didn't hug us enough.

The concept that the torture of others was off bounds wasn't exercised until quite recently. Prior to that torture and slavery of innocents was quite common, mental torture even more common, even if you don't like physical torture.

In fact mental torment and torture is in constant use, as we are a species dependent on language and thought over physical capabilities.

Cheese85
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Re: There is no morality in nature, why do we pretend we hav

#7 Postby Cheese85 » February 18th, 2015, 9:05 pm

Finally the burden of proof of whether there is morality in nature is on those that say there is, as opposed to I who says their is no evidence for morality in nature.

Maria Mac
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Re: There is no morality in nature, why do we pretend we hav

#8 Postby Maria Mac » February 19th, 2015, 12:11 am

Welcome Cheese85.

It might be helpful if you define what you mean by 'morality'. My definition would be 'what human beings decide is right and wrong' and the reason we make these decisions and make laws out of them is to determine the best way to live as human beings - something which human beings have always disagreed over and continue to disagree over.

Your question implies that you have a different definition so perhaps you could clarify?

I don't see what bearing whether or not there is morality in nature has on the subject. Sounds fallacious to me.

Cheese85
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Re: There is no morality in nature, why do we pretend we hav

#9 Postby Cheese85 » February 19th, 2015, 7:12 am

My definition of morality, would simply be what is right, just, and fair, regardless of the situation. That idea that we choose amongst ourselves what morality is, to me makes it worthless. It's should be universal, not manipulated. As this option doesn't really exist, this is why I dislike the concept of people seeking and justifying something as moral, it has little argument over whether something can or should be done.

Why are we so obsessed with using it. Those of religious following proclaim their morality as something perfect and pure, then athiests argue about using discussion and reason to form their morality, why not just discuss and reason each action separately and not pretend that there is morality and that it truly has an impact on our lives.

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Alan H
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Re: There is no morality in nature, why do we pretend we hav

#10 Postby Alan H » February 19th, 2015, 9:33 am

Cheese85 wrote:My definition of morality, would simply be what is right, just, and fair, regardless of the situation.
What is 'right, just, and fair'?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Cheese85
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Re: There is no morality in nature, why do we pretend we hav

#11 Postby Cheese85 » February 19th, 2015, 10:27 am

Precisely, so morality doesn't exist as there is no answer.

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Alan H
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Re: There is no morality in nature, why do we pretend we hav

#12 Postby Alan H » February 19th, 2015, 11:04 am

Cheese85 wrote:Precisely, so morality doesn't exist as there is no answer.

Oh, there are plenty of answers - I'm just interested in why you seem to think there are none, yet say:
why not just discuss and reason each action separately
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Nick
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Re: There is no morality in nature, why do we pretend we hav

#13 Postby Nick » February 19th, 2015, 2:28 pm

Cheese85 wrote:The title says most of it really.

As there is no morality in nature, why pretend we have it or need it.
Yes there is. It's just that other species have a different morality to us. We humans have evolved a concept of morality in order to function more effectively (which I realise might have a variety of measures). We do need some sort of concept of morality, just as we need some sort of concept about justice. Quite what they are, and how far we can reach them by intellect, rather than biological evolution, is another matter.

Nothing in life is based around what's fair, or moral, it's all chaos and chance.
Seriously?

The concept of 'treat others how you would like to be treated' is a reasonable form of pack mentality to keep yourself safe, but we do not practise this in a pure form, even from within that group we fight for hierarchy like all other pack mammals do, and we are willing to break these moral rules when we see fit.
We co-operate hugely. Living would be impossible if we didn't. But practicing anything is not a practical proposition if everything has to black or white. Most of life goes on somewhere in between.

So why must we pretend, why can't we call it as it is, their is no morality, ethics are based on perspective, why pretend things are good or bad, why can't things just be referred to allowed or not allowed, whether people find those things right or wrong, modern society being successful is solely based on what's allowed or not allowed within social groups.
Firstly because it is not practical to exist by such a complex set of rules, and secondly because the virtually infinite variety in concepts of morality still tend to coalesce around general lines. Having said that, I would agree with you that there is no absolute morality (as given by God, say), so examinations of what is or is not somehow "moral" are still valid.

