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Thread: Morality and ethics: what are your values and why?

  1. #111
    Super Senior Member Delphinus's Avatar
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    ...I'm basically a nihilist, although not a depressed/depressing one. You could name anything you like and I would say it was okay...
    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn
    You forgot your F in Modesty.

  2. #112
    Fifty Fifty Member Bacon_Barbarian's Avatar
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    Sketty, you're you're younger then me, and not out of High School. What are you doing with a Fiance.
    My AA thread - Updated 06/28/14

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestial-Fox View Post
    You're my favorite.

  3. #113
    Sir-Mass-a-Lot Sylux's Avatar
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    We're deeply committed and are about to probably face a pregnancy. What are you doing without a fiance.

  4. #114
    Fifty Fifty Member Bacon_Barbarian's Avatar
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    I have nothing polite to say in response to that. You may continue your debate, or whatever it was you two were doing.

    Del's right though. There are no moral absolutes. Unless your Batman of course, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms.
    My AA thread - Updated 06/28/14

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestial-Fox View Post
    You're my favorite.

  5. #115
    Fenn
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    Okay Cypress, I'm going to venture a reply to you. I can't reply to each comment you made; we'd be going way off the point. There are two reasons for our confusion: semantics (me using words incorrectly/differently than you interpret them) and unclear main arguments.

    I am trying to make two points:
    1. Charity is vastly underestimated by most people today as a logical path to pleasure.
    2. True altruism is impossible.

    I have supported the first point already. As another example, I have a large piece of chocolate cake. Before I eat it, I spy a lonely man on the corner starving. I can give the man the cake, or eat it myself. First, clarification:
    - I am not starving; this means I can afford to lose the cake.
    - Any emotional gains are based on the personal value of those emotions to me.
    - This hypothetical is most likely incomplete; feel free to add to it.

    If I eat the cake:
    + I gain sensory pleasure from eating the cake.
    + I gain emotional pleasure from eating the cake.
    - There is a possiility that I have angered the man.
    - The pleasure is temporary; it ends when I finish the cake.

    If I give the man the cake:
    + I gain emotional pleasure from seeing the man enjoy the cake.
    + There is a possibility that I have befriended the man.
    + The pleasure can last a very long time, since the knowledge that I have helped someone (which brings me pleasure) will not fade.

    If I have conditioned my mind to appreciate the emotional pleasure of charity over the physical pleasure of taste, I can make the choice with the greater objective benefit (possible alliance or at least avoidance of conflict) rather than the choice that risks conflict.

    For my second point, I need your help. Name one time where you performed an act you believe to be altruistic. Why did you do this act?
    Last edited by Fenn; 05-16-2011 at 10:12 PM.

  6. #116
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by you
    If I have conditioned my mind to appreciate the emotional pleasure of charity over the physical pleasure of taste...
    Quote Originally Posted by also you
    Pleasure is not quantifiable...
    Quote Originally Posted by me
    In order for charity to be ultimately beneficial, it requires that some intrinsic value (such as pleasure) be quantifiable and worth more than what's given.
    So you agree, right?

    And even then, I would argue that this is merely a matter of preference. This does not support charity being beneficial on a logical or objective level at all. Whether or not pleasure is worth more than material good is respective to every individual. Whereas to assume that something (ex. money) with objective worth is ultimately more valuable than something with variable or indeterminate worth (pleasure) is logical.


    And I once gave a bum 5 dollars. I was not pressured to, nor did I feel obligated to, nor did I receive anything from it. Nobody saw me do it and nobody knows that I did it. He did not ask me for it; I chose to give it to him. Personally, I would've preferred to keep the money, but I felt he //needed// it more than me. It was an assessment of need.

  7. #117
    Super Senior Member Delphinus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CypressDahlia View Post
    And even then, I would argue that this is merely a matter of preference. This does not support charity being beneficial on a logical or objective level at all. Whether or not pleasure is worth more than material good is respective to every individual. Whereas to assume that something (ex. money) with objective worth is ultimately more valuable than something with variable or indeterminate worth (pleasure) is logical.
    ...you really don't get it, do you? Emotions can still be factored into a logical decision; it's logical to seek happiness, even if you gain that happiness by sacrificing material goods. It's not logical to assume money is worth more than pleasure; the degree of 'worth' is ultimately based on emotional attachment to it either way. If you don't care about material things but care a lot about making others happy, it's logical to give money to the poor. An analogy can be found in this chess strategy.

