Talk:Morality

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I would truly like to see someone that knows what it means saying that "A man marrying another man is a Moral action." There is no positive morality that would apply here, only immorality and amorality. The same goes for heterosexual marriages. The only exception i can think of is the utilitarian principal, where that which brings the most happiness (if the two guys want to marry and would be happy doing so they not only ought, but should and must preform said action). That said, this is the worst overview of morality I've ever seen. --Stills 04:19, 30 March 2007 (EDT)

Somebody who has an orthodox Christian view of morality is going to place the gender of the couple involved as morally more important than the mutual love and commitment of the couple, because of Biblical injunctions. Such a person is going to feel that the marriage of two men is morally wrong under any circumstances and therefore think it's immoral. Somebody whose view of morality says that the declaration of mutual love and commitment before witnesses is a more important aspect of a marriage ceremony than the gender of the participants is going to feel that it is more moral to marry than not to marry. The utilitarian approach would argue that morality as such doesn't enter into it. There are legal benefits to marriage which are not available for people in a committed but unmarried relationship. Unless I've got the utilitarian argument wrong, in which case I'm happy for somebody to correct me (I didn't write the first paragraph of this article).Britinme 19:47 30 March 3007 (EDT)

Contents

Copyright violation

http://www.theconservativevoice.com/article/9332.html contains large sections of the current article. My revert to a version without copyright issues was reverted by TK and locked. Just pointing it out here for others to consider - I'm out for a few hours. --Sid 3050 10:24, 31 March 2007 (EDT)

Thanks for your comment. It's obvious that you are deeply concerned about the success of this project. :-) --Ed Poor 10:26, 31 March 2007 (EDT)

Unlock and revert - PLEASE.

The current "article" is a patchwork of copy-pasting from other sources. I would be extremely surprised if more than thirty or fifty words were actually written by TK himself.

  • The entire section from the beginning until "Thomas E. Brewton wrote" comes from here (word by word).
  • The entire (uncut) section about Brewton can be read here. Notice how the first parts were originally written by a reader.
  • The "Morality and the Law" section comes from this page (each paragraph appears there, though TK left out one)
  • The Buddhist section is a copy-paste of the cited source.
  • The entire section about Jews can be found here. I don't know if they're quoting the book or not, but TK most definitely didn't write that himself.

TK, please revert to the version I originally reverted to. Conservapedia wants us to write our own entries. You are encouraged to use sources, but copying everything from elsewhere is not cool. --Sid 3050 15:09, 31 March 2007 (EDT)

I note that the entire section I wrote about the non-religious sources of morality, which included solid references, has simply been cut. I have it saved, or somebody who has access to this now-locked article can simply revert to it. What is the point in putting in well-researched material if it is permissible to over-write it with what looks to me like a gigantic copy-and-paste job of copyrighted material - a tad ironic in an article about morality, don't you think? Britinme16:23 31 March 2007 (EDT)

