A High Price For Acting Immorally

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A High Price For Acting Immorally

Postby James Kroeger » Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:12 pm

In another thread, Carleas asked:
So, what are your moral beliefs worth?

To which Karpal Tunnel replied:
No amount of money would get me to kill a random person.

What explains this? How is it even fathomable that a human could value a particular perception of herself more than untold riches?

That really is what we are talking about, isn't it?

Shouldn't this aspect of human behavior/experience be the 'mystery' that captures philosophers' attention? ...and prods them into conceptualizations of 'features of the mind' that would allow for such outcomes/choices as KP's? And maybe even confirm them as abidingly rational?

I argue that this aspect of human moral choices {as well as many others} can be explained as a product of certain fundamental and intrinsic mental needs that are imposed on all Minds as a condition of their existence.

Mental needs, when deprived of satisfaction, are not associated with any tissue damage, but yet they nevertheless generate a form of 'pain' that is experienced by the mind. When satisfied, they generate a form of mental pleasure, or satisfaction.

Of these mental needs, one stands out for the key role it plays in motivating individuals to turn down riches in order to preserve their sense of moral integrity and that is our fundamental and intrinsic need for the Approval of other human beings.

If not for this powerful mental/emotional need, I argue, it would never occur to a human mind to ever turn down an offer of riches to perform some immoral act (that you feel quite certain you could get away with).

At the moment of truth, when an individual with a 'moral identity' decides to turn down an opportunity to carry out some immoral action, it is because she values the mental pleasure/satisfaction she receives from maintaining her moral identify more than she values the 'payoff' that a situation might have offered her.

That is how much human beings come to value the satisfaction of their fundamental need for the approval of others within a 'moral context.' It does have a price, and sometimes it exceeds any price that any third party could offer.

And understand, it's not even the promise/hope of hearing expressions of approval from an audience of witnesses that dissuades us from acting immorally when opportunities present themselves; we are willing to walk away from temptations to compromise our 'moral integrity' merely to make ourselves worthy of the approval of others, whether or not that approval is ever experienced.

What this means is that we understand the difference between hearing approval expressed that we were not actually deserving of and hearing approval expressed that we actually were worthy of because we did act in a way that is deserving of moral praise.

We cannot control the {voluntary} responses of others to our actions in any direct way, so we concern ourselves mostly with that which we can control, which is our own actions, and therefore our worthiness of either the reproval or approval of others.

________________________________________

Why have philosophers since Descartes not given much attention to this aspect of moral incentives?

I argue that it is missing from their analysis because {mostly male} thinkers in most civilizations have nurtured a mythological belief amongst themselves that their need for approval either does not actually exist, or can be otherwise dismissed from the Mind via acts of Will, simply because they wish they had such an ability...as a way to protect themselves from the pain of disapproval of others.

The rationale is simple: if I do not have a need for your approval, then you cannot hurt me by depriving me of it. I argue that this has never been anything other than self-delusion, wishful thinking, an investment in fantasized solutions to an otherwise vexing problem.

Young males learn to pretend that they have such a power at an early age, quickly discovering that many are actually fooled by such performances.

I suggest that recognizing the truth of this fundamental and intrinsic emotional need for the Approval of other human beings offers a portal to a completely new understanding of moral motivation, human psychology, and sociological analysis...
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Re: A High Price For Acting Immorally

Postby Ecmandu » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:58 pm

This is quite beautiful....

Sorry it hasn't received the attention it deserves.
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Re: A High Price For Acting Immorally

Postby WendyDarling » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:28 pm

I suggest that recognizing the truth of this fundamental and intrinsic emotional need for the Approval of other human beings offers a portal to a completely new understanding of moral motivation, human psychology, and sociological analysis...


Any thoughts about what is on the other side of the portal?

