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Question: Is morality a social construct?

It's objective because it's self-evident.    
  3 (33.3%)
It's subjective; we create it.    
  6 (66.7%)




Total votes: 9
« Created by: Morphy on: Oct 2nd, 2019 at 9:22am »

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Is morality a social construct? (Read 973 times)
Morphy
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Is morality a social construct?
Oct 1st, 2019 at 8:46pm
 
What do you think? Is there such a thing as objective morality? Or is it all what you’ve been taught?
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NooneOfConsequence
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Re: Is morality a social construct?
Reply #1 - Oct 1st, 2019 at 10:16pm
 
No. Some things are pretty universal. Murder is universally considered a bad thing. Even in groups who commit murder, there is a concept of “us” and “them,” and murdering “us” is always bad. Stealing from “us” is also bad. Lying... same thing. When it affects someone personally, everyone is pretty much the same in beliefs about right and wrong. The only way people get confused is when they go off to college and their brains turn to mush... but even with an advanced degree the “us” part of morality stays the same.
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Kick
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Re: Is morality a social construct?
Reply #2 - Oct 2nd, 2019 at 5:26am
 
I would say it depends on the perspective. From a whole universe perspective, supernovas don't care much about fraud for example. I've yet to hear a black hole complain about shoplifting. From a human perspective, laws and morality differ from place to place but all human communities have rules and codes of conduct to ensure survival. Without some controls on behaviour, pure anarchy would have long ended our species run. In that way, there is something innate to morality, but, in my opinion, that innate quality is the want and need to form groups. Group dynamics is what is innate and, for those to work, morality is needed.
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Mersa
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Re: Is morality a social construct?
Reply #3 - Oct 2nd, 2019 at 8:47am
 
I'm more kick on this one .

Nothing is good or bad only thinking makes it so.
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NooneOfConsequence
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Re: Is morality a social construct?
Reply #4 - Oct 2nd, 2019 at 9:30am
 
@Kick & Mersa: the universe thing is a silly argument. The very concept of morality implies conscious choice. Without choice, morality is meaningless. A black hole can neither commit  nor understand fraud unless it is sentient. When it comes to humans, you don’t have to teach a child how to recognize injustice when the injustice happens to them personally. Even psychopaths have a self-centered version of morality. True morality is simply acting out the same rules for both “us” and “them”.

For those who might have become confused by college and need a more erudite explanation... I just summarized the universal formulation of Kantian ethics.
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Mersa
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Re: Is morality a social construct?
Reply #5 - Oct 2nd, 2019 at 9:37am
 
What is consciousness ????
That's a whole other question on its own , do animals have morals , fungi? Rocks??
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Re: Is morality a social construct?
Reply #6 - Oct 2nd, 2019 at 9:44am
 
LOL. The only immoral thing you might be able to accuse a rock of is maybe having a bad attitude Smiley
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Mersa
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Re: Is morality a social construct?
Reply #7 - Oct 2nd, 2019 at 9:48am
 
All rocks are bad because secretly they wanna be slingstones
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Re: Is morality a social construct?
Reply #8 - Oct 2nd, 2019 at 9:51am
 
Anything that takes action purely based on stimulus and response is amoral.  Morality requires not only the ability to make choices (i.e. not fungus) but also requires that those choices have moral consequences. Choosing between lentil soup and a salad during lunch is an example of a choice with minimal moral consequences. There may be some context under which it has moral implications but most of the time that choice would also be amoral even though it is a conscious choice.
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NooneOfConsequence
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Re: Is morality a social construct?
Reply #9 - Oct 2nd, 2019 at 10:07am
 
So when does a choice become a moral one?  The answer is simple: when that choice knowingly impacts another sentient being. Here’s an example:
Suppose you cut down a tree. Is that a moral choice? It depends. If cutting down that tree helps your family stay warm in the winter, then yes. If the tree belongs to your neighbor, then yes. If it was immoral to cut down the tree, the immoral act was not committed against the tree. It was actually committed against your neighbor.
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Re: Is morality a social construct?
Reply #10 - Oct 2nd, 2019 at 10:22am
 
NooneOfConsequence wrote on Oct 1st, 2019 at 10:16pm:
No. Some things are pretty universal. Murder is universally considered a bad thing. Even in groups who commit murder, there is a concept of “us” and “them,” and murdering “us” is always bad. Stealing from “us” is also bad. Lying... same thing. When it affects someone personally, everyone is pretty much the same in beliefs about right and wrong. The only way people get confused is when they go off to college and their brains turn to mush... but even with an advanced degree the “us” part of morality stays the same.


