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Morality has an offical definition. You don't have to think about what is it, because others, probably smarter than you, did it in the past.

Aside from this, it is quite unneccesary to make a big fuss over this question, because no matter how moral are you, no matter how you live your life, it is irrelevant to bigger things. You are not a leader of a country, you are not some military admiral, or scientist. You are a statist, on which the mentioned people build procedures. Most people on the earth does not even know about you. So to put it simply: You try to live by a strict moral code,and revolve your life about morality but for what? Nobody gives a fuck. Now, don't get me wrong, think about these useless shits as much as you like, but don't believe that these questions are relevant. You fighting a strawman you made it yourself.
why do you think morality is "useless shit"?
 

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Morality is what happens when one decides that there must be a better alternative to simply letting Nature take its course.
 

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why do you think morality is "useless shit"?
Well, I didn't meant it to morality itself. I meant it to this whole topic.
Like I said: Morality is clearly defined. No matter what someone thinks about it, and how someone thinks about it.
It has it's meaning already. The whole question is pointless from here.

Also, as I said, the one who wrote the originial post, don't have real problem. They fighting with themselves, giving abstractions too much value, while none of them can be applied properly to everyday life. You wont be able to buy food with morality, you wont be able to pay your rents with morality, you wont be able to manage your life with just morality. And guess what, this is what you, I and they live every day. There are people whose everyday life is not like this. Like type of people I mentioned before, but we are not them. Their large visions of humanity is relevant, because they are in a role, where they have the "power" to shape humanity. We are not in this role. We can shape our lives. And our lives are here, Not there. So any pretentious bullshitting about humanity is just the materalization of the fact, that the person who doing it, is not knowing their place. It's just mere arrogance and therefore: a useless shit.
 

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Then we are discussing two types of morality here: one is constructed internally through value judgment, the other is standardized externally by authority. They might -- or might not -- match at any given time in any given person. (For example, justifying my decision versus following a rule.)

Nier Schintterhaven: Just because most of us live a plebian existence doesn't mean that we have no influence on morality. We do. Like you said, in our own lives, but also collectively, through organization, to increase our power.

Yes, indeed, we can create a huge existential problem for ourselves by agonizing over morality. It always clarifies things for me when I establish a bottom line, define my right, and fight for it to the point where it resolves one way or another.
 

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Nier Schintterhaven: Just because most of us live a plebian existence doesn't mean that we have no influence on morality. We do. Like you said, in our own lives, but also collectively, through organization, to increase our power.
I wasn't expecting that someone can make a fair point on this forum. Yes, you are right int the " in our own lives" part.

Still, what I said is standing. No one gives a shit about our life, expect few people (family,friends for example).
People likes to think that they matter, but in fact, they are matter only subjectively - to a few people. Objectively, most of the people does not contribute to humanity in a level, where their lives are matter. I mean, replacing is real: On average, approx. 250 humans born every minute. Mere citizens can replace mere citizens. Mere citizens can't replace people who have power over segments of our world. That's how it is.

And still, we can't manage our lives with just morality. We can manage our relationships, but if you have relationships, you can also be a homeless at the same time, while, if you have performance, and productivity, and you don't have relationships, you can still manage your life properly.

And about the "collectively, through organization, to increase our power" part: Most of the moral organizations are failing badly. Because their "organization" is not exist. I wouldn't call mass overemotional, aggressive table slapping organized. Remember: 100 000 00*0 is still 0. Also generally they are failing badly, because they idealize things, but forgotting to actualize them. Not that they would able to in long term, because as I said multiplie times: Morality alone, without realism,logic,systems,structures and procedures , can't run a whole society. People can believe in shits like this, because they don't have idea about underlying proccesses which are running the society. How can they have? They don't have to lead millions. They don't have to manage continents. And they can't know it, because if they were capable enough to do it, they would already do it. I don't have idea either besides basic things which are shared with us, about the not visible parts of how leading really is. But I'm not so arrogant, to believe that I know. And not so arrogant to think that I'm so fckin important.
 

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Yes. That is the reality. Population keeps increasing. Any individual constitutes a minuscule and shrinking percentage of the whole. Wealth and it's influence are concentrated in a small minority.