Yes, a revert to this version would be the best thing. The current version is really just a copy-paste gig. --Sid 3050 17:05, 31 March 2007 (EDT)
Okay, it's been a full day since TK locked the article and started his little copyright violation spree. He's had his fun, but can we now please unlock this thing and revert it? --Sid 3050 08:48, 1 April 2007 (EDT)
Reverted as per User_talk:Sid_3050#Morality and this talk page. Thanks to Elamdri and Ed for their input, I am well aware that I'm skating on thin ice here. Here is my reasoning for this entire thing, along with a quasi-timeline:
  • The initial version was already a copyright violation of three sources.
  • After a revert back and forth, the article was locked so that TK could do his rewrite in peace
    • No prior discussion about such a change on the Talk page, no reasoning given for removing the existing sections
    • No word from TK on the copyright issues.
  • At the end of the day, the article was still locked and completely copy-pasted from five sources.
  • Only after some pressure appeared the claim that TK obtained permission for the Brewton section
    • No proof was given, the admission only came indirectly through Ed - TK, where are you?
    • No word of this before the pressure.
    • No word on the other four sources.
As such, I reverted the article. TK, if you wish to revert, you better post a VERY good explanation here. I think that the potential link to religion should be covered, but it should be done in a neutral way and without page-long quotes. If you can't sum it up in your own words, post the source on the talk page and ask the other editors for help. When more than a third of such an article is quotes, that's a very bad sign in my book. --Sid 3050 10:26, 1 April 2007 (EDT)
  • Sid, you wrote above: "As such, I reverted the article. TK, if you wish to revert, you better post a VERY good explanation here. I think that the potential link to religion should be covered, but it should be done in a neutral way..." Get over yourself! This site will never show religion in a neutral way. Its whole reason for being is because most other sites do that, or worse, fail to include religion at all, unless in a negative light, so why would you be suggesting we do that here? The page is Morality. Without God in the equation, how does one lead a moral life? The very idea is an oxymoron. I repeat my observation of yesterday; I think you really need to examine why you are here, since it is quite obvious you want this place to be a clone of Wikipedia. --~ TerryK MyTalk 06:17, 2 April 2007 (EDT)
Yes, I want it to be a clone of Wikipedia in the sense that not every news outlet on the PLANET laughs about it.
Your post shows exactly why I asked for neutrality. You say "There is no morality without religion, so there is no morality without religion". Nothing about the study with primates (which you completely eradicated with your edits) or any other possible point of view?
You simply assert that your point of view is right and then supply sources that speak for your point of view. Congratulations, you turned into Conservative. Just with less Bible-quoting and more copyright violation. --Sid 3050 06:24, 2 April 2007 (EDT)
  • ROFL! Look up "enfant terrible" in the dictionary. The writer gave his permission. It wasn't even copyrighted, so therefore there can by no violation of copyright. You keep repeating like, like Herr Gobles, thinking if done enough, people will believe it. You have turned into a wiki-nazi. Get over yourself. You have no right to demand explanations from anyone. You should care not one wit what liberals and secular-progressives think of this place, I don't. Neither does Andy. It is because of them this place was started. You were neither appointed or elected to try and make it different. --~ TerryK MyTalk 07:09, 2 April 2007 (EDT)
"Herr Gobles"? You surely don't mean Joseph Goebbels, right? --Sid 3050 11:05, 2 April 2007 (EDT)
Since I left all the stuff about the religious basis of morality strictly alone, believing that it was right that it should be there because that is what many people believe, give me one good reason why well-referenced contributions on the non-religious bases of morality should be deleted. Here the deleted sections again, just to remind you Britinme 2:17 2 April 2007 (EDT)
Some biologists argue that morality grew out of behavioral rules shaped by evolution. They see social behaviors displayed by some primates as the precursors of human morality. They cite examples such as rhesus monkeys which, when given a chance to get food by pulling a chain that delivers a shock to another monkey, have been known to starve themselves for a considerable time.[1] This ideal governing our free actions is common to the human race.

Dr Frans de Waal argues that primates are social animals, and must constrain their behavior in order to live in a group. He maintains that these constraints have shaped behaviors from which human morality has emerged. He does not assert that chimpanzees are moral, but argues that emotional bases that can be observed among primates are the foundation for the evolution of human morality.
I've put your quote in a box to highlight it better. And this looks like a lost cause, unless Andy's hammer of justice is working quite slowly. I left something on Aschlafly's Talk page 12 hours ago. And while Andy has made 25 or so edits since then, this issue was (so far) ignored.
Judging from past experience, I wouldn't get my hopes up. It's possible that something good will happen (and I still hope so), but I honestly don't expect it. :-/ --Sid 3050 17:35, 2 April 2007 (EDT)
  • britinme, I apoliogize if in the revert tussle between a few of our more hysterical elements, your contribution was removed. I have posted several times, in several places that the revision isn't completed. It was completely reverted while I was in the middle of enlarging the meager bits that were there, and I lost half a page of info, because I forgot to keep saving. I am in travel status right now, so I hope to finish the piece very soon, time permitting. I see no reason not to include the "helpfully highlighted" text of yours, and assume it is properly cited, perhaps by multiple sources, to appease the strident name-calling "thought police" here, lol. If you have additional thoughts or inclusions, please alert me on my Talk page. --~ TerryK MyTalk 18:00, 2 April 2007 (EDT)


Thank you Terry. I would appreciate it if you could restore it. The reference is to . "Primates and Philosophers" by Frans de Waal. Professor de Waal is a thoroughly respectable academic source for the information. Thank you also Sid for highlighting the box - I hadn't worked out yet how to do that but looking at the edit page I can see how it's done now. Britinme 18:13 2 April 2007 (EDT)


Did somebody challenge you to take as many shots as possible at me without saying my name? Britinme's contribution (along with the entire rest of the article) was flushed out during your FIRST edit. --Sid 3050 18:20, 2 April 2007 (EDT)


  • My comments do not support that conclusion. I merely apologized for the material being removed, and said I couldn't see a reason not to include it. --~ TerryK MyTalk 18:24, 2 April 2007 (EDT)

Copyrights...

