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Author Topic: Do we need morality classes?  (Read 6208 times)

Offline coberst

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Do we need morality classes?
« on: 18/10/2008 18:36:42 »
Sunday-School Morality

Where, in American culture, is the domain of knowledge that we would identify as morality studied and taught?

I suspect that if we do not quickly develop a science of morality that will make it possible for us to live together on this planet in a more harmonious manner our technology will help us to destroy the species and perhaps the planet soon.

It seems to me that we have given the subject matter of morality primarily over to religion.  It also seems to me that if we ask the question ‘why do humans treat one another so terribly?’ we will find the answer in this moral aspect of human culture.

The ‘man of maxims’ “is the popular representative of the minds that are guided in their moral judgment solely by general rules, thinking that these will lead them to justice by a ready-made patent method, without the trouble of exerting patience, discrimination, impartiality—without any care to assure themselves whether they have the insight that comes from a hardly-earned estimate of temptation, or from a life vivid and intense enough to have created a wide fellow-feeling with all that is human.” George Eliot The Mill on the Floss

We can no longer leave this important matter in the hands of the Sunday-school. Morality must become a top priority for scientific study.
« Last Edit: 19/10/2008 09:18:17 by chris »


 

blakestyger

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Re: Do we need morality classes?
« Reply #1 on: 18/10/2008 21:17:35 »
I can not agree with your statement -

Morality must become a top priority for scientific study.

Morality has nothing whatever to do with the sciences - it belongs within philosophy, a humanity.

The Greeks stared it with Aristotle's work on ethics and has been a thread running through philosophy ever since - most philosophers had something to say on it: Kant, Hume etc up to Singer nowadays. It answers one of the big questions 'How Should I Live?'

French schools teach true philosophy from early years, in the UK it's called PSHE (personal social health education), I don't know what they do in the US.
Either way, this is not something that science would or even could embrace.
 

Offline coberst

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Re: Do we need morality classes?
« Reply #2 on: 18/10/2008 21:57:17 »

Philosophy is the mother of science but is no substitute for scientific empirical study similar to other human sciences.  I think that psychology and SGCS (Second Generation Cognitive Science) can be useful in starting such an effort.
 

Offline RD

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Re: Do we need morality classes?
« Reply #3 on: 18/10/2008 22:21:57 »
Science can explain "terrible" human behaviour: the "terrible" behaviour was evolutionarily advantageous...
e.g. a promiscuous man can have more children than a monogamous one.
If these traits are inherited then promiscuity will (has) become the norm in males.
 
Quote
Alfred Kinsey has found in his studies that 50% of males and 26% of females had extramarital sex . Depending on studies, it was estimated that 26-50% of men and 21-38% women[14], or 22.7% of men and 11.6% of women had extramarital sex. Other authors say that between 20% and 25% Americans had sex with someone other than their spouse[16]. Durex's Global Sex Survey has found that 44% of adults worldwide have had one-night extramarital sex and 22% have had an affair
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adultery

A fatal sexually transmitted disease would make monogamy the more successful option: the promiscuous would have a greater chance of contracting it.

Whatever behaviour causes the greatest number of offspring to survive to adulthood (and reproduce themselves) will become the norm, be it promiscuity, monogamy, parasitism, diligence, aggression, pacifism. 
« Last Edit: 18/10/2008 23:05:13 by RD »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Do we need morality classes?
« Reply #4 on: 19/10/2008 10:40:46 »
School is far too late to teach morallity.
Didn't you parents tell you "Think what would happen if everyone did that"?


Incidentally, most people I know never went to Sunday school. This means they never learned about the morallity of the bible. Not, in my opinion, any bad thing.
It seems negligent to leave schools (Sunday or otherwise) to teach something so important. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child.
 

Offline coberst

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Do we need morality classes?
« Reply #5 on: 19/10/2008 12:48:40 »
School is far too late to teach morallity.
Didn't you parents tell you "Think what would happen if everyone did that"?


Incidentally, most people I know never went to Sunday school. This means they never learned about the morallity of the bible. Not, in my opinion, any bad thing.
It seems negligent to leave schools (Sunday or otherwise) to teach something so important. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child.

Learning such an important value as morality should not be left to learning by social osmosis.  Our greatest problem is ‘what we can do to assure the survival of the human species’.  Such survival is endangered by our technical ability to easily destroy our self in many ways.
 

Offline Titanscape

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Do we need morality classes?
« Reply #6 on: 19/10/2008 13:43:24 »
We Christians, including Sunday school teachers are content to find an interest in the the things we value!

