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Thread: Morality

  1. #1

    Default Morality

    i read this thread the other day: How the government uses dirty data to legislate morality ? The Register
    and it's really hitting home personally. it really makes you think by what, or more like who's, standards we're reallying playing by. long story short, do you think morality should be something a judge can tell you to do/not do from behind a bench or should it rest in the individual?

  2. #2


    That's a bit of a broad question. I mean I think it should be a standard that it's morally incorrect to murder someone. That's a given, but I also think circumstance should be taken into account far more often. I mean people can be overcome with anger, to the point of where you almost don't know what you are doing. The "Fight or Flight" reaction is very much real, and it can lead you to doing things you will regret. And while it's hard to really tell if it was an instinctual thing or pre-meditated, I think it should be taken into account as a possibility.

    Everyone is going to have individual morals, but there needs to be some worldly standard that all follow. Otherwise, there would be no jurisdiction ever. Someone could do something and claim that they didn't see anything wrong with it. So for the most part, morality can't be ENFORCED individually. You're still free to BELIEVE that some things are and are not moral. As of now, they can't take away your beliefs.

    To the main point though. We're really playing to the standards of the higher-ups. But I mean, for the most part, we're playing to the standards of the masses. The government has to do things to please the masses, to ensure re-election. I mean there are some that are out there to help everyone, but for the most part, it's brownie points. Not much you can do though, I guess start your own country? =D

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by Ultima View Post
    Everyone is going to have individual morals, but there needs to be some worldly standard that all follow. Otherwise, there would be no jurisdiction ever. Someone could do something and claim that they didn't see anything wrong with it. So for the most part, morality can't be ENFORCED individually. You're still free to BELIEVE that some things are and are not moral. As of now, they can't take away your beliefs.
    Yeah, I think that's an extremely important point to keep in mind when discussing morality. What makes everything so complicated is the fact that personal morality varies from person to person but we have to live with each to a certain degree we have to live by the same sets of morality if we want to live peacefully.

    I mean, I guess you could argue that laws don't really deal with morality but that laws are based on practicality....but a lot of morality is based on practicality anyway.

    So it's natural that there's so much conflict and confusion concerning morality and politics and laws.

    So I think it depends on exactly what you're looking at. If we're discussing personal morality, that's something that people can discuss and debate back and forth about, and one person might be able to change someone else's mind about one aspect of it. Even then, though, everyone's morality is based upon different things, so it's not like there's one objective standard.

    When discussing things like law, morality should be based on what's best for the society as a whole. This can certainly change as society changes, but it's never going to fit every person's individual morality. That's why the more people are convinced to have the same personal morality, the more likely it is a law will be changed.

  4. #4


    I don't believe in morality; I don't think that any action is right or wrong.

    I think laws should be based on hard facts about what is beneficial or not. Murder is an obvious example: It's a good act to have as illegal, and it's a good thing that society frowns upon it.

    The article mentioned sex laws, like banning violent porn or cartoon porn of children. These laws are famously a load of nonsense, often getting rushed through parliament because of some news event.
    Example: There were a few incidents of children getting hurt (maybe killed) by large dogs, and were heavily reported. Dog laws got rushed through, just so the politicians could look like they were doing something, but the laws made no sense and weren't workable! Police couldn't do anything with them really, and more importantly: the laws weren't justified as the kid's cases were really rare.

    So with violent porn, this guy got violently sex-tortured and killed and they found that the killer watched rape-porn online. Unsurprising, and just like what is mentioned in the article: they looked at the case backwards and assumed that rape-porn = violent killer.
    This anti-porn legislation gets rushed through parliament and becomes law.

    What's bad is that now this is actually enforced...

    So yeah, more facts, less stupidity.

    This is just one of democracy's problems: irrational public opinion becomes law sometimes.

  5. #5


    I deeply resent when the government tries to legislate morality. I think people should be able to do whatever they want as long as they don't harm others.

  6. #6
    Butterfly Mage


    Wiccan morality is pretty straight-forward: religiously we are free to do whatever we like as long as our actions do not bring harm to another.

    That's very different from "do whatever you like". Basically, following the Rede means we have to consider the consequences of our actions *before* we act. Assault, murder, rape, stealing, and adultry all harm others, so that's off limits. Telling lies *usually* harms others (and dilutes the power of your word-bond).

    The Christian bugaboo that is homosexuality is not a moral failing in Wicca because the practice doesn't hurt anyone. Beating someone up for being gay, however, would voolate the Rede.

    Just my 2 censt's worth on morality

  7. #7


    Good two cents Butterfly Mage. I can remember when there was a big brew ha ha over video games. There was a contingency insisting that kids who played violent video games would themselves be violent. It never occurred to them that kids are violent when they are abused at home. Rape is a crime of hate and violence rather than sex. If one rapes it's because of some psychological factor. Though if I got a lap dance, I do believe I would have to do something sexual about it. But then, that's why I have my diapers...haha!

