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hiya! i got all confused, again, on some other thread and came running over here for clarification.

what exactly ARE ethics. i know they are the things that get in the way of really good research. but i'm not entirely sure why or how they work, or what they are based on.

i know social mores are the things that your society has deemed bad, but they have nothing to do with anything other than social ideas. but i don't quite understand what they are in this society either.

i am also confused on what morals are exactly. are they the same as ethics? what are they based on?

thanks to anyone who can explain ;)

abifae

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http://www.thefreedictionary.com/morals

morals

Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character: moral scrutiny; a moral quandary.

2. Teaching or exhibiting goodness or correctness of character and behavior: a moral lesson.

3. Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior; virtuous: a moral life.

4. Arising from conscience or the sense of right and wrong: a moral obligation.

5. Having psychological rather than physical or tangible effects: a moral victory; moral support.

6. Based on strong likelihood or firm conviction, rather than on the actual evidence: a moral certainty.

n.

1. The lesson or principle contained in or taught by a fable, a story, or an event.

2. A concisely expressed precept or general truth; a maxim.

3. morals Rules or habits of conduct, especially of sexual conduct, with reference to standards of right and wrong: a person of loose morals; a decline in the public morals.

ethics

A set of principles of right conduct.

b. A theory or a system of moral values: "An ethic of service is at war with a craving for gain" Gregg Easterbrook.

i'd say, based on this, that it is largely cultural. there are cultures where it is perfectly moral to eat other people, have multiple spouses (in at least one culture i know of women can have multiple husbands too), have children with relatives we deem "too close" (like half siblings), throw parties instead of funerals, and even more that i can't think of. stuff that here we would deem "immoral" or "unethical" isn't so for them. there are far more polygamous cultures in the world than monogamous ones, for example. we're talking about cultures here, and there can be hundreds on a continent. heck, some methods of execution we consider to be barbaric, like stoning, are still practiced in other cultures. it is acceptable to judge people based on what class they were born into and to treat them as such in much of the hindu world, and so on.

what do we learn? that it is all dependent on your cultuer. our culture says something is bad, so to be of strong conviction and character, we must believe it is bad. if i married my half brother, that would be bad. but because of the way some cultures trace lineage, half sibs don't count as sibs at all, so they're fair game. i also can't marry my multiple boyfriends (well, previously i had a few, and now i'm down to one), and it was probably "unethical" for me to have more than one boyfriend in the first place, and we're not eating each other. beating your wife and making women wear certain "modest" garments is unethical here, however it is not in some other cultures.

culture, culture, culture.

abi- what research would you like to see done that is unethical in our culture? maybe it isn't somewhere else!

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well, my husband says morals are based on religion on what is good and evil but ethics are based on internal beliefs of what is right and wrong. he says ethics are internal, based on your personal experience but morals are external and imposed on you by what someone else tells you.

morals are about getting punished if you get them wrong & ethics are based on what is good for the group.

hmmm, that is kind of a good explanation of ethics. its things that are good for the herd.

so, being allowed to kill just anyone is bad for the herd...loss of too many individuals. we couldn't work together as a group, which is a proven survival strategy. being mean disrupts the group...again, bad for survival.

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thank you all for explanations...

it makes me wonder a bit whether i have any ethics or morals. i mean, i know i do. there are things i simply will not do. they're wrong. but they are entirely based on things that happened to me. it's "i won't make anyone else go through what i went through". i also have a lot of moments of "if i do this, i WILL get locked up".

i honestly don't think i'm a good person, but i don't think i'm necessarily an evil creature, either. i just am. but i also know that my morals and ideals make most people scared of me and that is annoying.

abifae

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but abi, according to my definitions of ethics and morals, you ARE ethical and moral in our culture, because you 1.) do not want to put others through what you've been through, you are altruistic, and 2.) you are afraid of the justice system (our justice system is based on fear of punishment), so you are properly deterred and that is hence moral. ;)

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loon:

i don't believe in altruism. i think anything anyone ever does is for themselves. the person doing the "good" always gets a benefit.

i do good things that benefit me or so many people that when i reencarnate i'll have an easier life lol. i think people being treated like i was can truly destroy the world. *smile*

but i'm glad that by your definitions i win the moral game :)

abi ;)

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i don't believe in altruism. i think anything anyone ever does is for themselves. the person doing the "good" always gets a benefit.

I believe that too, and it may be true, but it doesn't take away the fact that you did something good for someone else. That way, two people get some benefit, right?

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Ethics are the intellectual standards used when a person decides on one course of action over another. It's how we answer the question "what the fuck should I do now?"

Decisions which can not be classified as ethical decisions would be made on the basis of either aesthetics "What would taste good for dinner?"

Decision theory talks about how people make decisions in the face of uncertainty. It's largely useless unless you're trying to make money or do AI programing.

The view you describe, the one of self interest, is called ethical egoism. Famous proponents include max sterner and Ayn Rand. It can easily be proven logically inconsistent and thus is not a sound basis for rational ethics. I'll take a shot at remembering how to do that after I've had some more tea.