Where those that allow the most usually progress the quickest.
Personal freedom has all sorts of values. :)

thundril
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Re: There is no morality in nature, why do we pretend we hav

#14 Postby thundril » February 19th, 2015, 3:10 pm

Different individuals have different ideas about what is right, just or fair. Whole communities need to reach some minimal agreement about this, for prectical daily operations.. It's a moving target, so we have developed democracies; ways of revisiting this discussion every few years.
We don't all agree about beauty, either. That doesn't mean nothing is "really" beautiful, does it?
Welcome the forum, BTW.

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Manuel
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Re: There is no morality in nature, why do we pretend we hav

#15 Postby Manuel » February 19th, 2015, 3:51 pm

As far as morality in animals goes, they have patterns of consistent behavior concerning they way they treat each other etc. That is as much a morality to me as what humans would call morality. It's mostly instinctive really.

Interestingly, my dog knew that it wasn't allowed upstairs. It still did it though, but waited until we went out. Not exactly sure what that demonstrates, but it always amused me.

Compassionist
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Re: There is no morality in nature, why do we pretend we hav

#16 Postby Compassionist » February 19th, 2015, 5:43 pm

Humans and other sentient beings make choices according to awareness, values and abilities. We don't have free will, we have constrained will. If I were omniscient, omnibenevolent and omnipotent, I would have prevented all suffering and injustice. Sadly, my awareness, values and abilities are very limited.

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animist
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Re: There is no morality in nature, why do we pretend we hav

#17 Postby animist » February 25th, 2015, 7:48 pm

thundril wrote:Different individuals have different ideas about what is right, just or fair. Whole communities need to reach some minimal agreement about this, for prectical daily operations.. It's a moving target, so we have developed democracies; ways of revisiting this discussion every few years.
We don't all agree about beauty, either. That doesn't mean nothing is "really" beautiful, does it?
actually I think it does mean that. Or at least that beauty is a matter for democracy. Fortunately, what is beautiful does not really matter, so we forego democracy and let the art market of rich individuals waste their money on prestigious pieces

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animist
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Re: There is no morality in nature, why do we pretend we hav

#18 Postby animist » February 25th, 2015, 8:01 pm

Compassionist wrote:Humans and other sentient beings make choices according to awareness, values and abilities. We don't have free will, we have constrained will. If I were omniscient, omnibenevolent and omnipotent, I would have prevented all suffering and injustice. Sadly, my awareness, values and abilities are very limited.
don't really want to revive our longstanding disagreement over free will, but it does not mean omnipotence and all the rest. It is our actions which are constrained by circumstances, not our will

Compassionist
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Re: There is no morality in nature, why do we pretend we hav

#19 Postby Compassionist » February 26th, 2015, 5:16 pm

animist wrote:
Compassionist wrote:Humans and other sentient beings make choices according to awareness, values and abilities. We don't have free will, we have constrained will. If I were omniscient, omnibenevolent and omnipotent, I would have prevented all suffering and injustice. Sadly, my awareness, values and abilities are very limited.
don't really want to revive our longstanding disagreement over free will, but it does not mean omnipotence and all the rest. It is our actions which are constrained by circumstances, not our will

Our will is also constrained. Not everyone can think of everything. If everyone could think of everything why have I not come up with the Unified Theory of Everything which combines Quantum Mechanics with Relativity?

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animist
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Re: There is no morality in nature, why do we pretend we hav

#20 Postby animist » February 26th, 2015, 9:01 pm

Compassionist wrote:Our will is also constrained. Not everyone can think of everything. If everyone could think of everything why have I not come up with the Unified Theory of Everything which combines Quantum Mechanics with Relativity?
I think that you are still talking about omniscience, the power of the mind. That is not free will


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