Morality alone, without realism,logic,systems,structures and procedures , can't run a whole society.
Agreed, and most of us exist outside of the big systems, as you say. But it's still no excuse for inaction (on a personal or societal level) when you're in an existential crisis like the OP -- if not to successfully effect change, then to make pressure.

Think of how different it would be if people had stopped pushing for what they believe to be right.

Don't limit your concept of what constitutes power. Ideas are revolutionary. Individual change on a collective level is large.
 

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I mean, look at this one little thing: Phone videos. The effect is revolutionary.
AND: Made by geniuses. Which most people aren't. Besides, it has reality base. The blue print contained calculations, methods to use materials for a calculated effect.

The difference between this and abstractions like morality and fighting for it, is that the former was able to be created because it has a strong, stable, factual reality base, and the latter preach about how SHOULD one live their life, and try to give meaning to things, which are don't have factual,reality based,stable evidence that it has any meaning in the first place. Reality is reality, abstractions are abstractions, and there is a huge difference between ideas from existing things, and ideas from non existing things. But I shall not the one who decide this...let the facts speak for themselves: How many phone videos did you saw? And in contast: How many well-functioning society did you saw, where performance is evaluated by a standard which is only exist in people head?
 

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NierSchintterhaven, the mobile phone was developed over time by many people (including geniuses) by using accumulated knowledge of radio and computer technology. The geniuses were created by -- parents. Regular people, probably. We're all in this together. (Yes, I'm making a joke, but it takes an entire civilization to reach these heights.)

Inventors created the blueprint for the (technical) function of mobile phones to take video to share on the Internet. However, ordinary people created the (human) function to use it as political weapon to fight for social justice. (I recall Arab Spring as the earliest well-known example.) Do we give credit to both the inventors and the protesters? Yes.

Re: Strong, stable, factual base for morality. People must agree on what is right and what is wrong, or they will kill each other. That is as real as it gets.

BTW: The OP has abandoned this thread. I challenge you, Mister Dexter, to return and comment, or I will dismiss your original post as a "Woe Is Me" diatribe. I don't want to guide your thread. Come back, or I'm out.
 

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For everyone's information, Mister Dexter PMed me. I hope I have directed him to the best resources.
 

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Let me address Dexter's post before I address some of the other comments in this thread.

First off, Dexter, let me tell you that your family was wrong to treat you like a sacrificial lamb, and you are wrong to think that you are not a person with rights and responsibilities. You are not a tool. Every man is an end in himself and not a means to someone else's ends. Every man exists for his own sake and the achievement of his own goals is his highest moral purpose. (Ayn Rand said "happiness", but some people can place other ends higher than their own happiness and still be serving their own highest good if that's their choice.) You must not sacrifice yourself for others nor demand others sacrifice themselves for you. No one has the right to demand you sacrifice yourself for them. They do not outrank you in any way.

Second, you are not a horrible person. I don't know you, but assuming you don't rape, pillage, and murder innocent people, you're not a horrible person. "Seeing the black" as you call it doesn't make you a monster. Every person on earth, the pope included, has someone s/he would like to kill. As Paul said to the Romans, "There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That doesn't mean that everyone is a monster, it means everyone is sinful, fallible, imperfect, broken. The reason we need morality is because we are not moral naturally.

Third, it is the psychopaths who are monsters and not human. You who have a conscience and cannot understand why people would act cruelly for no gain are the human being. Do not think that because you cannot understand them or bond with them that that makes you less human. It makes them less human.

Fourth, what is morality? Morality is a code of conduct, given to us by God or the universe, however you like to look at it. Going with the universe approach and using Plato's cave allegory, there is a capital M Morality underlying all attempts at codifying right and wrong human behavior. Most of the behaviors that people classify as wrong are wrong across most of the behavior systems of the world, Islam excluded, which I'll get to later. Incest, theft, murder, and rape were generally classified as wrong by nearly every known human society. Cannibalism, while practiced in certain societies, was generally viewed as wrong, even in places where it wasn't codified. Law is the attempt to set down in stone or print the moral code. Islam essentially turns morality on its head and declares that which is wrong to be right and vice versa. Incest, theft, murder, and rape are all justified in the Koran as being approved by Allah. Lying, oath-breaking, and child abuse were all practiced by Mohammed, making them A-Okay with Muslims today. Mohammed declared anyone who would not fight, kill, and die for the faith would have no place in heaven. This essentially makes Islam a bloody, violent cult that is anachronistically backwards and barbaric compared to the great civilizations of the world. When Obama declared that the struggle between the West and Islam was not a clash of civilizations, he was right, but not in the way that he meant. It's a struggle between civilization and barbarism.