ancient Greeks and Vikings and I believe others wanted to die in battle as heroes today the same thing we may view it as stupidity or suicide .
we just don't value courage over life.
killing "us" is bad today , human sacrifices to the gods or other were common in many civilizations.
People don't like other people whose actions cannot control or predict and they will use morality to control them, that's what religion and state does to people. (I agree with Nietzsche in this)

An example: In ancient Sparta the act of stealing was not considered good or bad, being caught was bad. They wanted boys to be good thieves but if they caught them they where punished .
I guess the same goes with murder, even today if someone is murdered the act might not even be punished if he was considered "bad" by a group within the bigger group of a state.

Morality works for those with power, just another tool.

EDIT: for the bully the bullying is moral he can do unethical things not necessarily because he is bad by nature, outsiders view it as bad, but he can't see it . Jordan Peterson said it right , anyone could be a nazi in germany 1940 and probably most would be, we are not better. Morality is a social construct.
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Re: Is morality a social construct?
Reply #11 - Oct 2nd, 2019 at 11:10am
 
My point is that moral relativism is intellectually inconsistent. Murder is ok... just don’t do it to me. That’s not morality. Consensus is likewise not a good measure of morality. That’s how slavery and genocide are justified. If you want to know what universal morality looks like, look at the things you don’t want others to do to you. Hence the golden rule.
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Kick
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Re: Is morality a social construct?
Reply #12 - Oct 2nd, 2019 at 11:58am
 
To expand on what I wrote, what I mean is that there is no, in my opinion, external forces deciding morality. Things are good and bad because they are good and bad for humans and those judgments are based on subjective human opinions. Outside of human perspective, there is nothing inherently evil about murder. Everything is just the interaction of particles and, as far as I can see, from that perspective, the certain interaction of some particles is no different from another interaction on a universal scale.

Also from my perspective, there are no consequences outside of human society for evil behaviour; I don't believe in Heaven or Hell or karma. I don't believe that written into the atoms of the universe there is a code of ethics, all are constructed by humans (and arguably some other non-human persons...). Because I don't believe in some universal rulebook, I argue that we should constantly be reevaluating what is good and bad because what is judged good and bad can change due to circumstance. We have to evaluate what is the best course of action in response to all of the available information. The Golden Rule and the Harm Principle of John Stuart Mill are, in my opinion, some of the best thinking we have on morality, but again, whether you break these rules, will have no effect except in human society. Morality is entirely man-made but there are lots of things that are man-made that are great like cheesecake so it's no loss that it isn't a fixed universal constant.
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Re: Is morality a social construct?
Reply #13 - Oct 2nd, 2019 at 3:15pm
 
NooneOfConsequence wrote on Oct 2nd, 2019 at 11:10am:
My point is that moral relativism is intellectually inconsistent. Murder is ok... just don’t do it to me. That’s not morality. Consensus is likewise not a good measure of morality. That’s how slavery and genocide are justified. If you want to know what universal morality looks like, look at the things you don’t want others to do to you. Hence the golden rule.


I think that we generally agree.
when things get specific and real they become grey rather than black and white.
I insist that morality is another tool, the wise man will use it wisely most of the times, the stupid man will abuse it .

people who don't want to know another man's pain will use the "look at the things you don’t want others to do to you." to make bad actions seem moral.
overgeneralization can create an "us" vs "them" ideology easily  and then if "they" act in a way you don't like to be treated how do you respond? turn the other cheek? probably not , and then there is escalation and vendetta,  morality cannot really stop it because it is subjective not objective.

As for minor stuff like taste you can't expect to be treated as you want by someone with different tastes. I might welcome you with dirty clothes, that means that I like things casual and I treat you as a friend but that might offend you because you treat your friends in a formal manner.
treating people as you like to be treated is a good starting point but is overgeneralised.
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Re: Is morality a social construct?
Reply #14 - Oct 2nd, 2019 at 4:22pm
 
I think you are oversimplifying the golden rule. The dirty vs clean argument does not undermine the golden rule; it simply forces it to a new level. If dirty means disrespectful to someone, then you can try to present yourself in a respectful way by taking a shower if you already understand that the two are connected in their mind. Likewise if the dirty person is unaware of the connection between respect and cleanliness due to cultural differences, then there is room for “Mr. Clean” to voluntarily disassociate cleanliness with respect out of respect for the dirty person’s cultural perspective. Now the golden rule only pushes both parties towards mutual respect and patience and understanding instead of forcing one person to take a shower Smiley
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