TreyMoney

Moral Relativism vs Moral Absolutism

54 posts in this topic

What if they build an electric line close to my house and because I was thought that electricity was harmful I started feeling worse. (feeling is caused by my thoughts) 

You live next to me and you don't feel anything. 

Now I can go do violence and you can't. 

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If they own the property on which the electrical line is built, and it is only near your property, then that is not violence against you.

You can shield your property with space blankets a la Chuck in Better Call Saul. Or you can move. But your emotional harm is not physical harm, so you can't use physically force to defend yourself from nonphysical harm.

That would be like murdering my neighbor for playing loud music. Their music may hurt me emotionally and psychologically, but it is not hurting me physically so I can't defend myself with physical force.

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3 minutes ago, TreyMoney said:

If they own the property on which the electrical line is built, and it is only near your property, then that is not violence against you.

You can shield your property with space blankets a la Chuck in Better Call Saul. Or you can move. But your emotional harm is not physical harm, so you can't use physically force to defend yourself from nonphysical harm.

That would be like murdering my neighbor for playing loud music. Their music may hurt me emotionally and psychologically, but it is not hurting me physically so I can't defend myself with physical force.

If I think that those lines are dangerous to me I can develop real physical symptoms from it. Which by our definition means they are being violent towards me. 

What if I think that space blankets don't work? 

"Or you can move" lol...

My emotional and mental state absolutely has an effect on my physical body. Look up how powerful a placebo is if you want to learn more about it. 

If you can't sleep because of their music they are damaging your health... violence.

Sleep deprivation is literally a form of torture. 

See same definitions of violence different outcomes. Because it's relative. 

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10 minutes ago, Opo said:

My emotional and mental state absolutely has an effect on my physical body. 

In that situation, it is not the electricity that causing you physically harm. It is your own beliefs causing you physical harm. 

In the music example, it is not the music that causes sleep deprivation, but my inability to find a non-violent solution to the non-violent problem....such as ear plugs or headphones, or sound proofing my home, or nicely asking my neighbor to turn the music down. 

 

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6 minutes ago, TreyMoney said:

In that situation, it is not the electricity that causing you physically harm. It is your own beliefs causing you physical harm. 

In the music example, it is not the music that causes sleep deprivation, but my inability to find a non-violent solution to the non-violent problem....such as ear plugs or headphones, or sound proofing my home, or nicely asking my neighbor to turn the music down. 

Relatively from your perspective yes, from my perspective no. 

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@TreyMoney I put a lot of thought into this a few years back.

The first thing that shook my trust in absolutism was the fact that it was emotional.  This indicated to me that my survival was at stake.  It was not hard to conclude that morality serves survival over truth, therefore all conclusions are suspect in that lying could be used for survival.

I had a lot of emotional inner conflicts as I deconstructed all of this.  The images that went through my mind when I first heard of moral relativism was a bullet going through my head and I would panic.  This panic made me suspicious of my worldview.

I carefully observed myself for days trying to figure out where evil comes from.  Eventually I had the insight that I create all evil in the universe as counterintuitive As it may sound.  Think of morality as the following.

You have a base value like life, and all rules that folks serve that value.  You can logically expand from this to say murder is wrong because it contradicts the base value.  Next consider why people hate others for holding contrary beliefs.  It is because of a perceived threat to a base value.  For example, you could value God and I tell you there is no God.  This threatens your entire sense of reality to the point that it triggers a fight or flight response.  This has nothing to do with truth and it is only survival masquerading As moral righteousness.

Once you realize that you create evil through your own principles and sense of morality, you start to get a glimpse of moral transcendence.  Consider the possibility that an objective morality would be conscious that it creates evil through its own thinking and values, thus all evil is imaginary.  Once you let go of morality, something very beautiful happens.  You could trigger a state of consciousness in which even genocide is no longer evil because you realize that all evil is an illusion created through competing values and survival agendas.

You may further experience that suffering is an illusion when you surrender to conscious suffering.  Suffering turns out to be a beautiful thing.

Keep in mind that it is a survival strategy to cling to moral absolutism if you do that and it has nothing to do with truth.

For most people with this kind of ideology, what I just said will not compute and I will seem insane.  I strongly encourage you to observe your emotions and thoughts even when very heated.  This can reveal the deeper truths relativism tries to point you to.  Try to wonder "where does evil come from?". Or "why is evil evil?". And most importantly, "why am I emotional and threatened?'

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@trenton Thanks for the comment! 

You are absolutely correct from the enlightened point of view. What ever is, is right. There is no such thing as wrong or evil from the enlightened point of view. Existence, reality, the universe, is perfect just as it is. It cannot be other than it is, because there is no other. There is only it. I am it, you are it, this is it, and so is that, he is it, she is it, it is it, and that is that.

From the non-enlightened state though, from the everyday world point of view, wouldn't a rational, object, universal morality based on peaceful, nonviolent interaction be beneficial to human survival and evolution? It does assume the base value of survival as you mentioned.

Appreciate your input and perspective.

Cheers to health, wealth, peace and love.

TreyMoney

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, TreyMoney said:

i think corporate pollution of the environment is violence, yes, because it harms people without their consent.

So, If a car creates pollution but also can make my commute to work much shorter, is it right or is it wrong?

Environmentalists might say it's wrong, my boss might think it's right. 

And before you come with a neat little answer, the point is to show you how blurry the lines get with your "logically consistent" model depending on who is applying it. 

I could name a 100 more examples, but the fact is, other people would have different opinions on how to solve ethical questions, even when applying your moral system. If your moral system is working for you, that's fine, keep using it. But don't expect some tribesman in the amazon to do all those philosophical armchair deductions when they don't even know whether they will be able to feed their family tomorrow. 