  8. #8


    Exactly, I agree with Butterfly Mage, anything that brings harm to another person should be automatically considered unmoral. But with other things, like how violent video games are mentioned, it should be a personal decision. Just because one family doesn't like their child being exposed to violent video games, doesn't mean that actions should be taken against the games or their creators. The responsibility lies with the parents. There's no evidence that violent video games cause violence in children, so then the video games shouldn't be considered morally corrupt.

    Like I said before, for big things like murder and the such, yeah, it's morally corrupt. Nothing good can come of it. But other things should have circumstance taken into consideration before you go and say something isn't morally correct.

  9. #9


    Since it seems like everyone is on the same page concerning this (people should be free to do what they want without hurting anyone else and the government shouldn't interfere beyond that), I wanted to throw in another angle and idea. This is largely me playing devil's advocate, because I generally agree with this idea too..though part of it plays into some of my own thoughts.

    If the government is trying to inflict its own set of morality on people, then why is it that everyone lets it stand and doesn't change it? Because in our government, I think it's pretty clear that politicians go with the public opinion...if the majority of the public made it clear they didn't want the government to be pushing its own morality, then the politicians wouldn't support the idea either.

    Now, it's possible that people are just too lazy to put forth this mindset. But, it's also possible that the majority of people want the government to be pushing these kind of morals on I'm gonna go with that assumption.

    Some would argue that people who think like this are just manipulated by the government to think this way...but even if that is the case, there is still a thought process involved. The only way to change the mindset is to understand why people would think this way and show them that they're being mislead.

    So, what is the thought process? Why would someone want the government to push morals on the public?

    Sometimes I think people dismiss this mentality by labeling the public as sheep, or as too lazy to think for themselves, or even as selfish enough to want their own morals pushed on society, even if other people don't agree with them.

    Now, I certainly think for some people, and perhaps even the majority, this is true. But, I don't think it's wise to assume that it's true across the board, especially without thinking about other possibilities.

    So, I want to point out a way of thinking that maybe most people here don't agree with. A lot of us claim that we think people should be free to live however they want without hurting anyone else. But I think you have to ask if that's the best way for society to be at its best.

    The thing is...a lot of people here strike me as very independent, self-motivating, and able to take care of themselves. I've heard plenty of people encourage the idea of moderation in pleasure and understanding that hard work must be balanced out with pleasure in order for society to grow and prosper.

    But if you're like that, you have to remember that not every other person is. We say that we want the freedom to do what we want without hurting others...but can the average person do this and be successful in life? Is the average person self-motivated enough to keep their own wants, desires and pleasures in check and not let it get to the point where it hurts others?

    I certainly believe some people have more self-discipline and self-control than others. However, I also believe that all of us usually are at our best when we're not the only ones pushing ourselves. Sometimes I get the impression that someone claims they set their own morals and always follow them. But I honestly believe that someone is lying when they claim that they would follow their own morals and ideals more strictly without any accountability compared to if someone else was there accounting for their actions.

    Because we're all human. I know that if there was a consequence for every time I didn't do something the way I believe I should, I would be more likely to do it than if there's not.

    In short, I believe that if someone else pushes us to be better, we're more likely to be better than if it's just us pushing ourselves. And sometimes I get the impression that someone claims that this isn't true for them...and I have a hard time believing them because I've never actually seen it happen.

    So my whole point is...I think sometimes that's why people put trust in government or religion to push morality onto people...because they believe on the whole that this will bring out the best in people.

    A lot of people on here are so self-motivated that they feel they get along perfectly fine without this authority. I honestly believe this has a huge impact on someone's view on religion and politics. But as I mentioned before, I think you always have to be aware that not every person is like you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie F
    This is just one of democracy's problems: irrational public opinion becomes law sometimes.
    This is why I always find quotes like this one so interesting. If the public's opinion is wrong, do you (I mean "you" as the general you, meaning everyone, not Charlie F in particular) believe that they will change their opinion without someone else convincing them that it is wrong? And isn't a minority convincing them they are wrong basically the same idea as the government pushing it's own morality on a public who doesn't agree with it?

    Now, I know there's a big difference in the two things in my last question....and I think most people would agree that there's a big difference between the government pushing a morality and having someone else push you to make yourself better. But...I also think that there's a connection between the two in terms of the general principle...which is part of the reason why I believe a lot of people do think that morality and the government should mix.

    Whew...I can't ever keep my posts short...I have too many long thoughts.

  10. #10


    teddy, you made a great point there playing devil's advocate, but with wildfire hysteria type media pandering to the general public and working them into a frenzy can the average person be trusted to make a clear decision when supporting such laws?
    like, for example, the swine flu. it doesn't even compare to the damage (lives wise) that the seasonal influenza virus does yet, due to the firestorm of media blitz over it, it's now an OMG Pandemic Panic issue. sadly, if there was a law written to 'protect' citizens by giving everyone a swine flu shot, it would pass so easily.

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