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Author Topic: Are most decisions moral decisions?  (Read 1651 times)

Offline coberst

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Are most decisions moral decisions?
« on: 23/07/2009 12:05:34 »
Are most decisions moral decisions?

In an attempt to comprehend the nature of ethics/morality one will find a forest of writings but essentially each person must build his or her own model of what ethics/morality means. Somewhere along the way toward becoming an enlightened person regarding this matter we all must settle on that which makes sense for us. That does not mean that we remain static about the matter but it means that we settle on some model that is our personal guide until we decide to change it.

I cannot remember where I read it but is resonates for me; ‘all decisions, wherein there is a choice, are moral decisions’. One may find quibbles to get around this message but the essence of the matter is that for a person seeking to be moral, all judgments from which decisions are derived warrant careful consideration.

Our community and our family mold our moral sense as we grow up. But at some point we must remold that model to fit our adult self. I am an American and my sense of ethics/morality was codified by the Declaration and the Constitution as I grew up and it is what determines, to a large extent, my adult sense in this matter.

The Declaration declares ‘We hold these truths to be self evident, all men are created equal and they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights’. The Constitution sets forth a listing of the rights of all citizens that are to be protected by law. These declarations are part of my heritage and are what I accept as the foundation of my sense of morality.

It appears that the two concepts ‘right’ and ‘good’ form the foundation of any moral system. The ‘good’ is ‘rational desire’ and the ‘right’ has varying meanings. The status of the right seems to be the important variable that determines what one’s ethical/moral model becomes.

I call my model of morality as being a closed system as opposed to an open system. I call my system a closed system because ‘right’ is clearly defined in the Declaration and the Constitution as being prior to the good. That which is right has a fence around it with a big “No Trespassing” sign and is closed to usurpation by the good. A different system could be called an open system when there is no closed area representing rights but that the right is considered as being that which maximizes the good.

I suspect that often we do not have the knowledge and understanding to determine at the time we make our decisions which matters might be immoral, or amoral, as opposed to moral. I think that a moral person needs to have that consideration constantly in mind and thus to form habits that help to keep us on track even though we often act unconsciously. It is all a part of developing character I guess.

This is not to say that we must become fanatical about it.  Is flossing a moral act?  If I floss or do not floss, does it, in some minute way, affect others?  I think so.  Is watering my lawn a matter for moral consideration?  It might be.


Questions for discussion

Would you say that an act can be a moral or immoral without our being conscious of the matter?  Can a sociopath perform an immoral act?

Where do these two concepts, right and good, fit into your model of morality and or ethics? I use the term ethics/morality to mean that the two terms are the same for me.

Assume that some young person reads my OP and is inspired by it to study what morality is all about. Then that person goes on to read a response and s/he sees that the responder ridiculed the OP. This then deflates the idea to study morality. Can the ridicule be considered to have been an amoral act?



 

Offline Bored chemist

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Are most decisions moral decisions?
« Reply #1 on: 23/07/2009 19:55:51 »
"Are most decisions moral decisions?"
No.
Next.
 

Offline coberst

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Are most decisions moral decisions?
« Reply #2 on: 23/07/2009 20:29:37 »
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

I agree to the point of saying that we have moral instincts, i.e. we have moral emotions.  Without these moral emotions we could not function as social creatures.  These moral emotions are an act of evolution.  I would ague that the instinct for grooming that we see in monkeys is one example of this moral emotion.

We can no longer leave this important matter in the hands of the Sunday-school. Morality must become a top priority for scientific study.


 

paul.fr

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Are most decisions moral decisions?
« Reply #3 on: 24/07/2009 14:38:28 »
Questions for discussion...


You're 'aving a larf, arn't y'
 

Ethos

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Are most decisions moral decisions?
« Reply #4 on: 24/07/2009 16:06:52 »
Coberst,.....you're wearing me out!!!!!!
 

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Are most decisions moral decisions?
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