Finally, what is the point of being good? Depends on your goal. If your goal is to get to heaven, then the point of being good is to please God and to ensure your place in the afterlife. If you believe your salvation is assured, then the point of being good is to please God and to earn a greater reward, to show to God and people that you are a child of God. If you don't believe in God, then the point of being good is to please society. You stay out of trouble, out of jail, and out of the gas chamber by being good. Without society, there can be no good or bad because there is no one you can wrong. Morality deals exclusively with your relations with man and God, so if you have neither, there is no morality to violate.

Okay, now to address some of the other arguments in this thread:

"Morality is subjective." False. There is an objective Morality that we feel our way towards, stumbling blindly in the dark sometimes, trying to achieve it. There are better and worse moral codes, and you can get a general feel for which is which based on the relative strength and weakness of the societies that adhere to them. Slavery was always morally wrong, and those with a better sense of morality than others knew that from an early age, but slavery existed in every society across humanity for a very long time, and it wasn't until a system of morality that emphasized the brotherhood of man (Christianity) came to the fore that slavery started to be outlawed. Islam still justifies slavery, so it is objectively an inferior moral system.

"Morality is a human invention." False. Studies of chimpanzee societies show that chimps can both lie and be punished by the leader(s) or tribe for doing so. A chimp who murders one of his own tribe will be forced out or murdered in his turn. And most of the various religions say that morality was handed down by God or gods. So either morality is given of God or it predates humanity in the natural world. Either way, morality is not a human invention.

"Morality is knowing right and wrong." I don't think so. Morality IS what is right and wrong whether any particular person or society is aware of it. It is morally wrong to blow up civilians in a public square with a suicide bomb whether or not the person doing it knows that it is wrong. It is morally wrong to stone a woman to death for being raped whether or not the Islamic society doing it knows that it is wrong.

"The purpose of Morality was to be for the preservation & enhancement of human life." Definitely not. Morality was constructed for the good of the society, not for the preservation and enhancement of the individual's life. Morality definitely suppresses and channels the natural inclinations of the human being for the good of the society. The natural inclinations of people being to be lazy, greedy, selfish, and prone to theft, rape, and murder, it is the purpose of morality to suppress those inclinations to make humans more agreeable to other humans. It is a great advancement in society to get people to recognize the rights of others to life, liberty, and property as those are not natural to the species.

"Nobody gives a fuck." Again, clearly not. If you break the law, we do give a fuck, and you will probably go to jail. If you break the "moral code" of the Twitterati, they will definitely give a fuck and try to destroy your life, which is its own immorality, about which people do indeed give a fuck. If you break the unwritten moral code of loyalty to a friend, you will become persona non grata with the rest of society, which means people do indeed give a fuck. Don't think for a moment that just because you are one person that your personal moral decisions can't or won't affect the rest of society, or that the rest of society won't notice. Or to put it poetically, for the want of a nail, a shoe was lost. For the want of a shoe, a horse was lost. For the want of a horse, a battle was lost. For the want of a battle, a war was lost. For the want of a war, a kingdom was lost. All from the want of a single nail.
 

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Okay, lots of information there, xwsmithx, but with a pro-Christian, anti-Muslim bias that I'm going to have to call you on. (No, I'm not going to defend Mohammed or terrorists.) Plenty of people were killed by Christian zealots, too. And by Nazis. People get greedy, and they use ideologies to make excuses. Drop the bias, and you make some good points:

Morals are often common across across civilizations.
People must agree on right/wrong in order to get along.
Animals have standards of behavior.
No one has a right to victimize anyone else.
No one is perfect.
We're all in this together.