Also, are you certain that you aren't trivializing the act of murder by equivocating it's plausible acceptability with something along the lines of a yeah or nay pat on the back and a bugle tribute? Internal self-approval trumps external group approval most times and when the consequences for seeking group approval hits home after executing acts of immorality, most people's consciences do not rely on outward forces, so in other words they learned the hard way by not listening to their internal dialogue.
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Re: A High Price For Acting Immorally

Postby Ecmandu » Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:10 am

WendyDarling wrote:
I suggest that recognizing the truth of this fundamental and intrinsic emotional need for the Approval of other human beings offers a portal to a completely new understanding of moral motivation, human psychology, and sociological analysis...


Any thoughts about what is on the other side of the portal?

Also, are you certain that you aren't trivializing the act of murder by equivocating it's plausible acceptability with something along the lines of a yeah or nay pat on the back and a bugle tribute? Internal self-approval trumps external group approval most times and when the consequences for seeking group approval hits home after executing acts of immorality, most people's consciences do not rely on outward forces, so in other words they learned the hard way by not listening to their internal dialogue.


I'd say that being exposed to other people informs us of our internal morality in ways that growing up without others or the concept of others cannot ...
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Re: A High Price For Acting Immorally

Postby James Kroeger » Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:13 pm

WendyDarling wrote:
I suggest that recognizing the truth of this fundamental and intrinsic emotional need for the Approval of other human beings offers a portal to a completely new understanding of moral motivation, human psychology, and sociological analysis...


...are you certain that you aren't trivializing the act of murder by equivocating it's plausible acceptability with something along the lines of a yeah or nay pat on the back and a bugle tribute?


Not sure if this answers your question, but it is important to understand that this need for approval we are dealing with can be exploited to motivate immoral behavior, as well as moral behavior. It is, for example, one of the principle motivators of the kind of behavior we see in street gangs.

The positive connection that exists between our need for approval and the universe of moral behaviors arises from my foundational definition of the words 'moral' and 'immoral.' I define as moral any behavior that satisfies this test:

Would everybody be better off if everybody behaved in the same way?

Behavior that is immoral is behavior that would make everybody worse off if everybody behaved the same way.

By this definition, moral behavior is behavior that everybody can approve of. Immoral behavior is behavior that everyone would disapprove of if everyone was experiencing the negative consequences of everyone behaving the same way.

It's not that it's impossible for humans to express approval for behavior that is immoral/harmful; they can and do. It's that the only kind of behavior that everyone can agree is deserving of approval is moral behavior (cuz everyone would be better off if everyone was to behave the same way).

So on a natural level, our 'sense of morality' is heavily influenced by our fundamental need for the approval of others; it simply adds a further consideration of the consequences of universal imitations of a given behavior.

Any thoughts about what is on the other side of the portal?


Oh yeah. One of the major derivations of this analysis is the way it defines us as being utterly dependent upon each other for our happiness.

It informs the psychologist that the search for 'personal happiness' cannot be ideally realized unless it includes an important component of other approval. However much I might want to tell myself that I approve of my behavior and decisions, it's not going to mean much if I am stuck in a social environment wherein I am constantly being targeted for angry denunciations by others.

And so, this extended argument undermines the purported virtues of the ideology of "Individualism."

But another extension of my analysis explains the pathology of most forms of 'groupism' as arising from the efforts that humans have long made to pretend that they do not actually have a need for the approval of others.

While trying to maintain this 'performance', they must still find ways to get that need satisfied and to protect themselves from the disapproval of others in group situations.

Here is how I've written about it previously:

Our instincts also encourage us to pursue indirect methods of eliciting expressions of implicit approval. If one member of a group is singled out for ridicule, then all those who were not included in the indictment are able to infer that they are approvable in the eyes of the victimizer.

They intuitively realize that when they join in the victimizer's ridicule, they are indirectly praising themselves. It provides them with a powerful incentive to participate in victimizing orgies of ridicule (especially if they otherwise risk being ridiculed themselves).

This 'strategy' provides few payoffs, however, if all the members of a group are equally skilled in waging emotional warfare. If there are no easy victims available for them to exploit, then the victimizers will find their group environment far less enjoyable, since they will be 'taking it' as well as 'dishing it out.'