    Here white sacrifices a low-value piece (the bishop/the $5) to gain a position of greater value (yielding the queen OR the mate/gaining emotional benefit).

    It's likely that in a capitalist society like ours, where genuine emotion is rare and material wealth is high, that people would sacrifice material goods (which are common and thus of little value to them) to gain emotional benefits (a commodity). Indeed, such a sacrifice would even be consistent with traditional economics, assuming one could assign a value to happiness. That one can't, in practice, assign any such universal value is immaterial: they're still making a good trade if the happiness they gain is worth more to them than their money, and thus, again, it's ultimately an egoistic action.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn
    You forgot your F in Modesty.

  8. #118
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delphinus View Post
    ...you really don't get it, do you? Emotions can still be factored into a logical decision...
    [/head explode]

    Deja Vu, anyone?

    But srsly. Yes, I understand emotions can be factored into a logical decision. Remember the good 'ol Unpopular Opinions thread? That was my entire platform. But you're assuming that every--single--person who donates to charity values emotion more than material good. I'm telling you why that assumption is illogical.

    Firstly, the subjectivity of "value" itself protests your argument. How can you make that assumption for every person when every person's values are different? Furthermore, money has objective worth, believe it or not. Are you telling me that five dollars is not always worth five dollars? Surely, its usefulness varies between people (hence "assessment of need"), but it is always the same. Hence, it is more logical to assume that people would want money over emotions because it will //always// be worth something to everyone. Oppositely, emotions may very well be worthless in a great number of real-world contexts.
    Last edited by CypressDahlia; 05-17-2011 at 01:47 PM.

  9. #119
    Super Senior Member Delphinus's Avatar
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    Mmm, yeah, I forgot that not everyone is a psychopath. Perspective was duly amended. >__>
    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn
    You forgot your F in Modesty.

  10. #120
    Fenn
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    Quote Originally Posted by CypressDahlia View Post
    [/head explode]

    But you're assuming that every--single--person who donates to charity values emotion more than material good. I'm telling you why that assumption is illogical.
    I won't speak for Delph, but I never said anything of the kind.

    Quote Originally Posted by CypressDahlia View Post
    Firstly, the subjectivity of "value" itself protests your argument. How can you make that assumption for every person when every person's values are different? Furthermore, money has objective worth, believe it or not. Are you telling me that five dollars is not always worth five dollars? Surely, its usefulness varies between people (hence "assessment of need"), but it is always the same. Hence, it is more logical to assume that people would want money over emotions because it will //always// be worth something to everyone. Oppositely, emotions may very well be worthless in a great number of real-world contexts.
    First of all, we are not talking about a great number of real-world contexts. We are talking specifically about the pursuit of personal satisfaction and pleasure.

    Secondly, The PERSONAL value of money is subjective. The currency value remains objective of course, but seeing as we are dealing with individuals, the value of the currency itself is subjective. Some people hold money in higher priority and regard than others. For example, my personal value regarding money is to try to gain as much as my value system allows, but rely on it only as much as I have to, since I find money (and all material sources of pleasure) to be highly unreliable and costly in comparison to emotional pleasures such as politeness and charity.

    And I once gave a bum 5 dollars. I was not pressured to, nor did I feel obligated to, nor did I receive anything from it. Nobody saw me do it and nobody knows that I did it. He did not ask me for it; I chose to give it to him. Personally, I would've preferred to keep the money, but I felt he //needed// it more than me. It was an assessment of need.
    Believe it or not, from where I stand you are acting on self interest. You valued the fulfillment of the other's need over your own; this is true. However, you acted because your personal rewards and repercussions of giving the bum the money had a higher net worth to you than keeping the cash. If your net gain in the selfish act (net worth being a combination of material and emotional results of each act) was greater than the selfless one, you would have chosen that.

    I realize it may seem arrogant to assume I know what you're thinking, but read what I've written closely and consider it yourself.

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