I disagree that morality is objective. Science strives to be objective, and even that fails, sometimes. Value judgments are always subjective, depending on the source. What is good for one entity may be bad for another. I could give examples, but it's too obvious, and I'm busy today.
 

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Okay, I'm back, briefly.

Here is a subjective statement: Pedophilia is wrong.

I think so. You think so. Most adults and children think so. But popularity doesn't make a statement objective. For that, you need facts.

Here is an objective statement: Thirty-seven percent of women who had sexual abuse that involved penetration or attempted penetration when they were under the age of 16 experienced depression in adulthood, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal.

Subjective value statements abound. Objective truth is harder to find.
 

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Morality is a cultural value its usually taught through mythology or religious texts. What is morally acceptable to a South American shaman would be different to what a Roman Catholic would see as moral for example.
 

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It seems I am stuck questioning my existence right now. I tried my whole life to follow a strict moral code in order to be a good person. Objectively by any standard I would die a good person. Subjectivity I think I'm a horrible person. I am the type who can see the black, the white and the grey. Humanity says seeing the black makes you a monster but I'm someone who can stop monsters. I know what they look like. Now subjectively good people do good because they want to. I actually do it because it is morally required in every instance. As a child I was the sacrificial lamb to accept my family's dysfunction and had no right to succeed. This has made adult life difficult. However I been successful because I literally never changed in my life. Now I am questioning was it okay? I can't ask for rights as a human being because I have 0. I am a tool and My attachment to others is not something that exist. My attachment to others is just passing amusement. I know I mean nothing to them and vice versa. If I would have asked for happiness would it have been a sin? We murder animals for food and torture them in labs and don't question it. Is that really okay? Under my moral code I can not harm animals or children as they are pure. Pure creatures are untouchable and we require no mercy for people who commit willful crimes against humanity. Despite people thinking animals are beneath us I find them very enduring and I can't relate to people. Animals react because they need something. People do things a lot of times just because they are awful. I can not understand why psychopaths can have the ability to do anything and choose to abuse others. There is literally no profit and that makes the action irrational. Now since I clearly don't qualify as a human being I can not bond with these people. I have to wonder if the burden to suffer is just something we pass to some. Abuse is something I feel is a thing that needs to happen even if we don't want it to but that would make entire belief system wrong. Is there any point in trying to stay good if I am wrong?
I had the question when I was in early 20s. Now, I am in my early 30s and I have an answer. For me, morality is a solution for advanced social animals to survive. Human has the animal natures (the base of maslow's hierarchy of needs), but we have much complex societies that are built upon intelligence. Game theories are applied to different contexts now and thousand and thousand years ago. For most people, we don't like to see others suffer, because we have the ability to empathize another individual. This might be a result of natural selection because social animals require individuals able to contribute to the group.

I had experience working in a lab that conducted animal experiments. What I can tell you is that we have tried our best to reduce the pain and distress of animals. Abuse of animals is certainly forbidden.There's committee that supervises labs and guarantees the animal's welfare. A violation of the regulations can result in shutdown of the lab and personals will not allowed to conduct animal experiments in the future. Lab animals may not have a colorful life as their wild counterparts have, they typically have a much peaceful life and longer life expectancy. Yes, some animal individuals get sacrificed to help people deal with diseases, and to help people understand their species better so that we can protect them. When I had to sacrifice an animal, I cried inside.

In a sense, we are like other animals. We all die. The nature does not care your will of living forever. The biological meaning is to pass the DNA from generation to generation. If human do not eat animals, their population size would be less. Humans have relatively stronger abilities to alter the environment and we play a part in other species selection. As humans eat animals, we keep a decent amount of population of them. Carnivorous eats other animals, and herbivorous eats plants. Some very kind people may not bear to see animals suffer they become vegans.

Psychopath is a hard question, some may suffer from problems of controlling their emotions, impulsivity, processing and understanding information. Another reason might be people have different understandings of lives. In my opinion, I don't agree that there are "pure" creatures. Children are naive. However, knowing more and having more abilities are not bad things, its depends on how you use them. The world won't be purer simply because you do not know the other side. However, I think lives of children, animals, and grown-up human beings, etc., should be deeply respected.
 
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