The Atheist Agora

What matters – actions or consequences?

This topic contains 102 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Unseen 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 103 total)
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  • #40806

    Davis
    Moderator

    Simon could you give a few examples of behaviour that is moral behaviour, and a few example of behaviour that is something other than moral behaviour?

    • This reply was modified 4 months ago by  Davis.
    • This reply was modified 4 months ago by  Davis.
    #40807

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen,

    @Enco Was Mad King Ludwig II actually “mad”? He could have been eccentric, spoiled, even mentally ill in some form, but not all forms of mental illness amount to being “mad” (by which I mean crazy, bonkers, off his rocker, and nuts).

    I’m not sure I trust a diagnosis from so early in the days of psychiatry.

    The thing is, though, that if he isn’t mad, that makes him all the more responsible for his actions.

    I use the term Mad King Ludwig II because that was used by his contemporaries. (Parenthetically, I knew nothing of how he swung on sexuality and that shouldn’t figure into any judgement of him medically, mentally, or morally.)

    I do know he had delusions of grandeur and total disregard for what happened to innocent human beings in how he pursued that grandeur, judging from how his mind wrote checks that his body (and body politic) could not cash. The fact that he was an admiring reader of Marx and Engels says volumes as well.

    In the end, whether mad or evil, the man should not have been allowed
    around heavy machinery, especially the heavy machinery of power.

    Indeed, with the entire Twentieth Century in particular as witness, no human being should be allowed to have the kind of power that results in the looting, suffering, and murder of millions. For more harrowing, hard, but necessary reading on this grim subject, I highly recommend the works of The Late Professor Rudolph Rummel found here:

    https://hawaii.edu/powerkills/

    BTW, thought of a somewhat parallel case to the King and his castle: Too bad about Anne Frank, but at least we have her diary.

    Jeez! Was that from some volume of Blanche Knott’s Truly Tasteless Jokes series popular in the early Eighties? Tbat would be Frédéric Bastiat’s “Broken Window” Fallacy taken to a more absurd and sinister level.

    Parable of the Broken Window–Wikipedia
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window

    Bastiat would or course reply that perhaps if she had lived and had a free life, she could have written even more and better.

    #40810

    There is some “breaking news” about the betrayal of Anne Frank here. Not yet verified.

    #40811

    Unseen
    Participant

    Indeed, with the entire Twentieth Century in particular as witness, no human being should be allowed to have the kind of power that results in the looting, suffering, and murder of millions. For more harrowing, hard, but necessary reading on this grim subject, I highly recommend the works of The Late Professor Rudolph Rummel found here:

    There is a narcissistic, power obsessed man who’s been strongly hinting at the kind of damage he might do if allowed back into power again, especially now that he’s feeling wronged, is carrying a grudge, and believes in hitting back ten times harder.

    Millions of lives ARE at risk.

    #40812

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Simon could you give a few examples of behaviour that is moral behaviour, and a few example of behaviour that is something other than moral behaviour?

    Moral behaviour: talking to someone (conversational ethics), buying something in a shop (reciprocity).

    Non-moral behaviour: brushing one’s teeth, watching TV on one’s own.

    I think that morality comes into play when we achieve our instrumental goals socially.

    #40813

    Davis
    Moderator

    brushing one’s teeth, watching TV on one’s own

    So, watching television, using up energy which, if in a city is powered by coal, contributing to climate change isn’t a concern? Watching a program that was sponsored by a company that engages in child slavery practices in Asia isn’t of concern? Watching television instead of volunteering doesn’t come into play?

    • This reply was modified 4 months ago by  Davis.
    #40815

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    You could see it like that, in a wider sense.  I was talking about interacting with people personally, or interacting with one’s group.

    #40816

    Unseen
    Participant

    You could see it like that, in a wider sense. I was talking about interacting with people personally, or interacting with one’s group.

    Those are all morally neutral activities apart from intention. You can interact honestly, deceptively, or sinisterly.

    Morality is all about intentionality.

    #40817

    Davis
    Moderator

    You could see it like that, in a wider sense.  I was talking about interacting with people personally, or interacting with one’s group.

    Uh huh.

    • This reply was modified 4 months ago by  Davis.
    #40818

    Davis
    Moderator

    Those are all morally neutral activities apart from intention

    Are they?

    #40820

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Morality is all about intentionality.

    I don’t know.  Morality is a vast and sprawling domain of interest.  But I see your point maybe: intentions and actions are what we have control over.

    You can interact honestly, deceptively, or sinisterly.

    Those social activities I mentioned all involve moral principles (of conversational ethics and of reciprocity).  As such, we can perform them better or worse.  They are ideals to be lived up to.  That’s moral normativity.

    Jonathan Haidt (“The Righteous Mind”) defines morality as

    Moral systems are interlocking sets of values, virtues, norms, practices, identities, institutions, technologies, and evolved psychological mechanisms that work together to suppress or regulate selfishness and make cooperative societies possible.

    I would define it broadly as the way in which we achieve our instrumental goals socially.  That seems to cover all the major moral domains.

    #40821

    Unseen
    Participant

    Those are all morally neutral activities apart from intention

    Are they?

    If you have a question, ask it. All I can say that unintentional acts have no moral intention.

    • This reply was modified 4 months ago by  Unseen.
    #40822

    Unseen
    Participant

    Let me ask this @simon  What is the moral dimension of the unintentional.

    If I trip and fall or spill a drink, both unintentionally, what is moral or immoral about things like that?

    #40824

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    It’s in the moral domain if it’s social (in my opinion).  If you spill a drink on someone else’s carpet, but it’s unintentional – you can’t be blamed for an honest mistake.  But your lack of intention is still in the moral domain, because it’s social.

    You’re right, intentions are an important part of morality, that we judge people on.  We blame or praise people’s intentions.  If there’s no intention – there can be no blame except for for foolishness.

    How people deal with honest mistakes is all-important, and praise- or blame-worthy.  Boris Johnson is currently under intense scrutiny for how he deals (now) with mistakes he made last year, overseeing parties at 10 Downing Street during the lockdown.  One false move now and he’s toast.

    I prefer this state of affairs to the US Republican Party, where they refuse to take responsibility for anything, and just double down on their corruption.

    I used to be a cashier, a money-counter in a strongroom.  Once or twice I know I lost £50 of someone else’s money.  I admitted my mistake, or at least, that I didn’t know what had happened to it, and offered to pay back half – and was forgiven.  Also, I failed to spot a fake £50 note, and offered to pay it, and was forgiven.  Any lying on my part would have been unforgiveable.  Complete transparency had to be the order of the day.

    #40825

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Also, the way we behave towards ourselves can be seen as moral or immoral – as far as it affects others.  For example, a drug addict lets the side down because they create a mess for others to deal with.

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