Emotional victimizers find that they can avoid targeting each other if they are able to find suitable targets outside of their group. Group 'spokespersons' who regularly criticize outsiders discover that they can become quite popular among their peers, valued for their ability to make the others feel good about themselves.

These peers quickly discover that they feel good about themselves when they disparage non-group members. Every utterance that condemns another individual or group indirectly praises the critic for not having the same flaws. If face-to-face encounters with those who are ridiculed can be avoided, group members are able to praise themselves in a way that is essentially risk-free.

This indirect method of expressing approval is so popular, it is often used to strike up a friendly conversation with a stranger. Expressing criticism of some third party that you see or have heard about tells the stranger that you find her approvable (at least in contrast to 'those people') in a way that does not risk exposing your own emotional vulnerability.

Given our individualistic cultural attitudes, it's quite natural for people to highly value their membership in groups that are constantly disparaging 'outsiders.' Even members of the group who are normally victimized by other members are able to feel like Winners at such moments and are able to enjoy the implicit approval generated by the group comparisons being made.

Bashing outsiders ends up being a major part of the 'good time' that the group members enjoy. Simply having some outsiders to 'feel superior to' becomes very important to those who are immersed in the individualistic perspective.

Certainly part of their enjoyment comes from the indirect approval they heap on themselves, but another part of it is simply the relief of knowing that they are not among those who are the targets of the group's ridicule. The more savage the criticism they express, the more 'fortunate' they feel about their membership in their approvable group.

People in groups will use anything they can think of to distinguish themselves from outsiders in a favorable way. Some groups focus their attention on the economic resources their members have that outsiders do not have. But groups do not need to have a real advantage over outsiders in order for them to start praising themselves (indirectly).

Sometimes groups simply (implicitly) proclaim themselves to be possessed of a collection of noble personality traits [like courage] that most them actually do not have. If, for example, your group ridicules the cowardice of another group of people, you are implying that the members of your group are all very courageous, even though that is extremely unlikely.

But it really doesn't matter---in the short run anyway---if group members actually have the character traits that they celebrate. If at least a majority of the group members support the expressions of approval that are being voiced, then most of them are likely to end up feeling good about themselves.


Most of the examples of 'great evil' we refer to in history---genocide, racism, wars---were carried out by humans who were trying to 1) hide their emotional vulnerability from others, while at the same time 2) make themselves feel good about themselves at the expense of others, who are not members of their group.

The answer I've come up with to this kind of pathological social dynamic is to recommend that humans---going forward---ought to create a social/cultural tradition where individuals in group situations are persuaded (by group pressure) to acknowledge the truth of their emotional vulnerability (their dependence upon the approval of others for their happiness) before the rest of the group.

The pretense that "nothing bothers me" represents to a threat to those who are quite aware of their own emotional vulnerability, who then feel compelled to hide it behind a front/performance of invulnerability and then rely on distractions and groupist comparisons in their pursuit of implicit approval.

But if everyone in the group admits hiser emotional vulnerability before the group, it melts away the incentive for pursing pathological social behaviors.

I'll cut this off, now. Hopefully, this will provide you with an idea of what I am seeing beyond the portal...
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Re: A High Price For Acting Immorally

Postby Prismatic567 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:06 am

James Kroeger wrote:
Of these mental needs, one stands out for the key role it plays in motivating individuals to turn down riches in order to preserve their sense of moral integrity and that is our fundamental and intrinsic need for the Approval of other human beings.

If not for this powerful mental/emotional need, I argue, it would never occur to a human mind to ever turn down an offer of riches to perform some immoral act (that you feel quite certain you could get away with).

At the moment of truth, when an individual with a 'moral identity' decides to turn down an opportunity to carry out some immoral action, it is because she values the mental pleasure/satisfaction she receives from maintaining her moral identify more than she values the 'payoff' that a situation might have offered her.

That is how much human beings come to value the satisfaction of their fundamental need for the approval of others within a 'moral context.' It does have a price, and sometimes it exceeds any price that any third party could offer.