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hiya! i got all confused, again, on some other thread and came running over here for clarification.

what exactly ARE ethics. i know they are the things that get in the way of really good research. but i'm not entirely sure why or how they work, or what they are based on.

i know social mores are the things that your society has deemed bad, but they have nothing to do with anything other than social ideas. but i don't quite understand what they are in this society either.

i am also confused on what morals are exactly. are they the same as ethics? what are they based on?

thanks to anyone who can explain :)

abifae

I think ethics are based on a standard that most people can agree on. Especially in research (I think you werent referring to some kind of scientific research), it is simple that your job is to present exactly what happened with as little spin as possible. forging results would be unethical. there are ethical standards for a lot of things, such as the treatment of animals in research, and the targetting of civilians in war (which president bush ignores!). the law relates to ethics, setting precedent, although these precedents are sometimes more controvertial than ethics in science, for example.

morals is harder to explain, because every person has their own moral standards. i think unethical things would be considered immoral in most cases, and not in some cases. people believe weird things.

i think most people would consider fucking a dead dog both immoral and unethical. QED

;)

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The above definition is what I always figured I'd give to an intro philosophy class if I made it as far as teaching.

"What the fuck should I do I do now?" When you answer that question, you're doing ethics.

You can get absurdly complicated with it and everything people have said thus far is a piece of the pie. The notion of what ethics in and of itself is is profoundly simple. It's how you answer it that's hard.

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helena: i find it quite pleasing when two people benefit, as long as one is me and the other is someone i like :) or so long as neither are people i don't dislike...

velvet elvis: i tend to be quite logical when i make decisions... who exactly benefits in what ways if i make which decisions... in what ways will i benefit or suffer... what will be the best uses of the resources i have available... i'm pretty sure i am much more egotistical than ethical lol. after all, i AM the most important person to me, my cats and my nate and my lorelai (niece) following, and then my niece's mother, and then my closest friends, and after that, everyone is equal unless i especially dislike them.

zsandoz: ;) the dog is dead, why would it mind being fucked? i can't see that as being immoral OR unethical. i guess my main "moral" philosophy is freedom of choice, which only balances out with your choice not takign away another's freedom. so if the dog were alive, it would have to consent. but if it's dead, who cares?

i also agree that forging results is a negative, because that's lying and others will base their research on those lies and it will just keep building on itself. i don't approve of lies. they waste time and energy. so there is a moral i have. or an ethic.

you could give me a huge list of things and i could quickly and easily tell you which i approve or disapprove of and why. i doubt they'd match up with the standard person; there isn't much i disapprove of and they're all variations on the same two or three things.

well, i'm still not sure i understand what ethics or morals are, but it's a fun discussion and i don't think anyone else knows quite for sure either. and if no one is certain, why do people make such a big stinking deal about it out in the world?

abifae

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That's still ethical decision making. Ethics is the name of the process according to which you make those decisions. The whole logical framework when we choice one action over another.

Benthem's utilitarian calculas is fairly aspie friendly, though I happen to think it's dead wrong and a bit disturbing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felicific_calculus

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abifae, dead dogs carry diseases. we shouldnt go letting people just do animal necrophilia.. besides, wouldnt this allow someone to get around the law by killing the dog so it doesnt have to consent? i dunno if you've thought this one thru like i have LOL

zsandoz: ;) the dog is dead, why would it mind being fucked? i can't see that as being immoral OR unethical. i guess my main "moral" philosophy is freedom of choice, which only balances out with your choice not takign away another's freedom. so if the dog were alive, it would have to consent. but if it's dead, who cares?

i also agree that forging results is a negative, because that's lying and others will base their research on those lies and it will just keep building on itself. i don't approve of lies. they waste time and energy. so there is a moral i have. or an ethic.

you could give me a huge list of things and i could quickly and easily tell you which i approve or disapprove of and why. i doubt they'd match up with the standard person; there isn't much i disapprove of and they're all variations on the same two or three things.

well, i'm still not sure i understand what ethics or morals are, but it's a fun discussion and i don't think anyone else knows quite for sure either. and if no one is certain, why do people make such a big stinking deal about it out in the world?

abifae

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abifae, dead dogs carry diseases. we shouldnt go letting people just do animal necrophilia.. besides, wouldnt this allow someone to get around the law by killing the dog so it doesnt have to consent? i dunno if you've thought this one thru like i have LOL

i did in fact, think about the creating your sex toys version of this lol. however, if someone is that into necrophilia with animals, they probably already do kill their own dogs, and making it a law won't change anything. so that part doesn't bother me.

that is one of those laws that doesn't change anything, it just means when you FIND people doing these thigns, you can throw them in jail.

anything dead carries diseases. nothing to be done about that. lots of people eat the animals in massive states of decay and there are probably far more people than you want to know about who have sex with them before the meal lol. nothing to be done about it. unless you want to start an educational campaign.

lol. i'm picturing the ads... "you go home, find your dog dead, and want to screw it... but remember, dead dogs carry diseases that can be spread to humans. so before you practice necrophilia... remember, use condoms"

so all in all, i'd let people perform necrophilia. it doesn't bother me morally or ethically or anything else and i don't think any rules are going to STOP the people who do it from doing it.

VE: that makes no sense to me. well, i would have let it go if you'd screwed the neighbor's dog... but that was MY dog you had sex with..." i'm not sure i understand that. i can imagine people doing it though. they say weirder things than that all the time.

abifae

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If it's your own dog, it's not as bad as if you it was someone else's and they objected. It's a matter of property rights.

ah gotcha! yes, i definitely think that if your dog dies and you have sex with it, people won't mind as much as when your neighbor's dog dies and you ask them if you can borrow the body for half an hour ;)

abifae

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