Ownership, Copyright, & Disclaimer The Proceedings of the Friesian School, Fourth Series is a non-periodic journal and archive of philosophy, updated as needed, published and edited by Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D.. All materials, unless otherwise indicated, are copyrighted (c) 1979, 1985, 1987, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 by the editor.

All rights are reserved, but fair and good faith use with attribution may be made of all contents for any non-commercial educational, scholarly, and personal purposes, including reposting, with links to the original page, on the internet. It is not necessary to obtain copyright release for such uses, but the Proceedings would be grateful to be voluntarily informed, for informational purposes only, of the use of its materials. [1] --~ TerryK MyTalk 22:26, 2 April 2007 (EDT)

...you didn't provide a link to the original page, and I'm fairly certain they meant QUOTING (in the sense you later on did with Brewton), and not "Copy it and make it look like your own work, just slap in a link somewhere". Your action hardly qualifies as "fair and good faith use".
Besides, you should still lobby for a Commandment change because right now, it says that we shouldn't copy from non-public domain sources at all.
However, I applaud that you finally admit to have copied 1:1 from that source. --Sid 3050 05:33, 3 April 2007 (EDT)

Never claimed anything different. Your fantasy world must be nice. --~ TerryK MyTalk 05:40, 3 April 2007 (EDT)

You spent most of yesterday repeating your "I've got Brewton's permission, you've got no case" line and dodging all questions about the four other sources. --Sid 3050 05:43, 3 April 2007 (EDT)
  • Well, Sid, to be honest, I don't think it's any of your business. As I said before, no one died and appointed you leader. The world doesn't need yet another forum nazi, which is exactly what you have become. --~ TerryK MyTalk 05:46, 3 April 2007 (EDT)
TK, I would really appreciate it if you didn't call me a Nazi. This is the second time (not counting the "Herr Gobles" thing, which you never confirmed to mean "Goebbels") that you did it, and I find it really offensive. (And ironically enough the "died and made you leader" bit happens to be Ed's basic example for a snide and unacceptable remark.) --Sid 3050 05:50, 3 April 2007 (EDT)

I didn't say you were a Nazi, Sid. I said you were acting just like a forum nazi. Two different things. And Ed and I agree more than we don't, Sid. All that you find unacceptable, he did. That should tell you something right there, eh? Let's call a truce, and try to work together, or not at all, but at least end this constant banter, ok? --~ TerryK MyTalk 06:50, 3 April 2007 (EDT)

Don't worry, I couldn't keep up this pace, even if I wanted to. My lectures started again this week, so time is not on my side anymore. :-/ Productive editing, we shall do. Bantering, we shall not. --Sid 3050 06:54, 3 April 2007 (EDT)

Link

Links 3, 4, 6, and 7 have extra brackets around them.

The effects of Atheism

This section doesn't make any arguments based in fact and I propose it be removed. In none of the examples cited (Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot and Chairman Mao) were people killed because of religious reasons. In all three cases the justification was political. --Rspeed 19:38, 3 June 2008 (EDT)