...
I believe the idea of 'approval' is a bane to one's well being.
If degrees are applied, a 10/10 need for approval is the worst but a 5/10 need for approval is still worst albeit 50% lower. A 1/10 need for approval bad because this sliver of need for approval is potentially bad which can enable a full blown need for approval.

I agree in our present psychological state, a 10/10 need for approval is the worst, but a less than 5/10 need for approval can be useful to the well being of the individual.
However, in the longer run, the need for approval should be eradicated from the consciousness of all humans to achieve greater positive results for humanity.

I view the present state of the need for approval as similar to the critical necessity of religion at present. But in the longer run, all religions should be weaned off to be replaced with fool proof self-development techniques.

Note this article from Psychology Today;

Indeed, you have the power to relinquish the insidious demand for approval, and to set yourself free!
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... d-approval


For the supporting argument read the article in the link.

He mentioned my favorite philosopher, Kant.

Philosopher Immanuel Kant provided a good antidote for this type of thinking. He admonished us to treat individuals, ourselves included, as “ends in themselves,” not “mere means.”
He meant that we should not judge our value as dependent upon whether or not we achieve some external end, such as satisfying others. When we do so, we treat ourselves like “mere means,” that is, like an object.


To link 'killing' to Dollars is too shortsighted.
There are loads of reasons why people kill, e.g. to please God [note Allah commands and sanction it!], psychopathic killers, jealousy, uncontrollable rage and many other reasons besides price.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: A High Price For Acting Immorally

Postby Fixed Cross » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:17 pm

Disturbing to see smart people are still capable of thinking that there will ever be anything on which everyone agrees.

I would honeself say that it is immoral to think of morality in such a totalitarian way. It is what causes eerie top down priesthoods.
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Re: A High Price For Acting Immorally

Postby James Kroeger » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:05 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:I believe the idea of 'approval' is a bane to one's well being.
If degrees are applied, a 10/10 need for approval is the worst but a 5/10 need for approval is still worst albeit 50% lower. A 1/10 need for approval bad because this sliver of need for approval is potentially bad which can enable a full blown need for approval.

I agree in our present psychological state, a 10/10 need for approval is the worst, but a less than 5/10 need for approval can be useful to the well being of the individual.
However, in the longer run, the need for approval should be eradicated from the consciousness of all humans to achieve greater positive results for humanity.


With all due respect, Prismatic, you have presented a POV here that I am in the habit of describing as "wishful thinking" and "delusional fantasy." And yes, it is a POV that is very popular among those who are known professionally as behavioral/social scientists.

I attack it by questioning such statements as, "...the need for approval should be eradicated from the consciousness of all humans to achieve greater positive results for humanity."

How so? How might it be possible for a Mind to 'eradicate' a mental need from its conscious experience? By what power? By what command? By an "Act of Will?" My counter is to point out that such a goal would be much more difficult (actually impossible) to achieve than one might think it could be.

Those who come to embrace the fanciful notion that Minds are able to 'manipulate' their mental needs (or who doubt that they actually exist) typically base their beliefs on an assumption that any mental 'needs' that an individual Mind might experience must consist of nothing more than the "stuff of thought."

Imagining mental needs to be little more 'thoughts', one is encouraged to see them as 'manipulable' by the imagination, just as most of our other thoughts are. Why should there be any reason to doubt that we have an ability to 'reshape' or even annihilate something that is 'merely a thought' anyway?

My answer to this line of argument is to direct attention to the fact that we have many purely biological needs that we can reference to help us figure out what it is that we are dealing with when it comes to our purely mental needs.

The first thing we might want to take note of re: our various 'purely biological' needs is that Minds become aware of their existence only because Minds experience the pain & pleasure that biological need mechanisms generate.

From our studies of human physiology, we know that with respect to any purely biological need, there is a tissue 'structure' which constitutes the mechanism-of-need that ultimately generates the pain/pleasure that Minds experience when biological needs are deprived/satisfied. We know that this conceptualization helps us to understand why we experience physical pain/pleasure.

