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Thread: Looking for a proper term regarding moralism.

  1. #1 Looking for a proper term regarding moralism. 
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    What is it called if you believe right and wrong / good and evil is relative to the value of a person?

    For example:

    Person A and B watch the news. The reporter says someone died in a freak accident were someone got hit by a tree. Person A feels empathy and sorrow regardless. However the following would be person B's reaction:

    1: It was an old homeless man (He feels nothing)
    2: It was a young girl (He feels horrible)
    3: It was a young girl but she was of a racial type he doesent like. (He feels nothing)
    4: It was a woman. (He feels sad but just abit)
    5: It was a pregnant woman. (He feels horrible)

    What I'm wondering about is basicly - if you have empathy and morals but apply them (Naturally feel them) depending on the practical value, esthetics and other factors concerning individuals - what is that called? Is moral darwinism a proper term?


    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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  3. #2  
    Time Lord
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    Person B discriminates between people. Person B is discriminatory.

    Of course fair and useful discrimination happens all the time, but when put as above most folks know it means the unfair useless kind.


    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I have difficulty in seeing how freak accidents can be classified as right and wrong, or good and evil. I understand your underlying argument (I think), but your example does not seem to relate to it.
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  5. #4  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    What I'm wondering about is basicly - if you have empathy and morals but apply them (Naturally feel them) depending on the practical value, esthetics and other factors concerning individuals - what is that called?
    I am tempted to say: Being Human. But that is a rather depressing thought.

    Is moral darwinism a proper term?
    Absolutely not. Does that even mean anything? (Ah, I see it has been used in a book to describe the collapse of decent society caused by atheism)
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    It's well-known that people have these differing responses. That's why we regard societies that rely on the impartial rule of law as being more civilised than those that operate on more personal, emotion driven reactions, like vendettas or mobs.

    In a well-regulated society, the law regards violence against a homeless, friendless person as being just as serious as violence against a respected well-loved family person. Even though many individual citizens might not see it that way.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Person A is not a real person, but is an idealization of a principle of equality which we often pay lip service to, but no one actually follows. Person B is behaving normally, and furthermore in a manner in which people have always behaved, which has nothing to do with Darwinism or any deterioration of the moral fabric of society.

    We also observe such behavior in other animals, for example a mother bear protecting her own cubs and risking her own life to do so. It would be more surprising to see a bear protect another bear's cubs, or a bear protecting an aging, crippled bear. This is easily explained by principles of evolution. A mother bear who protects her cubs will pass her genes on to the next generation.

    No one values all humans the same. Are you going to tell me some stranger means the same to you as your own family? I don't believe it.
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  8. #7  
    Time Lord
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    All good people have some Person A in them. Like Raziell said, it is empathy. So naturally indiscriminate is human empathy it extends to other species, cartoon characters, cute robots. In fact we wisely judge the true goodness of people by how they regard animals, not to mention strangers.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    No one values all humans the same. Are you going to tell me some stranger means the same to you as your own family? I don't believe it.
    So you doubt the tale of the Good Samaritan.
    adelady likes this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    No one values all humans the same. Are you going to tell me some stranger means the same to you as your own family? I don't believe it.
    So you doubt the tale of the Good Samaritan.
    I suppose something like that could have happened. It's possible to have compassion for strangers, but probably not the same as one would have for closer acquaintances. And, the parable would not have been remarkable if it were the expected behavior.
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  11. #10  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    No one values all humans the same. Are you going to tell me some stranger means the same to you as your own family? I don't believe it.
    So you doubt the tale of the Good Samaritan.
    I suppose something like that could have happened. It's possible to have compassion for strangers, but probably not the same as one would have for closer acquaintances. And, the parable would not have been remarkable if it were the expected behavior.
    You made an absolute statement. I think there are some who place the value of all human life on an equal footing.

    I attempt to value all people equally regardless of familial relations. I do not claim to always succeed in this attempt. On a related theme I value the life of fellow primates at least at the same level as fellow humans. I have found it difficult to extend this attitude to anything with an exoskeleton.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I attempt to value all people equally regardless of familial relations. I do not claim to always succeed in this attempt. On a related theme I value the life of fellow primates at least at the same level as fellow humans. I have found it difficult to extend this attitude to anything with an exoskeleton.
    Do you have kids? If so, are you saving money for their college fund, or do you have a college fund for some random stranger?
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    Forum Ph.D. stander-j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    What is it called if you believe right and wrong / good and evil is relative to the value of a person?

    For example:

    Person A and B watch the news. The reporter says someone died in a freak accident were someone got hit by a tree. Person A feels empathy and sorrow regardless. However the following would be person B's reaction:

    1: It was an old homeless man (He feels nothing)
    2: It was a young girl (He feels horrible)
    3: It was a young girl but she was of a racial type he doesent like. (He feels nothing)
    4: It was a woman. (He feels sad but just abit)
    5: It was a pregnant woman. (He feels horrible)

    What I'm wondering about is basicly - if you have empathy and morals but apply them (Naturally feel them) depending on the practical value, esthetics and other factors concerning individuals - what is that called? Is moral darwinism a proper term?
    "A" would be the perfect example of what is known as high on 'agreeableness' in trait psychology (one of the 'Big Five'). "B" isn't exactly the opposite, but just seems somewhat on the mid-low side of the agreeable trait - some people consider Machiavellianism Intelligence as the opposite of agreeableness. People low on agreeableness tend to operate with a prejudice.
    "Cultivated leisure is the aim of man."
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  14. #13  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I attempt to value all people equally regardless of familial relations. I do not claim to always succeed in this attempt. On a related theme I value the life of fellow primates at least at the same level as fellow humans. I have found it difficult to extend this attitude to anything with an exoskeleton.
    Do you have kids? If so, are you saving money for their college fund, or do you have a college fund for some random stranger?
    don't be obtuse. You can see the word attempt. I believe you know what it means.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I attempt to value all people equally regardless of familial relations. I do not claim to always succeed in this attempt. On a related theme I value the life of fellow primates at least at the same level as fellow humans. I have found it difficult to extend this attitude to anything with an exoskeleton.
    Do you have kids? If so, are you saving money for their college fund, or do you have a college fund for some random stranger?
    don't be obtuse. You can see the word attempt. I believe you know what it means.
    Yes, it means exactly what I said before. No one actually does value everybody the same.
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