Down With Morality....

I am growing very weary of the school of thought that says there is a “good” and and “evil”, that established an inherent contrast between two sets of actions. Instead of acting according to already established criterian, why can’t we create our own, why can’t each person make his own “will”?

I think there for most choice/decision/oppoturnity, there is not a good decision and an evil decision, but rather a reasonable decision and an unreasonable decision…Assuming that this society wants to keep working, it would benefit it, and everyone in it, to act out the “reasonable” actions.

But then that raises the question as to weather the same actions are reasonable for everyone or not. I for one don’t think they are, and as such I think the society needs to decide what is reasonable for it, not based off anything but reason and pragmatism.

In a state of nature, I think it would be prefectly okay for everyone to ACT in accordance with what they think is reasonable, but since we are not, and we are in a society, the society must decide. And what the society decides are called laws.

Does this mean the individuals of this society should adopt this way of thinking, or even like it? Absolutely not…It just means that if they are going to live in this society, then they need to ACT(not think/believe) the way the society thinkis is reasonable(pragmatic/beneficial).

I also think that with in this system the idea of good v. evil and bad v. right actions will disappear, as there is no longer a need to judge everyone elses actions. As it is perfectly okay for there reaonsing/critical thought to be different from yours, or inferior to yours. And instead simply say “you broke established law, you will be punished”, but not say “you broke established law, you are bad, you are evil, you are wrong”.

i picture warrior monk choking on his own vomit as he reads this. :stuck_out_tongue:
it is a sign, that i agree with you. yes indeed, beyond good and evil.
i have just typed my ammoral views in jean david’s thread.

i am a moral subjectivist. or rather, one without morality. feel free to call me ammoral. i do not know what morals are, who made them up, who is he that we all have to listen to, why i should follow it, or why they are there. looking at how moral codes vary in time and culture, one man's good is another man's evil. what are the universal laws? if there is any, it would be to make up the laws for yourself. even then, i make and break mine consciously in any situation. i choose accordingly and will not blame any 'law' mine or society's to be responsible for my choice.

but if there is an established law that everybody wants,i must choose to follow it or leave. because i want to belong with this group of people who want it that way, not because it is ‘good’ as oppsed to evil.
oh how i love nietzsche.

Nietzsche and my personal favorite nihilist M. Albert Camus. A man who rejected all of the moral codes, later rejected by Sartre & company, but nevertheless had an active role in the French resistance and left us with some of the most beautiful literature the World has seen.

Marx, Nietzsche, Camus, all of these and more have seen that absolutes break down, that codes and ideologies do not a man make. And yet we still have the simple-minded easily dispensing with masses of people with ominous sounding words like ‘axis of evil’. Words prompted by religions forced upon people like so much opium. An opium drugged brain is unable to get by without that fix, and thus is seen as a slave by the opium free.

I know you’re points of subjectivity. Yet I have one perplexing idea. If what you say is true, then is there no general law that that is the function of every specific law that every subjective person follows? There is no accepted way of life that everyone seems to follow no matter what? If you agree with this I might have to add one more thing.

I believe there is a bit of an objective moralism. I also believe with you that almost all of moralism is merely subjective to the person or persons creating it. However, there is one thing I find common among all religions/politicians/morality structures. That is the vision of “the perfect life.” Every moral system is based on the end goal of eternal happiness in LIFE or LIFE after death. I have never met a person who told me they didn’t want to live well and be happy. I’ve met people who wanted to kill themselves but only because they weren’t happy or wanted to be happy.

So I would say there is moral objectivity, and it is simply happiness in life at some point, usually for an eternity. How we achieve that happiness is where the subjectivity comes in. How someone becomes happy and full of life is completely random and will never be subject to any specific laws. Some similarities may form between the majorities, and those similarities between the majorities are what lead us to believe there might be a correct and concrete answer for everyone, but there inevitably is not.

What I’m saying is moral objectivism exists, it’s just not even worth talking about because its so god damn obvious that we all wanna live full and happy lives.

You should die of a heart attack, God willing.

I hope you are tortured slowly and killed without remorse.

May you be damned to hell by Jesus Christ.

I wish for your hands to be cut off by three year olds with rusty sporks, parents permitting.

You should bleed from your eyes until you go deaf.

May you greet Jimi Hendrix in hell with a flaming tongued, homo erotic, kiss.


I’m not so sure that the ultimate end, that the ultimate goal of what I propose is happiness, in that happiness can many times be contrary to reasoning, and pragmatism.

Although there really isn’t an ultimate end, but for the purpose of this discussion…

The ultimate purpose or utility of this system is what is reasonable, so I guess the question would be “is it reasonable to act in a way that makes you happy”. To that I would answer somtimes yes, and sometimes no.
The ultimate goal is reason, and happiness can be damned for all I care, but since I’m a human, I am limited to seeing my happiness as being reasonable.