It is not any great leap of the imagination to accordingly suspect that the mental/emotional needs humans experience generate mental pain/pleasure for similar reasons. Which is to say: mental pain/pleasure is generated by a 'mechanism of need' that exists as a necessary consequence of the very 'structure' of the Mind.

No, we cannot observe this mechanism, but we can infer its existence with a fair amount of support from our experiences with purely biological needs. It does not therefore constitute 'proof' of existence, but it does seem to be a reasonable explanation for what we experience throughout our mental lives.

It is an account which supports my contention that mental needs are imposed on humans as a condition of their existence as 'thinking things.'

So in order for a Mind to do something about a bothersome mental need that is always subjecting it to unpleasant moments of mental/emotional pain, it must do something more than simply "have different thoughts."

Something must be done to the mechanism-of-need that is responsible for generating the painful/pleasurable moments that Minds experience. The ease with which we manipulate various fanciful figments of the imagination that come to mind is not duplicated when we Minds try to 'disconnect' a mental need that has been making us sad with some regularity.

How could we expect that a 'willful decision' could change the very structure of our Minds? Is there actually anything we can refer to in our mental experience which suggests that our Minds have such special powers?
Last edited by James Kroeger on Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A High Price For Acting Immorally

Postby James Kroeger » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:10 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:I view the present state of the need for approval as similar to the critical necessity of religion at present. But in the longer run, all religions should be weaned off to be replaced with fool proof self-development techniques.

Note this article from Psychology Today;

Indeed, you have the power to relinquish the insidious demand for approval, and to set yourself free!
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... d-approval


For the supporting argument read the article in the link.


This yearning that individual Minds have felt for "the power to relinquish the insidious demand for approval, and to set [themselves] free!" is certainly understandable, given the amount of suffering most people have experienced as a consequence of the power that other humans have to inflict emotional pain on them with their mere words. But I would suggest that a desperate reliance on fantasized solutions to the problem of emotional pain is a big mistake.

One of the 'solutions' to the problem of emotional pain that psychologists and philosophers have sought to popularize is the belief/wish/hope that the only approval an individual needs is hiser own self-approval.

Every day, millions of teenagers read books and articles like Cohen's, talk themselves into believing that they are 'choosing away' their need for the approval of others (their vulnerability to the deprecations of their peers), and then head out into the familiar social environment only to find themselves deeply hurt again by the words/laughter of others.

The result? They end up concluding that there is "something wrong with them", something about their mental makeup that condemns them to suffering that others are not vulnerable to thanks to these stupid articles which insist that some people out there actually have been able to perform these miracles within their own minds.

It's all phony. It's all pretense. None of it is true. There are NONE who have been able to make themselves invulnerable to the pain of disapproval. Everybody has been quite busy trying to fool everyone else and themselves that they have been able to become "Autonomous."

But let me go ahead and acknowledge the couple of 'morsels of truth' that Self-Esteem proponents have been able to exploit in making their case for a Self-Esteem solution...

Because we spend most of our mental lives in anticipation of the future, an important component of our overall happiness is dependent upon our ability to expect future need-satisfaction (or future avoidance of need-deprivation). If I perceive that I have good reason to expect that in the future, I will be able to avoid many types of need-deprivation that may have made me sad in the past, then I will be able to march into the future with a lot of confidence and that means I will be rather happy in many of my present moments because I will be expecting many happy moments in the future.

What the Self-Esteem Dream offers is a seemingly plausible basis for believing/hoping that emotional need-deprivation can be avoided in the future. Some of those who become fully invested in this fantasy are actually able to enjoy many 'present moments' of happy anticipation because they have convinced themselves that they have made the kind of decisions that will annihilate their need for approval (the mechanism that has been causing them to feel emotional pain).

Yet another social phenomenon that has factored into the popularity of the Myth Of Possible Emotional Invulnerability is the observable reality that most people depend upon others to tell them---by their presentation of themselves---how to perceive them.

