Universal Standard Of Morals?

Well, here it is, plain and simple, broken down:

We have the United Nations telling us there is a certain level of treatment for all human beings. Regardless of what your own cultural programming/norms are, you must follow this because they say it is law.

Then we have the U.S., going into other countries, telling them how they should run their country, treat women, ect… but thats not the point.

I could simply dismiss ethics as not existing, that there are no moral laws, but if I follow moral laws then they must exist. So I shall say that morals vary by person.

So, then how is it fair for a society to impose ethics on it’s citizens? Well, we can take the easy way out on this one and say it is the consensus of the society. The greater whole of people agree with the morals, moral mob rule. So then everything in the society is effected by the moral mob rule, the justice system, business, art/media…

But then, why should a society bow down to what the majority of the other societies say.

Unless that due to globalization society has become nothing but a group that must bow down before the will and follow the philosophy of a larger group. So, on the macro scale, societies are just members of a group.

So, in the midst of all this, and the increasing population, is the individual under more pressure to follow this universal code for all people to follow? Is there really any set of laws that we can make, can it really be justified to make a law that every one must follow?

Is it right for any larger group of people to tell the smaller group that they can and can’t in their own space ? Where do we draw the line to stop enforcing our ethics, either as a person or as a collective?

Welcome to the board, General.

Most folks around these parts, being philosophers (or more precisely philosopher wannabes) seem to think they’ve got a real good handle on how all of us small-brained types ought to live our lives. You won’t find many here who are willing to allow the individual the right to live as he or she best sees fit, the thinking being that the individual can’t possibly know what’s right for him or her as well as the philosopher.

But they do mean well.

Hey Jerry, stop telling me how to live!

ehhh jerry, i can only hope you’re not counting me as a philosopher then. im 50 posts above it anyway :stuck_out_tongue:

Morality tends to be historically contingent. Whatever moral dictums have proven to be most beneficial to the majority of a particular society tend to remain static as long as the society remains static. In the event of sudden change such as war or disaster, the system of ethics undergoes sudden change as well. As gradual change occurs in a society, so too does their accepted morality. Education,cultural diversity,standard of living,ideology of the ruling class, etc…all play a factor in determining moral standards.

Thank you, this looks like a very intelligent board. :stuck_out_tongue:

One thing regarding these ethics, if they are going to enforce a way of life for us then they should make it universal. But I suppose some people will still find loopholes around whatever laws we make.

I’m not sure you read what I wrote, General. Or maybe I’m misunderstanding you.

Why on earth would we want to “enforce a way of life”?

By holding everyone up to a certain standard of ethics, then people who ‘create’ these univerisal ethics that everyone must live up to are enforcing their own way/theories of life on others. And, I am against that.

Hi General
I suppose when you talk about enforcing morals/ethics on others you are refering to things like amnesty international? or perhaps America pushing democracy? Or maybe various religons?

I think perhaps there are a few things most of humans can agree on, regardless of changing times and standards but I also think those things that people attempt to enforce on others should be limited to the lowest common denominator.

Let alone Koffi Anan who apparently immoralised his own son, on morality, I wouldn’t trust anyone from Plato to Kant. Morality must be understood as the apotheosis of all human fantasy, in order for you to even begin to think about its historical contigency. Observe on your pets and realise what Nietzsche meant when he wrote that “animals are more perfect than men”. To facilitate essentially everything from moral sociopolitical propaganda to metaphysical ethical doctrine, Nietzsche again (who else?): “morality is the herd instinct in the individual”.