Were it not for Christ and believers in Him, Rome may have advanced and advanced technologically as a violent society and a morally retarded society.

Instead of the Hippocratic Oath, freelance Doctors... Not Roman, then spare parts.

At the opening of a government building, a fight to the death on site, with Masers and pistols or something...

It would seem human nature is chaotic, and unless we apply discipline and pro life thought and action, civilizations conclude. Of our own devices or negligence of each other, after centuries.

More practically thinking. Semantics are in order. It is good to define and elaborate on the meaning of morality.

Christians believe in a benevolent God. We wouldn't hold to benevolent ideals and values and pursuits sometimes except for parental culture, and because of the Bible and preaching... Because of faith.

Within the Bible is says we should discipline our children, reason about justice and injustice..., teach, teach by example, win people through kindness. Advocate good news, about Jesus, look at God's promises, and we are commanded to "choose life'.

So we must consider what other faiths teach, and what society imbibes and holds out as role models, what do schools teach and how successfully?

We are taught to be civil, respect the police, working under the constitution which is based on justice and democracy.

Drug use, theft, murder are held as repulsive, and are under control, but adultery and fornication are popular, not held in regard by law though. Also drug use is popular.

There is a difference between the media, courts, and parliament, and subcultures.

There is a lot of sex and violence and drug use in film.

Slavery is another issue today.

All these are mentioned in the ancient Bible. Murder, adultery, fornication, stealing, slander, blasphemy, and lying. Also laziness, witch craft or drug use, social manipulation, the lovers, murderers, liars, idolaters...

What inspires atheists to have kindness and compassion and patience...?

Morality, a social science, cool.

It occurs to me that there is a connection between morals and happiness, but maybe here in this forum, and certainly in others the idea was attacked vehemently.

They don't want love, that is mushy, they want lust and opportunism. Sleeping around...

Morality, I would say is a matter of the whole mind will and emotions and heart and body. Bearing in mind in the body is the tremendous chaos and injustice described in evolution, survival by rape and murder and theft...

Morality is the love of life, discerning the greater substance of homo-sapien's lives over beasts.

Life and not only sensuality, feelings.

The love of the "being" the "entity". The conscious, understanding creature.

Love in commitment, patience, unselfishness, kindness, and compassion.

Regards for relationships, and health in the other's heart, soul and body.

Regards for their friendships, commitment, honour, esteem... being civil. A sense of community.

Having a sense of justice. Finding inner strength, for the fights, both with immoral adversaries and with the chaos within the body.

There is a need for a kind of wisdom, discernment, reason, judgment and sensibility.

Some youth would appreciate the morals in Jane Austen's work, I am not sure of that.

 

Offline RD

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Do we need morality classes?
« Reply #7 on: 19/10/2008 14:04:07 »
theft, murder are held as repulsive, and are under control, but adultery and fornication are popular



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

Murder is very "popular" when vital resources are at stake, (e.g. oil).
« Last Edit: 19/10/2008 14:09:22 by RD »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Do we need morality classes?
« Reply #8 on: 19/10/2008 14:55:50 »
Why do religious people often seem to think that you can't have morality without religion (and usualy only their flavour of religion)?

It's perfectly possible that Rome might have calmed down a bit without Christianity. On the other hand if the Christian view hadn't taken hold it couldn't have been used to justify the crusades or the inquisition.
 

Offline dentstudent

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Do we need morality classes?
« Reply #9 on: 19/10/2008 15:31:12 »
Since the moral code was provided as the commandments, perhaps it therefore follows that without these commandments, religious people become quite immoral. As an atheist, my moral code is formed through an inate respect for myself and other people, and I take it as my responsibility as a parent to help and guide my own children towards morality. And also critical thinking.
 

blakestyger

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Do we need morality classes?
« Reply #10 on: 19/10/2008 18:42:46 »
I still can't see what science has to do with morality. Science is, bottom line, concerned with establishing (as far as it can) universal objective truths out of which come natural laws, such as gravity and, dare I say it, evolution.

We live in a global community now but there are still many cultural differences intact so what is moral to one group may not be to another - there is room for relativism still. If there was not, then one view would prevail - but who's?

It's a mistake to involve Christianity in this; I don't believe it has anything very much to teach us about morality (informed NSs will recognise what this refers to) or any other aspect of ethics, especially tolerance. What other religion devotes quite so much energy to gay clergy and women priest issues?
 

Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #11 on: 19/10/2008 20:49:03 »
To be fair to christianity at least they are looking at the issues of women etc. in the church. Other faiths simply don't consider such things.
However if you consider the fact that, over time, religious groups change what they will accept as "moral", then they clearly cannot be getting their guidance from God (unless He has changed His mind, which would be odd) so they must just be making it up.

It seems that we cannot trust religion to provide moral guidadnce (since it changes with fashion) and we also can't rely on science.

Looks like we are screwed until you realise that most people seem to understand "morality" inately.
I gather that there's some evidence of what could be described as "morality" in non-human primates. If that's the case then studying it is back in the realm of science.

 

blakestyger

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Do we need morality classes?
« Reply #12 on: 20/10/2008 09:20:43 »
Bored chemist - you are right, the majority of people are moral. Typically, it's those that are not that make the headlines.
 

Offline Titanscape

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Do we need morality classes?
« Reply #13 on: 20/10/2008 11:21:52 »
I think there are extremes and average people, and most of us struggle in ourselves. And we struggle because of jealousy..., victimization, after which we see more bad then good, if no one helps.
 

Offline Titanscape

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Do we need morality classes?
« Reply #14 on: 25/10/2011 19:14:18 »
Evolution sees anarchy as an advantage in some cases. But we can sit down and categorize it over years, and prove that anarchy is is actually useless. We have come of age, and can certify in clear thought that such things as rape are not for the best, and the designed system, of justice, social justice, morality... has fruitful ideals that are obtainable. And recovery points from error.

We have come age, we sit on the shoulders of giants. We have the benefit of history, psychology and philosophy and debate, to make clear conclusions and we can test them.

Children should be taught to sit on the shoulders of giants. And see the evolved and in built errors of our ways, and methods of dealing with it.
« Last Edit: 25/10/2011 19:20:44 by Titanscape »
 

Offline CZARCAR

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Do we need morality classes?
« Reply #15 on: 25/10/2011 22:08:35 »
Evolution sees anarchy as an advantage in some cases. But we can sit down and categorize it over years, and prove that anarchy is is actually useless. We have come of age, and can certify in clear thought that such things as rape are not for the best, and the designed system, of justice, social justice, morality... has fruitful ideals that are obtainable. And recovery points from error.

We have come age, we sit on the shoulders of giants. We have the benefit of history, psychology and philosophy and debate, to make clear conclusions and we can test them.

Children should be taught to sit on the shoulders of giants. And see the evolved and in built errors of our ways, and methods of dealing with it.
which direction? with or without wearing clothes?
 

Offline Airthumbs

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Do we need morality classes?
« Reply #16 on: 25/10/2011 23:58:06 »
Morality has nothing to do with the definition of science and it's ultimate purpose but the application of science is another matter.

Religion has nothing to do with Morality.
To base ones Morality on a religious faith can be very dangerous and some people might consider many religions to be in fact, immoral by there very nature.

Some religions are governed by Moral people who have the ability to empathise very well and that is why they make such good holy or spiritual people in the eyes of their worshipers. 

Morality essentially comes from the love of life or the drive to live and importantly the want for everything else to live their life also. Except this fly that's been bugging me for ages!

 

Offline Titanscape

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Do we need morality classes?
« Reply #17 on: 26/10/2011 05:51:37 »
Airthumbs, I put the dangers of religious people ahead of religion. Some religions promote benevolence, some permit evils, others promote evil. Hinduism is for compassion... Judaism and Christianism is for justice, the basis of western law. And Christianity idealizes and says go after the way of love. Constantine and other religious used war to convert. In Hinduism is Kali, the goddess of murder. Her followers are called thuggies and strangle people... from which comes the word, "thug".

Some criminals love life their own way.
 

Offline grizelda

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Do we need morality classes?
« Reply #18 on: 26/10/2011 07:38:11 »
What is sin? A brain which is imprinted on its experience in the womb will forever seek that pattern in the universe. This allows us to successfully use our resources to advance and procreate our species. Morality recognizes that it is our search for this identification of our universe with our experience in the womb that is important, and that any realization (material substitute for the womb) is pathological. Nonetheless, we recognize the usefulness of these substitutes (houses, cars, political, economic, social and religious organizations, educational forums) so they are a necessary evil. Any of these can be taken to extremes. For example, breastfeeding is necessary, but cigarette usage as a substitute is a sin. Breastfeeding is the original sin, of course, but most people outgrow it. Smoking is a pathological substitute. So a scientific morality would recognize when a necessary delusion has passed over to pathology and teach responsible adults how to recognize when the line has been crossed. Of course, selling these womb-substitutes is big business, and they own all the propaganda outlets.
 

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Do we need morality classes?
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