When most people encounter a confident stranger who comports himself in a way that suggests he is accustomed to receiving the approval of others, they will typically assume either 1) this individual is actually worthy of approval, or else he wouldn't be acting as though he were accustomed to it, or alternatively 2) this individual does not have any fear of disapproval, perhaps because he doesn't have the same need for approval, the same emotional vulnerability, that they have.

And so people learn to act as though 'nothing bothers them'---to impress casual observers in social situations---and those performances can and do inspire others to perceive them favorably. But none of these facts contravene the over-arching reality that confident individuals have precisely the same emotional vulnerability that the shyest person in the room has.

One of the more interesting aspects of human behavior is the capacity we have to hide some of the pain we are experiencing by showing something other than tears or fear when we are being subjected to ridicule---at least for a little while---something like a disarming smile, or maybe a devastating counterattack delivered with a sly smile.

It's all a performance, but one that has a limited half-life. If our "pretending to be unaffected" by the insults of others does not successfully dissuade an attacker to cease the attacks (if we do not perceive that our ruse is going to be effective) then we will quickly result to other ways to deal with the pain we are experiencing, like perhaps an angry counterattack, or a physical assault.

The only benefit that Self-Esteem Dreamers experience is they are able to enjoy many moments in their daily lives of fantasy-based expectations of future invulnerability, right up to the next time they are the target of another human's anger/ridicule. At that time, they will---once again---feel the sting of disapproval, just as they did the last time, because nothing ever did occur that would make them invulnerable to the slights of others.

No matter how many times you tell yourself that you are awesome, wonderful, etc., as soon as you encounter expressed disapproval of your behavior/appearance/etc., you will once again experience emotional pain, period. The Self-Esteem Dream is nothing more than a little fib that people tell themselves that they hope will protect them somehow from future moments of sadness.

In spite of all this, I must say that if you are unable to 'change your circumstances' (i.e., remove yourself from a social environment where you are suffering from the expressed/implicit disapproval of others), it is better to embrace a fantasy that you can magically wish away your emotional vulnerability because it at least has the potential to make you feel better during those moments when you are anticipating the future (compared to the alternative of feeling dread over your expectations of the future).
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Re: A High Price For Acting Immorally

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:31 am

James Kroeger wrote:....

How could we expect that a 'willful decision' could change the very structure of our Minds? Is there actually anything we can refer to in our mental experience which suggests that our Minds have such special powers?
When you have missed the main principles and points all your loads of writing and pessimism will get you nowhere.

On the issue of religions, I have written many many times, we humanity are dealing with something that is inherent and unavoidable in the brain as inherited from our billion of years 'ancestors' and programmed into our DNA.
It is the same with the topic of morality where we are facing the same obstacles.
I understand the need for 'approval' is embedded in the human psyche and not practical to get rid of it in the near future but it would be more effective to target its total inhibition [not elimination] and modulation.

Despite the constraints that we cannot get rid of embedded programs, i.e. they are still valid for fundamental in some ways, humanity has the potential to modulate these impulses and optimize the positive results.

My approach is to recognize the ideals but I am aware the ideals are impossible in practice but they are nevertheless critical necessities as guides for continuous improvements. When there are no ideals in a plan, one is chasing a shifting goal post.

I wonder you are aware of the >2500 years of progress re mental exercises in impulse controls from the Eastern philosophies and religions. Their methods based on the black box approach is crude but nevertheless has reasonable results. The next stage is for the various fields of neurosciences to expedite the progress nearer and nearer toward the impossible ideals.

Points is your views are narrow, shallow and very pessimistic, thus I would suggest you view the issue on hand with a wider wide-angle lens.
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Re: A High Price For Acting Immorally

Postby James Kroeger » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:44 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:I wonder you are aware of the >2500 years of progress re mental exercises in impulse controls from the Eastern philosophies and religions. Their methods based on the black box approach is crude but nevertheless has reasonable results. The next stage is for the various fields of neurosciences to expedite the progress nearer and nearer toward the impossible ideals.