To summarize: Happiness is not the ultimate goal, but many times the ultimate goal is changed/manipulated/influenced by happiness.

Warrior Monk

If I die like this, and there is infact a god, I will have done one better than you. Because then I would have atleast one thing in common with your “messiah”.

Don’t you see the irony in this? My morality has more in common with Christ’s, than the current morality being preached by Christianity.
Oh, looks like I have two things in common…


My comments are addressed chiefly to Nientilin. I know there is morality. Mass produced enshrinement of morality is what i chiefly dislike.

I think the focus here seems off, its not so much about the rules. One can be a moral person without ever studying a specific code of morality.

So the pursuit of ‘the good life’ is often undertaken by those without adherance to a moral code.

Humans are tribal people, the “us” vs “them” mentality is natural. Its just quite often harmful as well.

I could’nt have said it better myself, even though i did allude to the Nihilist Albert Camus. The ‘us-vs-them’ mentality can be very harmful. Morality is not inherently bad (nothing is bad in and of itself, only in it’s relations to other things). And as Telesis says, one can be moral without much of a rule base. The misuse of morality is wherein the danger lies.

I am quite sick to death of all this anti-morality stuff. Good and evil do exist, not in the world ‘out there’ but in me, and that is all I need to know. I am not concerned with others’ good and evil, that is their business, what is important is my good and evil.

If we’re going to deny good and evil altogether and say to everyone, ‘make up your own good and evil,’ then fair enough: it doesn’t make any difference to me what another man does or says. For that is his responsibility!

My responsibility, on the other hand, is to ensure that, whatever befalls me, I turn it to good, (the proverbial philosopher’s stone.)

What if we all went around speaking different languages, as many languages as humans; and all wrote in different alphabets? Well perhaps it wouldn’t make much difference there is so little real communication in the world and so many are talking at cross-purposes, so much misunderstanding, etc.!

If you want to be moral, you have to study and practise day in and day out. It’s just like any other discipline except that it is infinitely more difficult and you need to be of the highest intelligence to understand the subject. This is why the masses are contemptuous, that is, it is above their understanding, they then mistakenly believe their worthless opinion has as much value as the judgements of one who has studied and practised day and night year in year out.

I liked your reference to the philosopher’s stone. Turning all of this shit into Gold is a daily affair of mine.

Your thoughts about practice are worthy also. The word ‘asceticism’ comes from the Greek word ‘askesis’ which means to practice.

This intrigues me. The proper mean between unity and diversity is something that has perplexed me of late. Is basic morality (the little that all of the religions and philosophies share in common) equivalent to a super-rule uniting wo/men in a common theme of mutual self-interest? Some have said that morality does indeed come from our social mores. That it is dictated by what most people share in common. Is this right? I think it might be useful to explore this notion in greater depth.

The duality of the universe is a fact nihilistic, whether good/evil, light/dark, positive/negative. it is only natural that we humans would want to classify our laws the same way. At the end, i see two basic directions, chaos and order, with all things in flux between them.

The secret is that only when they are combined, is any true success possible. Taoism answers this question fairly well, with the yin-yang relationships and symbols. It suggests the Way, as opposed to right or wrong, and preaches contentment and moderation. Another interesting aspect of it, is that it places more emphasis on the subjective, and removes the objective/judgemental viewpoint entirely.

The terms good and evil, are merely by products of our evolution, desirable vs undesirable. The fact that they become static is only due to our own weaknesses, and the fact that very few men actually understand any concept of reason or reasonableness. I’m sure Saddam thought that gassing Kurdish goatherders was a reasonable thing to do.

oh, and Marshall MacDaniel

i like :smiley:

This is demonstrably false.

The “spork” is a plastic eating utensil that has the characteristics of both a spoon and a fork. It was devised and patented by Kentucky Fried Chicken.

It is by no means “metal,” nor is there the possibility that it ever “rusts.”


First of all, I would not consider light/dark a duality, as dark is simply the absense of light, not the opposite or contradiction of light. I would also be weary about calling positive/negative opposites either, atleast when thinking about charges. As both are the result of something that is not contradictory.

As far as good/evil goes, I must admit it a daunting task to debunk this…For now I will simply say, there is no such thing as good, and there is no such thing as evil. Even when the use of both are attempted, the result is very ambiguous, and subjective.

I’m trying to figure out if you’re dumb, or just naive.

To many absolutist assumptions to deal with…

Pulls out a metal spork from his mother’s kitchen drawer.

What do you call this, then?