Not based on facts? Aren't the deaths from those despots facts?
I think the problem is that perhaps the article didn't make the connection very well, having divided atheism from evolution. The part that you removed from the evolution section points out that evolution provides no basis for morals, which supports (and perhaps this wasn't clear) that atheism has no basis for morals. And what the atheism section (still) says is that "atheism itself provides no moral boundaries to constrain the actions of people". So atheism may not have caused those despots to murder millions, but atheism allows that (if there is, for example, political "justification"), whereas Christianity does not. That, in a sense, is the theory, and the "effects" section shows that theory working out in practice. It is therefore appropriate to have it, and I will also be reinstating the text you removed from the evolution section.
Philip J. Rayment 02:10, 5 June 2008 (EDT)
You're correct that atheism doesn't provide a moral code, but I still fail to see why that would give justification or place blame. I don't see why it's even worth mentioning atheism in this article at all.
It's a function of society to provide morality. That society can be religion, government, clubs (for example, Rotary International provides strong philanthropic morals) or even a local community. These morals are passed on to children via family, friends and various leaders. Atheism does not provide morals because it's not a society. Unlike a religion, there is no organization. There are no laws or a belief structure. But just because one doesn't have religion doesn't mean they don't have morals. There are millions of atheists in the world who we would consider to be moral people. The other layers of society, family and friends provides just as it does to people with religion. Their lack of theism hasn't prevented them from living moral lives because they live in societies which provided them with morals similar to yours and similar to mine.
In regard to morality, being an atheist is like being someone plays baseball. It's not a problem that baseball doesn't provide morals because baseball players get their morality from other sources. In all of the examples given, the men who committed the heinous acts lived in a society in which those actions were considered immoral. It wasn't a lack of belief that they would be punished after death that allowed them to perform the horrors they inflicted, it was a personal failure of morality. The same could be said of theistic men and women who either ignored their morals or even used them as a justification (such as Adolph Hitler, Osama bin Laden, or Kind Ferdinand II, Queen Isabella and Pope Sixtus IV). It's no more logical to blame atheism for what Pol Pot, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong did than it is to blame the fact that they weren't Boy Scouts.
It's worth noting that I don't think any intentional attacks on atheists are meant by this article. I simply see no reason at all to even mention atheism. Evolution has a place since there are fairly sound theories for its role in morality. Hopefully I've made my point better than I did the first time! :)
My edit to the Evolution section is unrelated to this. I made that modification because the information presented was neither well-sourced, encyclopedic or relevant to the topic. Scientific experiments provide a strong theory for the origin of morals via evolution, that much is factual. Arguing that the theory doesn't matter because Evolution is debatable is completely beside the point.
--Rspeed 21:06, 6 June 2008 (EDT)
No, it's not a function of society to provide morality. It's dependent on a worldview, which is what atheism is.
Atheism is not just a passive, disinterested, observer in all this. No, atheism teaches that it is up to man (rather than God) to decide what is right and what is wrong. Therefore, it teaches that it is legitimate to decide that murder is good in some circumstances. David A. Noebel writes in The Battle for Truth:
According to the Marxist [a form of atheism], the acceptable form of conduct in class morality is whatever it takes to accomplish the ultimate goal—namely, a classless communist society. In other words, the end justifies the means. ... An action is moral when it helps overthrow the bourgeoisie.
... The problem, of course, is than man can justify mistreating his fellow man by claiming that it will serve in the long run a 'higher good.' ... In the case of the Ukrainians, the "means" included shooting, starvation, and slave labor in Siberia. Joseph Stalin referred to such action as the liquidation of the kulak class.
If evolution has a place, then so does atheism, a worldview with evolution as its intellectual basis.
I'm not following your point about the evolution section. I don't know why you consider that section not "well sourced". The part you removed was a two-sentence paragraph pointing out that the evolution argument assumes evolution to be true, which is not a given, and a quote which was not arguing that evolution is debatable. Rather, it's a rebuttal to your point above that "Scientific experiments provide a strong theory for the origin of morals via evolution". They do no such thing.
Philip J. Rayment 02:08, 7 June 2008 (EDT)
Your statement is full of fallacies. Atheism isn't Marxism, Marxism isn't atheism and none of those men were Marxists (though they liked to pretend they were). It's fine if you want to prove your point and that's really what I'd hoped to get when I posted this on the talk page, but you're not responding to my arguments with logical arguments.
I'm not going to respond further to your comments because you've made it clear that you won't listen to me. That's fine, you contribute far more to this site than I do and it's presumptive of me to start this debate. But there is a point I'd like to make, and I'd really like you to consider it.
Is someone who acts in a virtuous manner only due to a fear of punishment a moral person?
--Rspeed 20:41, 8 June 2008 (EDT)
I'm not claiming that Marxism and atheism are exactly synonymous, but to imply that they are unrelated is incorrect. From The Battle for Truth again (p.29) (his italics):
"We communists are atheists," declared Chou En-lai at the Bandung Conference in April, 1955. This Chinese communist leader captured the fundamental theological ingredient of Marxism/Leninism in one word: atheism. Today, Marxist/Leninists prefer two words: scientific atheism.
From the university days of Karl Marx to the present, official spokesmen for Marxism have been consistent about the content of their theology—God, a Supreme Being, a Creator, a Ruler, does not, can not, and must not exist
Please explain the point of the question in your final sentence before I answer it.
Philip J. Rayment 09:07, 9 June 2008 (EDT)

Morality and Law

Many people argue that the law should not be used to enforce morality. But morality is actually the basis for much of the law. Laws against theft, for example, are based on the idea that taking someone else's property is morally wrong. That doesn't have to be the case, however, and really, not verifiable since it goes to the intentions of the creators of the law. Some people believe that laws should protect rights, not morals. An anti-theft law would be written because stealing deprives another person to their right to property. And so on. HelpJazz 19:48, 21 October 2008 (EDT)