If you would actually have to fight for your survival, all your morality would fly out of the window anyway. Imagine you would have no food and money. You'd be the first to go steal someone's property to feed yourself or your family. 

Talking about absolute morality is easy when you hang out with people that grew up in the same culture, eat the same food, talk the same language, consume the same media, go through the same education system, etc. 

But hey, if you want to condemn people as wrong or bad, for not enjoying the same privileges that you did, go right ahead lol

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@Godhead I have a neat answer to your car questions but I won't waste your time since I know you will just reject it off hand.

I would absolutely steal if I needed to in order to survive. That doesn't make it moral.

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@Godhead

9 minutes ago, Godhead said:

I could name a 100 more examples, but the fact is, other people would have different opinions on how to solve ethical questions, even when applying your moral system.

I'm interested in your moral system. How do you determine what is right and wrong behavior? Do you have a moral framework? Outline your belief system.

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Posted (edited)

59 minutes ago, TreyMoney said:

I'm interested in your moral system. How do you determine what is right and wrong behavior? Do you have a moral framework? Outline your belief system.

I have biases towards things like empathy, advancements of the human race, the survival and prosperity of me and humans close and far from me, eating good food, having an enjoyable life, living in harmony with other people, etc.

The point is, moral relativists still have moral frameworks, they just accept that they aren't absolute and don't apply to everyone.

I'd still be upset if people get murdered on the streets. but I am aware that this would be due to my bias towards human life. I still get mad when I see cops shooting innocent people, but I accept that I have a bias towards social justice. 

Edited by Godhead

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Here is how I see morality within the spiral dynamics framework:

Purple = morality of the tribe is true, all other moralities are false.

Red = amorality, whatever we need to do to enrich ourselves by any means necessary is moral

Blue = morality of the culture/religion is true, all other moralities are false.

Orange = amorality, greed is good, whatever increases profits, productivity, wealth and living standards is moral.

Green = moral relativism, my morality, my reality and my truth may differ from your morality, your reality and your truth, but no moral framework is objectively any better or worse than any other moral framework.

Yellow = moral absolutism, there exists a universal, logically consistent, objective moral framework to judge the ethical value of human action.

Turquoise = moral nihilism, there ultimately is no such thing as objective right or wrong.

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24 minutes ago, TreyMoney said:

Yellow = moral absolutism, there exists a universal, logically consistent, objective moral framework to judge the ethical value of human action.

No way.


Alternative Rock Music and Spirituality on YouTube: The Buddha Visions

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Posted (edited)

35 minutes ago, TreyMoney said:

Yellow = moral absolutism, there exists a universal, logically consistent, objective moral framework to judge the ethical value of human action.

and let me guess, you'd consider yourself a stage yellow thinker? 

Yellow is the complete opposite of what you have described. Yellow means that you start understanding all the previous stages in their context and accept their relative value.

Edited by Godhead

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Where would logical objective morality fit into the spiral? Orange you think?

I'm very open to other opinions here. 

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Yellow would be moral relativism then or moral nihilism?

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Would NAP fit better under Green?

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@Godhead

24 minutes ago, Godhead said:

and let me guess, you'd consider yourself a stage yellow thinker? 

I'm beige ; )

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2 hours ago, TreyMoney said:

@trenton Thanks for the comment! 

From the non-enlightened state though, from the everyday world point of view, wouldn't a rational, object, universal morality based on peaceful, nonviolent interaction be beneficial to human survival and evolution? It does assume the base value of survival as you mentioned.

Currently, every country in the world has laws against slavery.  In a since you could say humanity considers this to be a universal moral principle.  Global poverty and corruption prevents these laws from being properly enforced.

What we need to appreciate is different levels of development.  Given a different level of development, some survival strategies are better than others.  This can include a violent dictator to keep a lid on terrorist factions through harsh punishment.  In this case overthrowing a dictator to impose non-violent moral principles could backfire.  The problem with moral absolutism is that it does not work for everybody and it creates naive assumptions and blind spots when addressing other cultures.  Although a dictatorship is different from how we love in the U.S., All of it is still fundamentally survival even though it is violent.  This is why it is beneficial for different countries to have contrary laws for the survival of both of them.

If you are make a world government which used universal moral principles it May include the following.

First, the causes of genocide include dehumanizing an ethnic group.  This is why one day a world government may require religious freedom and racial equality.  There is currently a lot of violence against Christians in North Africa and the middle East.  In this case a world government may be asked to intervene.  One problem with religious freedom is that it will be threatening to theocratic governments and they will likely oppose it.  Religious freedom does not appear to be morally universal so long as mankind still has theocratic governments.

Gender equality is achievable so long as women have access to modern technology.  Currently women are left behind, but if they were not it would be beneficial to the global economy if women could work from home on the computer.  This requires as many people as possible to have internet access and it would help the rest of the world see the value in educated women rather than making them stay at home moms who don't have an online job.  Some may consider internet access a human right.  North Korea would likely oppose unrestricted internet access.  In the U.S. there are still rural Americans suffering from poor internet access and their education is poor because of it.

This brings me to the right of education.  Girls are not always properly educated because countries don't see the value.  Technology would facilitate this.

How should we address countries that oppose these moral principles?

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, TreyMoney said:

Where would logical objective morality fit into the spiral? Orange you think?

There is really nothing logical about objective morality. It's really based on a lack of perspective, which is commonly found in stage blue. Although I can see how an overintellectualizing philosopher at stage orange can LARP as an objective moralist. 

1 hour ago, TreyMoney said:

Yellow would be moral relativism then or moral nihilism?

Read up on what stage yellow means and try to understand it as it is. Don't just put a simplistic label on it. If you'd want to classify stage yellow as moral relativism, it certainly wouldn't be the same moral relativism that stage green is talking about. 

Edited by Godhead

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