Here, let me reference the Spork FAQ: … faq.html#6

As you see, from question 6, the spork is not always metal. It’s often also called a grapefruit spoon. If you wanna argue trademark semantics, I’m sorry but I just trademarked my middle finger as a fork. From now on, when you wish to use the fork, you will call it “The Utensil Formerly Known as the Fork”, otherwise, I’ll have to give you the finger.

Ok, I just read through all of these posts, and I’m a bit tired, so forgive me if I’m less than a bastion of clarity and coherence.

First, I have to say that I find any arguement for a lack of morality (true nihlism)–that is, in so far as I have heard them from individuals–to smack of nothin greater than juvenile pratling. Moral Relativism (i.e., something more along the lines of Nietzsche or an exisitential approach) seems to have more basis.

But even this, I think, goes against the basics of what we refer to as “morality.” That is, morality doesn’t just tell us what is right and wrong, it tells us how we should behave with one another, and if we agree to a “personal morality” (a sense of owing to one’s self) also how we treat ourselves.

That is, we have the experience of being wronged or being in the right, and this often links back (I hesitate to say always) to two basics: the harmful, and the beneficent. That which is harmful, we term bad, and that which is beneficent, we term good. And morality tells us, at its most basic, to do good and avoid the bad.

As such, again, any utter statement of moral nonexistence seems not only empirically false, but downright silly, and without basis in any of life’s experiences, but that doesn’t mean a relativity couldn’t work. Save that, by far and large, we have very similar experiences of that which is good and that which is bad. Being raped for instance, or physically harmed, we always find to be bad. And thus, this at least gives us a moral stepping stone of sorts.

It appears that the greatest difficulty arises, when we try to determine what we should do in particular instances with this sort of general guideline. As such, it seems we can cut this down in more or less pragmatic terms. That is, if we by our nature (and I think there is good grounds for this) wish to be beneficent and not harmful, we ought to do the least harm we feasibly can, and the most good.

Though, we arise with a conflicting issue here. That is, we can tend to be selfish. Also, we tend to be social animals. The conflict comes into play when the two meet with opposing interests. So, if we’re going to go with “reason,” which is so highly prized in philosohpy (and not without some just grounds) it seems the reasonable solution is to act in the best interest of all.

Why do I say this? First, we do appear to have compassion, and this does at least tempt us toward what we call “selflessness.” But granted, this isn’t enough. But, in the interest of others, and ourselves, we do the best for all involved, and the least harm for all involved, by working towards the good of all. That is, a society that functions in the best interest of all, will (by necessity) take the overall welfare of its least and greatest into account, and so the individual (you) will be cared for, along with those you most cherish (family, loved ones, friends, etc.) and even those who are strangers to you. As such, all interests are cared for, and there is minimum amount of sacrifice for you, and minimum sacrifices made by others, but an overall greater good, and security is insured.

Yes, I realize this is an egalitarian ideal. But it does seem to go with what we desire for ourselves and others, and it does seem to work within our intial notions of harm and beneficence, our compassion (be it weak or strong) and the interests of all. As an exercise in utility: we get the most gain, for the least sacrifice, which certainly seems reasonable.

Of course, this rest upon the ground of bad and good, but in the most basic instances that doesn’t seem too large of a problem. And personally, I’m partial to Mill’s idea of, “Show me a specific harm from a specific source” approach. That could easily be replaced with “benefit.” And then I think we have a basic structure to work from.

Note, this does present us with something more objective to work with. And thus questions like, “Is the death penalty immoral?” can be answered with an investigative process, that begins with, “Well does it cause harm?” And you can follow from those lines to see what occurs.

Was this too much at once? Yes, I realize this gives us something like utilitarianism. Although, I have a partiality to something like “Virtue” as well, that’s for another discussion.

Thank you, Raf, I sit corrected. I feel humiliated.

How can I even begin to understand philosophy if I can’t even get my sporks right?

I feel like I have failed you all. I am sorry.

Please, Raf, go ahead and finish me off. I am unworthy even of resturant work.

Ok, now that’s just plain not nice, true perhaps, but not nice.

Your question, as i understand it relates to the origion of the good/evil philosophy of our society. Whatever you may know of electrical charges and the nature of light in this, the 21st century, is completely irrelevant to the ancients who established these systems. There perceptions of the world, and there need to govern the masses were blended into a synthesis we now call good and evil.

As per shybard

This is it, and the essential difficulty in replacing morality with reason is precisely that both Hitler and Saddam believed that mass murder was a reasonable thing to do. Morality aside, no - gassing is not reasonable, never has been, never will be. However, under our current “reason” this is a justifiable act. Under morality it is not.

Morality is necessary, at least until we find a better alternative, but reason, while being good for other things, is not suitable (in its current form).