Points is your views are narrow, shallow and very pessimistic, thus I would suggest you view the issue on hand with a wider wide-angle lens.


Since I have an extended optimistic perspective to share with you on this, I thought it would be best to start another thread on the topic...
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Re: A High Price For Acting Immorally

Postby Arcturus Descending » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:50 pm

James Kroeger

It's not that it's impossible for humans to express approval for behavior that is immoral/harmful; they can and do.


True. Humans sometimes relish this. I wonder what is behind this. Like-minded people?
No moral code of their own?

It's that the only kind of behavior that everyone can agree is deserving of approval is moral behavior


Would you not say that deciding what is and is not *moral behavior* can be a very difficult thing?
We all see things differently when it comes to morals. Is this not true?


(cuz everyone would be better off if everyone was to behave the same way).


I cannot say if you are being ironic here or not If not, then I would have to ask how everyone would be better off if everyone did indeed behave the same way?
How would we ever grow, evolve personally, come to consciousness?

I think that there could be some very sticky situations in a case like this. There are no easy answers and one perspective is not necessarily the best one. Perhaps even when it comes to questions of morality and ethics, the *real* right way or far better way to go could be missed if we all thought alike, like the Borg.
Are we meant to be the Borg and the Herd?

So on a natural level, our 'sense of morality' is heavily influenced by our fundamental need for the approval of others;


I rather think that that would depend on the INDIVIDUAL him/her -self and their personal sense of identity and what DOES define them.

I would like to believe that our *sense of morality* is more influenced and based on our instinct to do no harm in order to perpetuate humanity inasmuch as we possibly can.

But I suppose that I do somewhat agree with you. I think that we see this in religions and cults and close-knit families(though I may be wrong here)

If what you say IS true, then I think that humanity is doomed.
Are we THAT needy????????????????????????
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Re: A High Price For Acting Immorally

Postby James Kroeger » Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:59 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote:James Kroeger

It's not that it's impossible for humans to express approval for behavior that is immoral/harmful; they can and do.


True. Humans sometimes relish this. I wonder what is behind this. Like-minded people?
No moral code of their own?


In the case of a triba vs. tribe genocide event, it can motivated by a shared sense of threat, heavily leavened with a lot of demonization of the rival tribe, rumors of atrocities, etc. In other words, a major, widespread misunderstanding of the truth, sad to say...

It's that the only kind of behavior that everyone can agree is deserving of approval is moral behavior


Would you not say that deciding what is and is not *moral behavior* can be a very difficult thing?
We all see things differently when it comes to morals. Is this not true?


I have previously defined as moral any act, or decision to not act, that would make everyone better off if everyone were to act, or choose not to act, in the same way (were they to find themselves in the same situation, facing the same opportunities/circumstances). I say that this is the rationale that people commonly apply when they judge the morality/immorality of an act they have just witnessed.

(cuz everyone would be better off if everyone was to behave the same way).


I cannot say if you are being ironic here or not If not, then I would have to ask how everyone would be better off if everyone did indeed behave the same way?
How would we ever grow, evolve personally, come to consciousness?

I think that there could be some very sticky situations in a case like this. There are no easy answers and one perspective is not necessarily the best one. Perhaps even when it comes to questions of morality and ethics, the *real* right way or far better way to go could be missed if we all thought alike, like the Borg.
Are we meant to be the Borg and the Herd?


Well, we all have the same biological needs and they are all satisfied by the same essential ingredients of need-satisfaction. But because our environmental circumstances vary, we discover different approaches, different means to getting those needs satisfied. Now, maybe a Borg society does allow different approaches to getting the same shared need satisfied, depending on the environmental circumstances, but I think the key scary thing about the conceptualized Borg societies is that they all share precisely the same thoughts, yes?

Identical twins share precisely the same biological needs, but they must each individually experience those needs within their own minds, do they not?
James Kroeger
 
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