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What is morality? Where does it come from?

Enter here to explore ethical issues and discuss the meaning and source of morality.
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VINDICATOR
Posts: 318
Joined: December 22nd, 2016, 11:07 am

What is morality? Where does it come from?

#1 Postby VINDICATOR » December 23rd, 2016, 2:03 pm

Theists say that all morality comes from their God. Without this God humans would be just a pack of wolves! The Christians say that their source of morality is the Ten Commandments. Have you ever read them? The first 4 Commandments commands you to worship God (the God of Abraham). If you worship any other God you will be banished to hell! Your children for 4 generations go to hell too! Is that a blueprint for morality?
I believe that the principle source for morality is our conscience, which more than 95% of humans have. Then we have the fruits of the struggle for Human Rights, like the abolition of slavery. (Some backward nations still have slavery today!)
I believe that you don't need 10 commandments. Like Confucius said 5 Centuries before Christ was born: "The Golden Rule is sufficient. Everything else is superfluous!" The Golden Rule invented by Confucius and many other philosophers, and also preached by Jesus of Nazareth, is probably the greatest invention of man. If everyone conformed to it we would have a heaven on Earth!
There are 2 ways of saying the Golden Rule-the "Yang" and the "Ying".(Consult Taoism)
1-Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
2-Don't do anything to others that you wouldn't want them to do to you.
Jesus taught the first, Confucius taught the second. They are both important and complementary.
The struggle for human Rights is still going on. One of the great heroes of Human Rights is Thomas Jefferson. His "All men are created equal" is one of the best quotes in history!

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: What is morality? Where does it come from?

#2 Postby Alan H » December 23rd, 2016, 2:15 pm

If you've not seen it already, you may like what we say about the Golden Rule and how others have phrased it: The Golden Rule
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?

VINDICATOR
Posts: 318
Joined: December 22nd, 2016, 11:07 am

Re: What is morality? Where does it come from?

#3 Postby VINDICATOR » December 24th, 2016, 4:19 am

Yes Alan, I saw the excellent article on The Golden Rule on your website. That's why I decided to join in on the Forum!

Maria Mac
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:34 pm

Re: What is morality? Where does it come from?

#4 Postby Maria Mac » December 24th, 2016, 6:32 pm

Welcome to the forum, vindicator. :wave: I'm glad you liked my article.

I believe that the principle source for morality is our conscience,

That's an interesting way of putting it. I did a quick search for definitions of 'conscience'.

"a person's moral sense of right and wrong, viewed as acting as a guide to one's behaviour."
"the inner sense of what is right or wrong in one's conduct or motives,"

These definitions raise the question of where does our "sense" of right and wrong come from and how can it differ so much between cultures and in between individuals within cultures?

For me, the starting point is human pain and suffering. We should, as a species, be trying to eliminate suffering and maximising well-being and happiness and this should be the underlying principle of any rules we make to govern human behaviour. I once saw a discussion on TV between Rabbi Julia Neuberger and I can't remember who else but whoever it was was talking about "our innate human goodness" and Neuberger responded with "I believe what you call innate human goodness is actually God-given". Wherever it comes from, I feel it and I can't understand why it isn't universal. How do we explain the unutterable cruelty that human beings inflict on each other (not to mention other sentient beings).

Religious morality is all about control, so far I can see, and much of it is anachronistic and recognised as such by progressive people of faith, who will cherry-pick what they like from their religion and find some theological justification to ignore the bad stuff.

which more than 95% of humans have

I'm wondering how you come up with 95% and who are you excluding?

Zeff
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Joined: August 6th, 2016, 2:13 pm

Re: What is morality? Where does it come from?

#5 Postby Zeff » December 24th, 2016, 7:51 pm

Athena wrote:..
I believe that the principle source for morality is our conscience,

That's an interesting way of putting it. I did a quick search for definitions of 'conscience'.

"a person's moral sense of right and wrong, viewed as acting as a guide to one's behaviour."
"the inner sense of what is right or wrong in one's conduct or motives,"
.... How do we explain the unutterable cruelty that human beings inflict on each other (not to mention other sentient beings)...
My emphasis.
I would have thought the answer to that was obvious - nature and nurture. We only have a 'bad conscience' about unfairness towards or harming others if we empathise with them. Without empathy our conscience is clear. There is a spectrum of empathy from those who have none to those who are notable for their capacity to empathise.

People can lack empathy due to their nature or due to their experiences (nurture). Usually, it is a mixture of both to varying degrees but some people seem born without consciences and others will be fine unless they are in the "wrong company" and in certain circumstances.

VINDICATOR
Posts: 318
Joined: December 22nd, 2016, 11:07 am

Re: What is morality? Where does it come from?

#6 Postby VINDICATOR » December 25th, 2016, 11:19 am

Athena,
So the wonderful article on The Golden Rule was written by you. Thank you very much. You have done a great service for mankind! Evidently you have another name "Maria", the signature under the article. Which is your pen-name?
Did you ever see the Disney movie "Pinnochio"? Jimminy Cricket sang a song in which one sentence was "Always let your conscience be your guide!" That's where I got the inspiration on conscience!
All through my long life I have met or heard of every kind of person of every creed and get a general idea of the morality of a cross section of the human race. Since humanity spawns demons like Hitler, obviously all men are not good. But the baddies are a very small proportion, probably not more than 5%. What is your estimate?
It's said that everyone was born with a good conscience.However, a child's morality can easily be changed by indoctrination (brain washing). See how the ISIS is teaching young children how to behead Infidels and hold up their bloody heads for us to see! Not only has the Infidel died, the soul of the child is dead too which is very pathetic!

VINDICATOR
Posts: 318
Joined: December 22nd, 2016, 11:07 am

Re: What is morality? Where does it come from?

#7 Postby VINDICATOR » December 27th, 2016, 2:07 pm

The Theist says that morality comes from God. That's because the Theist has been brain-washed. There are thousands of Gods. Which God has a monopoly on morality? The Christian has been brainwashed to believe that his God has a monopoly. The Muslim believes that Allah has this monopoly, and so it is for all religions because they have been brainwashed from birth!
Look at how "moral" the Christian Church was 5 Centuries ago when it had the power to do whatever it wanted to! Millions of heretics were buned at the stake in the Inquisition, millions of witches were burned at the stake in the Witch-hunts! They can't do that anymore, because they have lost their absolute power to Secularism and Human Rights!
Islam hasn't been subdued by Secularism and Human Rights yet so some of their cults kidnap girls for sex-slaves, Or teach children how to behead Infidels, or mass murder other religions, or throw gays from the roof tops, etc. They say (with a straight face) that their Allah tells them to do so! Theirs is the stone-age morality!
The savior of the human race is not a God but humans themselves in their struggle for Human Rights! Morality is not a gift of God, It is a prize to be fought for!
The dog is man's best friend. Some dogs will even sacrifice their own lives to save their human friend! Which God gave him his morality? I know a guy that is so attached to his dog that he said that if his dog is not allowed into heaven then he will go wherever his dog goes!


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