Why should laws protect rights? Because it is considered morally wrong to deprive someone of their rights. Philip J. Rayment 21:56, 21 October 2008 (EDT)
Hrm in my gut that still seems wrong. Unfortunately the definition in the article isn't much help. Still, though, the statement is misleading. If, as you say, protecting rights is morally right (right? ha!) then people who argue that law should not enforce morality are actually saying the law should not be used to enforce morality unless the moral in question is depriving another person of their rights. HelpJazz 23:57, 21 October 2008 (EDT)
People who say that the law should not be used to enforce morality are generally only saying so in the context of a moral that they don't agree with (e.g. homosexuality). And I'd say that pretty much any law that is "morality-based" can be understood in terms of "rights-based". For example, a law that forbids homosexual acts can be understood as protecting the rights of people adversely affected by homosexuality. Philip J. Rayment 01:55, 22 October 2008 (EDT)
That's not always true either. Some people think that immoral things that don't infringe another person's rights should not be illegal. And who's rights are being trampled with a law that allows homosexual marraige? Who's are being trampled with a law against homosexual marraige? I don't think that's a good example.
I did some reading, and I figured out my general uneasiess with the statement that it is morally wrong to deprive someone of their rights: Again it doesn't have to be. It could be utilitarian. Objectivists and some libertarians believe that protecting rights is necessary to survival, not "morally right".
Addionally, after more reflection, I determined that even if you are right with everything you are saying, Philip, the statement as written still basically comes down to a straw man. Those laws that are based on "morality" are based on morality that everyone holds. Nobody thinks that murder and theft are morally right (Ethics 101-style paradoxes notwithstanding), so it's ok to make a law based on those morals. However the people who say "We don't want morality to be legislated" (I might as well at this point say for the record that this includes myself) are saying that they don't want morality legislated if there is disagreement about the morality involved. Because then who gets to decide what is moral? HelpJazz 17:08, 22 October 2008 (EDT)
Whose rights are being "trampled" with a law allowing homosexual "marriage"? The rights of everybody else to not be inflicted with the fruits of that ideology. Whose rights are being "trampled" with a law against homosexual "marriage"? What rights? Where do "rights" come from anyway?
Okay, some believe that protecting rights is necessary to survival. But why is survival right? Surely the idea that survival is good is a moral judgement?
No, the laws are not based on morality that everyone holds. If that were the case, there would be little need for the laws! And some do think that murder and theft is morally right (in some circumstances at least), such as murder of unborn children, murder of old people, murder of some young children (e.g. Peter Singer's views), theft from insurance companies (false claims), theft from rich people, and so on.
If you don't want morality legislated on the basis of the existence of disagreement, what do you do when people disagree for other reasons? Still not legislate? Or if you do, who gets to decide then?
Philip J. Rayment 21:55, 22 October 2008 (EDT)
How are you affected by someone else being married (in a manner that's different from a homosexual couple living together as if they were married, which is legal)?
So still, you are saying that laws are based on someone's morality, and go against someone else's. Again I ask, who gets to decide who's morality the law is based on? That's what people who don't want morality legislated are against.
A discussion of rights vs. morality is interesting (though I'm a little underprepared; I need to do some more reading!), but this all started with the statement in the article. Whether we use your definition or morals/rights/laws or mine, the statement is misleading at best, and a logical fallacy at worst. HelpJazz 22:35, 22 October 2008 (EDT)
I may not be directly affected by a homosexual "marriage" per se, but by legalising it, you are endorsing a lifestyle that is a detriment to society, and as part of society, I am affected. One obvious example is AIDS, which has affected society and which takes tax dollars that could have been spent on other things if AIDS was not taking it.
Yes, laws based on morality or on anything else will be consistent with one person's views and inconsistent with another person's views. So what do you do? Not make laws? No, you elect people to make laws for you, and you make them, in general terms, according to the wishes of the population. But you don't exclude some of those wishes simply on the arbitrary grounds that they are "morals based". Of course ideally you would make them according to God's standards, but if the population as a whole doesn't recognise God's standards, that's not going to happen. So what I'm really saying is that ideally the population as a whole would recognise God's standards and make the laws accordingly, which is historically just what has happened in much of western civilisation.
Philip J. Rayment 01:42, 23 October 2008 (EDT)
Sorry, I can't see how the statement in the article is misleading. You've moved on (to a fair extent) to questioning who decides, but have not managed to argue that they are not based on morals somehow or other. Philip J. Rayment 01:47, 23 October 2008 (EDT)

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